Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Rating a show of confidence, says Straughn

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The decision by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to maintain its long and short-term credit ratings of B-/B with a stable outlook for the Barbados economy, has been held up as proof that Barbados is handling the COVID-19 pandemic well.

This argument was made by Minister in Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn, who said that to maintain such an outlook in the face of a decimated tourism industry, was a strong show of confidence.

“Imagine that tourism over the last six months has been non-existent in this country. We have had to respond to ensure that families in this country can survive and that nobody is left behind. It has been hard. The Government has had to reorganise and reprioritise its finances to ensure that people in this country can live and survive and have a brighter future,” he explained.

“We did that with about 15 per cent of the economy not functioning, but last week we received news from S&P that Barbados’ credit rating outlook is stable and there would be no downgrade with respect to this country,” said Straughn, who was addressing a Barbados Labour Party political rally at the St George Secondary School on Monday night.

He said that if those looking on from the outside could demonstrate such confidence, then Barbadians ought to take heart that their Government was on the right path and therefore acting in their best interest.

“I want you to understand that we have engaged not just S&P and Moody’s, but also the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The people outside of Barbados looking at how this Government is managing this pandemic, have confidence in how we are doing things. If people on the outside have confidence in how we do things, then the people of Barbados who have first-hand experience should have similar confidence,” he said. (CLM)

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