Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Delisle Worrell indicated that Barbados’ International Business and Financial Services (IBFS) sector is vital to the country’s growth prospects and that Government had a key role to play in this regard. The Governor noted the sector’s important contribution to foreign exchange earnings, as well as its provision of employment opportunities for Barbados’ relatively well educated workforce.
During his Opening Remarks, he also observed that “the importance of Government involvement in the IBFS sector cannot be underestimated. The uniqueness of our sector is that it is grounded in our network of double taxation treaties, and we pride ourselves on a regulatory framework that meets the highest international standards”. He shared these views at a recently concluded conference organized by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Barbados International Business Association.
Dr. Worrell posited that is widely accepted that government plays a “crucial role in economic development, even in societies like our own where trade and commerce are mainly in private hands”. He referenced the World bank sponsored study by John Page, that documents the ways in which Government support contributed to the successful economic transformation of East Asian economies like Japan and South Korea, even though their economic rise are often associated with the brands of private firms such as Toyota and Samsung.
Using the Barbados example, the Governor noted that the sector depends on a range of government services on a daily basis. He advised that “improved government efficiency is therefore vital. The measures to address government efficiency and work attitudes are many and varied, and they must be implemented and maintained in numerous individual transactions every day. In order to know that progress is being made, an effective monitoring and feedback system is needed, that tracks all the elements, processes and transactions between private agents and the government agencies and institutions that serve the IBFS sector”.
Dr. Worrell concluded his remarks to the joint public – private sector forum by reminding attendees that “the sectors’ success depends on its competitiveness, and its competitiveness depends on the quality of services Barbados offers, especially Government services. The reward for improved Government efficiency will be growth in the sector and higher potential growth for the economy”.