‘Speed up investments in tourism, alternative energy’


THIS country’s growth rate for 2016 could be higher than 1.5 per cent if investments in tourism and alternative energy can be accelerated.
That’s according to Dr. DeLisle Worrell, the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, while making economic projections for the remainder of this year.
The Governor had said the Bank had lowered the original growth rate of 1.6 per cent because most investment projects are behind schedule.
This means the economy should grow 1.5 per cent.
In his review for the half year to June 2016, the top Economist said that private investments in hotel and tourism-related activity is expected to be over Bds$1.2 billion (US$600 million) over the course of the next four years. “For the 2016-17 fiscal year, public investment of $210 million is planned with $165 million being externally funded,” the Governor said.
He also stated that foreign inflows for known investment projects for the remainder of this year are worth about $55 million and that net foreign financing for the public sector is expected to be about $99 million.
The review for the half year show the economy expanding 1.3 per cent compared to about 0.3 per cent the same period in 2015. Tourism grew as well as a construction which was up two per cent.
Net foreign reserves declined $43 million to leave the overall reserves at $884 million.
The Governor said that foreign exchange outflows will be tightened  by measures to be taken in the forthcoming budget.
“Together these factors should result in foreign reserves of $938 million at year end, an increase of about $54 million over the course of 2016,” he added. (JB)


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