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Wait-and-see on borrowing

Natasha Beckles

Wait-and-see on borrowing

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Barbados is keeping its options open on foreign borrowings this financial year.
Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell said while there were no immediate plans to go to the international market, “depending  on how things eventuate, it is quite possible”.
“That’s why we maintain our credit rating and so on – so that if circumstances warrant we always have that option,” he said yesterday during a Press conference to discuss the economic performance for the first quarter of 2011.
Worrell said that the Central Bank met monthly with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to review all the options at their disposal and they “never take any option off the table”.
He said Government had adjusted to the recession appropriately.“We didn’t go overboard to try to compensate totally and use up all our foreign exchange reserves and leave ourselves in a difficult situation.   
We didn’t go overseas and borrow excessively. “We were modest in everything we did and our adjustment focused on protecting the most vulnerable and supporting the sectors that were essential for the revival.”
He noted, however, that once the economy was out of recession the principal lesson should be the need to adjust overall debt levels. 
“We want to be in a comfortable place with respect to debt so you have ample room for borrowing to meet emergency situations like this,” he added.
Worrell said although Barbados was not in an ideal situation, “it could’ve been worse because if you look at our debt ratio, our debt ratio was quite manageable and that was because largely we had borrowed from ourselves”.