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Banking on tourism

Natasha Beckles

Banking on tourism

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Barbados’ economy must grow “substantially” in the first quarter of this year to achieve growth of two per cent overall.
Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell, made this point yesterday during a Press conference to discuss the country’s economic performance.
Worrell said many industries “depend on the receipts that we get in the first quarter to tide them over some of the troughs that are going to come later on in the year”.
“Our growth is going to depend most heavily on tourism because that is about two-thirds of our foreign exchange earnings, but we also have a considerable presence in the international business and financial services sector,” the governor said.
“Between the two of those sectors we are talking about 80 to 85 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings.”
Worrell noted that he was looking to the international business sector for a major contribution to the revival of the economy.
“As you know we are competitive in the sector. We have a good double taxation treaty network which is growing all the time and we are actively working to promote that sector,” Worrell said.
He added that the island’s regulatory framework will be improved to ensure that it is up to the best international standards.
The governor also cited the need to have an active marketing campaign which advertises the services that we are able to provide in that sector.
He noted that the bank had not given up on manufacturing and agriculture although these had diminished significantly in their foreign exchange earnings.
The governor said the bank would like to see the two sectors increase their contribution to foreign exchange reserves and employment.