BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of US$400,000 to help the government of Barbados further develop its economic reform programme. The approval sets into motion the Bank’s plan to support the country’s return to sustained economic growth.
The technical assistance project aims to enhance the capacity of staff in the ministry of finance, economic affairs and investment adequately to design, negotiate and support the implementation of critical macroeconomic and structural reforms. Further, it is expected to strengthen Barbados’ macroeconomic policy and planning.
“This project is critical to unlocking the growth potential of the Barbadian economy, and improving the country’s economic performance. CDB is pleased to support the government of Barbados in its efforts to restructure the country’s debt and focus on creating conditions for the return of sustained economic growth,” said Dr Justin Ram, director of economics, CDB.
The technical assistance project responds to the urgent challenges Barbados faces, including a fragile fiscal and external liquidity situation; and unsustainable levels of public indebtedness. Such issues are adversely affecting investor confidence and consequently, domestic economic activity.
“CDB expects this project to play a significant role in supporting prudent macroeconomic policy formulation and efficient decision-making. It lays the foundation for further economic reform assistance to Barbados from the bank,” Ram said.
“We commend the government on the creation of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan and the successful negotiation of a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which are important steps in the right direction towards sustainable economic recovery for Barbados. We anticipate the continued support of the international development community for Barbados along its path to economic recovery, transformation and growth,” he added.
When completed, the programme is expected to focus on the implementation of reforms to generate and entrench improved fiscal performance. Additionally, it will seek to improve external performance and drive growth by addressing critical infrastructure gaps, and strengthening the regulatory and institutional environment within which the private sector operates. Moreover, it will place emphasis on mitigating any potential negative impacts the implementation of the programme could have on the most vulnerable groups of the society.
The technical assistance project will take into account lessons learnt from similar CDB-funded interventions that supported ministries of finance in Jamaica and Grenada. It is consistent with the bank’s corporate priorities of strengthening evidence-based policymaking, and improving economic, fiscal and debt management.