Barbados will not devalue its currency – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

Barbados Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart

“Devaluation of the Barbados dollar not an agenda item”

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has reiterated that there will be no devaluation of the country’s currency – the Barbados dollar – less than a week after Finance Minister Chris Sinckler delivered a similar message in parliament.

Addressing the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Stuart told the business community that there was no persuasive evidence that devaluation exercises in other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries had produced any spectacular results or facilitated the outcomes they desired.

“Put very simply, devaluation of the Barbados dollar is not an agenda item for the present government,” he emphasized.

Noticeable improvements

Stuart said that in the face of real growth in the traded and non-traded sectors; noticeable improvements in the balance of payments; falling inflation and declining unemployment; “pundits, publicists and prophets” had been steadfastly predicting a devaluation of the Barbados dollar or had been calling stridently for a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or for privatization of some of government’s assets.

He pointed out, however, that as long as the island-nation continued to depend on its relationship with the world for economic sustenance, there would be fluctuations in its fortunes, depending on what was going on in the economies of its trading partners.

“So, it cannot be that every time there is an adverse movement in our foreign exchange or foreign reserves situation, whatever the reason, the only solution to put forward is that we should devalue the currency of Barbados,” he said. -(CMC)