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Business call

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Business call

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THIS COUNTRY’S PRIVATE sector has been told to work with the Government in generating jobs and ensuring economic growth.
 Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made the call last night during his contribution to the 2010 Budget Debate that concluded last night in the House of Assembly.
 In a lengthy and at times witty presentation, which sought to show that Opposition Barbados Labour Party members had no case against the measures presented by the Government in the Budget, Stuart reached out to the leaders of industry and commerce.
The Prime Minister urged business to follow the lead of Government by getting its own projects going that “we can get some employment created in Barbados, so we get economic activity generated in Barbados, so we can get this country back on to a growth path”.
Stuart noted that his administration did not know if the measures as outlined by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler would be successful, but that the intention was to ensure that this happened.
He however noted there were certain variables over which policymakers had no control.
He said Government would be monitoring the performance of the measures and if necessary, as had happened in the past, it would come back to the House and make the necessary adjustments.
Stuart maintained that the situation would depend on not only what Government did but what happened in the world economy if the island was to get back on a growth path.
The Prime Minister, who said there were fundamental weaknesses in the Barbados economy, pointed out that work which should have been done in good times now had to be undertaken against a background of the Barbados Labour Party administration between 1994 and 2008 having a record amount of revenue.
“The work now has to be done,” he added of the restructuring.
The Prime Minister argued that Barbados was not immune from the difficulties affecting the world economy and pointed to the severe challenges facing developed countries including the United States, Spain, Britain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
Stating that the economic situation was not of the country’s making, he noted that it would be difficult for Britain, the United States and Canada to be in recession and Barbados not impacted negatively.
Stuart said his administration would continue the model where it would focus on promoting a society and not just “an economy only”, adding that under his administration “the lenses through which whether we are talking about the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, whether we are talking about foreign policy, whether we are talking about domestic policy . . . .
“Whether we are talking about our international treaty obligations, the lenses through which we will be seeing these things will be linked to what has been the tradition of this organisation under the late Right Excellent Errol Barrow of not only trying to make sure that the economy is right but  building a society that has character and that has resilience as well”. (ES)