BUSINESS MONDAY - REDUCE spending!
Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:00am
THERE remains a need to dampen spending further in order to protect Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange. So said the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Delisle Worrell, while highlighting the way ahead for the troubled economy.
He explained that the reserves protect us against the devaluation of our currency.
Worrell made the point while indicating that since 2013, the country has failed to achieve the balance between foreign exchange inflows and outflows.
According to him, the Central Bank of Barbados remains in a position to provide US dollars at the 2:1 exchange rate to meet all legitimate needs, if no other source is sufficient.
He said that the Government is committed to a further reduction in the fiscal deficit, in order to relieve pressure on the foreign exchange reserves.
“The immediate objective is to set the debt to GDP ratio firmly on a downward path, by achieving a deficit which is lower than the increase in the GDP forecast for 2017. That will serve to boost confidence and give access to funds from banks and other investors whose, contribution to Government financing has not increased in recent times,” he said.
The improvement in the national work ethic and the upgrade of public services are high priority. The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 reports that one of every five respondents saw "poor work ethic" as inhibiting business, and one in six found Government bureaucracy to be "inefficient". What is more, Barbadians have failed to take advantage of new technologies to increase productivity, and output per worker has not increased as wages have risen over the past two decades.
The Governor remarked also that Barbados has well-established institutions and tools for addressing and correcting the problems of worker engagement, labour productivity and public sector reform.
“The Barbados social partnership, which is widely admired, affords the opportunity for ongoing dialogue and monitoring of initiatives to improve productivity, and the Barbados Productivity Council and the Office of Public Sector Reform provide the analysis and measurement necessary for meaningful progress in improving the performance of the public sector,” he added. (JB)