Barbados PM defends economy against IMF negative forecast

By added on 06/05/2015

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said his country is by no means experiencing the slowest economic growth as indicated by a recent research, according to reports reaching here on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

The latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere predicted Barbados' economic performance would be the worst among 12 Caribbean countries with an annual growth of 0.8 per cent for this year.

In response, the prime minister said that his country, though facing some challenges, would not lag behind its neighbours given its past development and economic achievements to date.

"When you say to me that we are at the bottom of the totem pole in the Caribbean, I don't think anybody in the Caribbean who hears that will be convincing," he told local media on Monday.

Stuart stressed that Barbados was doing well on social indicators such as human development and infrastructural improvement. He urged his people not to despair at the negative forecast.

"What we are experiencing here is really no different from what other countries across the western world have been experiencing for some time, including the most powerful country on earth," he said.

Stuart challenged the IMF solutions to economic problems faced by Caribbean countries, whose import is much more than export due to the lack of competitive productive basis.

The prime minister took Jamaica for example, saying the country's economic challenges remain though it has repeatedly adopted the IMF programs in recent decades. He insisted that Barbados would not take the same course.