IMF gives economic reform thumbs up
THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) likes the way the Barbados economy is being fixed, calling it an “excellent start”.
But as IMF mission leader Dr Bert van Selm lauded the implementation of this “ambitious and comprehensive economic reform programme”, he urged Government to “further reduce uncertainty” by concluding debt restructuring terms with foreign creditors.
The official also said “Barbados has also made good progress towards meeting end-december 2018 structural benchmarks under the [Extended Fund Facility]”.
He was speaking after an IMF team ended a four-day visit to the island last Friday.
While praising the progress made with boosting the foreign reserves, completing a domestic debt exchange, and cutting the public sector wage bill, van Selm also cautioned there were “some risks” to the planned corporate tax cut.
More than doubled
Regarding discussions with foreign creditors, he said: “Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome.
“Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process; completion of the external debt restructuring would help further reduce uncertainty.”
The IMF said its team came here at Government’s request to discuss implementation of the Barbados Economic
Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, which is being supported by the
IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
“The country’s international reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (five to six weeks of import coverage) at end-may 2018, have more than doubled since then, amounting to more than US$500 million
Continued on next page.