High praise for Barbados’ staying power in tough times
A SENIOR REGIONAL BANKER says many in the Caribbean still marvel at how Barbados has been able to achieve so much and maintain its economic, political and social standing despite its very limited resources.
Robert Le Hunte, the man who led Barbados National Bank for several years after its acquisition by Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, said it was a credit to Barbados’ strong Social Partnership that the island had weathered the very difficult economic recession.
“The ability to band together and rally in difficult times is the difference between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, for example.
“It is a great asset – an intangible,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY. Le Hunte, who is now Republic Bank’s general manager of finance and planning and was in the island for a brief visit, said:
“There are few countries in the world where you have that kind of spirit, where the citizens are prepared to rally together for the national good without each group looking out for self-interest.
“I have lived here and I have learnt to appreciate it. Barbados has a priceless intangible that others in the Caribbean respect. They respect Barbados’ respect for law and order, that it is organized, that utilities work.
“Companies like Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton did not come to Trinidad; they chose Barbados and it is because of those intangibles,” Le Hunte noted.
At the same time, he warned that Barbadian workers, employers and Government needed to understand that global economic conditions had changed dramatically and they needed to fully utilize the highly successful Social Partnership.
He also urged Government to work on attracting new investors and on business facilitation.
“The wheels need to turn much faster because today, investors have options,” he noted. (GE)