Crime watch warning
Barbados has to do what it takes to keep crime levels low or the problem will undermine the economy.
And as Robert Le Hunte prepares to leave the island after seven years as managing director and chief executive officer of Barbados National Bank (BNB), he said the island’s low crime level was among its most attractive features.
The Trinidadian, who returns to a top management position with BNB’s parent company, Republic Bank, said he was leaving the island with mixed feelings.
“Barbados has to do everything in its power to manage crime and keep the level low. It is one of the most attractive features of this country that I have called home for the past few years,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY in a recent interview.
Le Hunte, who is also outgoing president of the Barbados Bankers’ Association, said given Barbados’ dependence on tourism for foreign earnings it could not afford to have the engine of economic growth jeopardised by crime.
In a wide-ranging interview, Le Hunte said he was impressed by the country’s social cohesion and its ability to find concensus on national issues.
“One of the beauties of Barbados and what has impressed me most is the country’s social partnership.
I have found it to be one factor that has driven this country’s success – the cohesiveness among the major players.
“And if it is one time that the social partnership needs to work it is now because if it doesn’t, then Barbados could end up on a slippery slope,” he argued.
“What has also impressed me about Barbados is the level of national pride, the level of focus.
“A number of times in the Caribbean what happens is that the politics drives the economics . . . but in Barbados there is an unspoken unified position among the political parties about what needs to be done for the betterment of the country.
“As a result, people play politics within the guidelines of what is best for Barbados economically,” he added. (GE)