IMF Staff Issue Concluding Statement on Barbados Following July 2 to 12 2018 Visit

Source: IMF

Full Press Release:
Press Release No. 18/291
July 12, 2018

 IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Barbados 

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board discussion.

At the request of the newly elected Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown July 2–12, for discussions on IMF financial support for the Government of Barbados’s Economic Recovery and Transformation plan. At the end of the visit, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

“The Barbadian authorities, in close consultation with their social partners, are taking effective steps to address current economic vulnerabilities. The IMF stands ready to partner with Barbados to restore macroeconomic stability in order to secure strong, durable and inclusive growth in the years ahead.

“Fiscal consolidation alongside a comprehensive debt restructuring exercise is critical for restoring debt sustainability and policy credibility. In this context, the authorities’ revised budget for 2018/19, approved by Parliament on June 11 is a decisive step in the right direction. The budget targets a primary surplus of 6 percent of GDP.

“Consistent with the message delivered by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance during the Budget a second phase of measures will be needed to achieve this target. This next phase will focus on reducing expenditures—notably by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public services, reducing government transfers to state-owned enterprises by reviewing user fees, exploring options for mergers, and providing stronger oversight.

“Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with domestic and external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing information, will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process.

“Significant progress has been made during this IMF staff visit on the plan that could underpin financial support from the IMF. On its return to Washington the team will continue to analyze the Government’s comprehensive reform program. We will remain closely engaged with the authorities in the coming weeks.

“The team would like to thank the authorities for open and candid discussions, and looks forward to building on this engagement in the period ahead.”

Media contact:
Maria Candia
(202) 623-7100