‘Not enough’ private sector investment
In a review of 2017, Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul said the island needed more private sector investment and less borrowing from international financial entities.
Paul was speaking at a media briefing held at his constituency office, Fairfield Main Road, Black Rock, last Friday.
He urged the private sector to build on the nation’s strengths that could help earn much needed foreign exchange.
“It is unfortunate that in a period when we need to look inside to try to build on the strengths that we have, we are not doing so,” Paul said.
“We have billions of dollars sitting on the banks earning little or no interest with people who see no urge to take back the money they earned from poor people and reinvest it back in to the country in terms of development projects that would create employment and address the issue of valuable foreign exchange.”
Paul said instead of trying to persuade Government to seek financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund, the private sector should be more forward-thinking and create new strategies that would help the country’s economic situation.
“When you look at the year, it is an indictment from some members of the private sector that instead of trying to contribute to the development of the country want Government to go out there and borrow more money to give them. Not to engage in new projects that would advance developmental issues but would allow them to continue with their buying and selling importation scheme, which has contributed to where this country is today.
“The solution to our economic problems does not reside in a begging bowl asking for help . . . past administrations have contributed to where we are now by borrowing without a developmental agenda.”
The MP added that Barbados should only take on more debt if it was solely for the prosperity of the nation. He said talk about the impact of the National Social Responsibility Levy was being used to paint a dismal picture of business, but without its presence, Government might have had to consider sending home civil servants. (SB)