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Stimulus for private sector

Henderson Holmes

Stimulus for private sector

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Statement from Henderson Holmes, executive director of the Barbados International Business Association on tomorrow’s Budget.
The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) would like to see a Budget on Tuesday that contains measures to generate more business activity, which in turn can lead to more job creation, more tax revenues and other economic benefits.
BIBA firmly believes it would be in the country’s best interest if the Government were to deliver a Budget containing private sector stimulus, given that Government’s revenue comes directly and indirectly from the activities of the private sector.
We need a strategy that will boost more private sector activity in Barbados, especially inward investment that can bring in, and continually generate, the much needed foreign exchange that will keep our economy running.
The reality is that there can be no sustainable solution to our domestic economic and social problems without an expansion in our business base and, given the small size of our economy, that is only achievable through growth in our international business and export activity. Government must therefore put greater emphasis on converting international interest in Barbados into investment and business activity.
Key to all of this would be sincere and purposeful attention to the critical element of business facilitation, and the allied challenge of public service transformation.
In July, when BIBA representatives met with Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler during his customary round of pre-Budget meetings, we outlined to him a number of recommendations . . . that could best be summed up as a call for him to play a transformative role in how the public sector enabled change. We encouraged him to motivate the public sector agencies critical to business facilitation into becoming the sort of proactive, responsive partners that were needed to achieve what is critical for the advancement of this entire economy.
Issues pertaining to the way in which business is facilitated here have remained unresolved, and Barbados is now at the juncture where the decision to act on them could make the difference in the standard of living our people enjoy from this moment forward.