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The Barbados government says it will host a national consultation on the local economy next month.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart urged the various stakeholders including the private sector and the trade union movement to be prepared for the June 28 discussion so as to ensure it success.
Last month, the Central Bank of Barbados announced that the local economy had contracted by 0.4 per cent in the first three months of 2013 and urged the authorities to put “back on track” the fiscal consolidation strategy as well as a new medium term adjustment strategy to turn around the island’s economic fortunes.
In its review of the Barbados economic performance fore the first quarter of this year, the Central bank said that on current trends there may be no real increase in the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) from the tourism or international business sectors in 2013.
It said that the forecasts for the rest of the economy are no better, with overall GDP expected to be virtually flat.
Stuart, who addressed a meeting of the full Social Partnership, said it had served Barbados well over the past 20 years and had justified its existence.
“In the absence of that kind of understanding and cooperation, I think the mountains which we have been called upon to climb would have been much more difficult to climb. We do not know when what we are going through will come to an end and we certainly cannot fold our arms despairingly and just decide to wait it out.
“We have to continue to battle our challenges and to try to come up with solutions to our problems,” he said, praising the work of the Social Partnership over the past two decades.