Arthur calls for red tape ease
It is taking way too long to get business done in Barbados, says Owen Arthur; and the problem, he insists, must be fixed urgently.
Citing Barbados’ 44th ranking on the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, a fall down two places, the Opposition Leader told members of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry yesterday at their September luncheon meeting at Hilton Barbados, that Government bureaucracy and lack of access to financing were very serious constraints on the private sector
“The negative impact of poor business facilitation has already dealt a cruel blow to our international business sector,” Arthur told the business leaders.
He pointed to a report from Invest Barbados stating that during the past two to three years, the island had missed out on US$1 billion (BDS$2bn) in investments and 2 700 jobs in the international business sector.
“There can be no more half-measures in promoting business facilitation. While Government is displaying the symptoms of chronic implementation deficit disorder, other countries are taking deliberate steps to make it easier to do business,” he charged.
The status quo, Arthur said, was no longer an option. He added that nothing short of comprehensive reform would suffice if Barbados was to engender private sector-led growth.
“I further propose ongoing review of commercial law and regulations by a public/private sector commercial law commission.”
Arthur also stated that Barbados should not be put in a position where legislative changes intended to benefit workers “result merely in creating conditions that generate more unemployment, or put enterprises that are already beleaguered in a position where their financial conditions are even more undermined”.
In this connection, he urged the BCCI to seek a hold on the new Employment Rights Bill until their areas of concern were addressed by the Government.
Arthur argued that changes had to be made to create conditions conducive to strong private sector-led growth, which could only come through attention to strong economic governance. (GE)