A Jobs and Investment Council is to be established in Barbados, says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
Prime Minister Mottley made the disclosure last night in a wide-ranging address to the nation on matters pertaining to COVID-19, and Government’s earnest efforts to flatten the curve of the disease. She explained that Cabinet had agreed to the setting up of this Council which would help Government with how to mobilize and catalyze all of the investments and to create all jobs possible in a COVID-19 environment, as well as after the pandemic.
The Prime Minister told the country: “I’m happy to report that this will be a broad-based council, reflective of the Social Partnership …. But equally, also including former Ministers of Finance, because this island is simply too small and we need all hands on deck. Regrettably, former Prime Minister [Sir Lloyd] Sandiford is not in a position to serve with us. But I have gotten the agreement of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, as Minister of Finance; and Mr. Christopher Sinckler as Minister of Finance, because this country will use all resources to ensure that there will be no surrender, no retreat, but also that there will be transformation.”
Ms. Mottley said the country’s foreign reserves stood at $1.56 billion, and it would receive BDS $360 million from the IMF and IDB within the next four to six weeks.
She continued: “It at least means that we are fighting this battle with nearly $2 billion in reserves. So, we have the ability to draw down on those reserves to protect our people.”
The Prime Minister said she would, in the near future, address the country on a broader economic package that would be about transformation.