Barbados government working to stabilise economy

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By Cathy Lashley

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — The Barbados economy is on a sustainable path towards economic growth, said Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, as he delivered the feature address at a Certified General Accountants (CGA) leadership and innovation conference on Friday.

He said that in response to the economic challenges, the government had maintained its strategy to stabilise the Barbados economy and contain the rate of its most damaging effects.

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Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler

"We sought to articulate a comprehensive programme to restore a fiscal balance over a five-year period starting in 2010… We have sought to devise programmes and initiatives to get our economic sectors going and out of the steep decline which they experienced, particularly in 2009 and into 2010," he stated.

Sinckler announced that job losses in the private sector had in fact stabilised, leading to an average unemployment rate of 10.5 percent in 2010. He added that although foreign direct investment levels were not near pre-crisis levels, they were beginning to show signs of recovery.

"We believe on provisional evidence, which we have been able to gather thus far, it is clear that the government’s programme for recovery in the Barbados economy has begun to work. Growth …has returned to the Barbados economy… [there has been a] halt in the levels of decline in key economic sectors and a return of increase output in others," he underlined.

However, sounding a note of caution, the finance minister maintained that, although the Barbados economy was showing signs of growth, there was still much work to be done if the country was to fully emerge from the aftermath of "this very dangerous economic crisis".

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