Prime Minister Mia Mottley and International Monetary Fund representative Bert Van Selm (right). (Picture by Sandy Pitt.)
Barbados has entered an official programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley earlier today during a joint media briefing with IMF representative Bert Van Selm at Government Headquarters, Bay Street.
Van Selm said the IMF would consider the programme by early October and if approved, the island would have immediate access to US $49 million in funding.
He reiterated the poor state of the Barbados economy which has been characterised by low growth, high debt and a widening fiscal deficit, while international reserves had fallen below adequate levels at US $240 million.
Van Selm said the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, which was announced by Mottley recently, was a step in the right direction towards “strong, sustainable and inclusive growth”.
“This important commitment of IMF resources is a vote of confidence in the BRT plan,” he said.
The plan is anticipated to lower debt to 60 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2033, almost 100 per cent lower than the current unsustainable level of 157 per cent.
“While the initial implementation period will be challenging, Barbados will emerge stronger and more dynamic from this programme and it would be in a better position to generate growth and job creation for the people of Barbados,” Van Selm said. (SAT)