Sunday, April 21, 2024

Economy in focus at upcoming consultation

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Government will host a national consultation on the economy next month.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has urged the various stakeholders, including the private sector and the trade union movement, to be prepared for the June 28 dialogue so as to ensure it succeeds.
Last month, the Central Bank announced that the economy had contracted by 0.4 per cent in the first three months of 2013 and urged the authorities to put “back on track” the fiscal consolidation strategy as well as craft a new medium term adjustment strategy to turn around the island’s fortunes.
In its review of the Barbados economic performance for the first quarter of this year, the Bank said that on current trends there might be no real increase in the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) from the key sectors of tourism or international business sectors in 2013.
It said that the forecasts for the rest of the economy were no better, with overall GDP expected to be virtually flat.
Stuart, who addressed a meeting of the full Social Partnership at Hilton Barbados on Friday, said it had served Barbados well over the past 20 years and had justified its existence.
“In the absence of that kind of understanding and cooperation, I think the mountains which we have been called upon to climb would have been much more difficult to climb,” he said. “We do not know when what we are going through will come to an end and we certainly cannot fold our arms despairingly and just decide to wait it out.
“We have to continue to battle our challenges and to try to come up with solutions to our problems,” he said. (CMC)

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