Debt sustainable, says Governor

Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge is maintaining that Barbados debt “remains quite sustainable,” but he says the country’s status as a small island developing state means it is also vulnerable.

He was participating in the bank’s 2024 Caribbean Economic Forum on Tuesday night, during which fellow panelist, Barbados Private Sector Association chairman Trisha Tannis, indicated that the business community was watching Barbados’ debt “very carefully.”

The senior business executive, added, however, that “we have to ensure that we also are not panicking [about debt] at this stage” while ensuring that borrowed money is used productively.

“Debt, based on the evidence we have . . . remains quite sustainable . . . and is on a downward trajectory,” Greenidge said in response to a question from discussion moderator David Ellis.

“When we look at sustainability we look at many factors going into the debt. You look at the capacity to repay out of the foreign reserves, out of the export earnings, you look at the impact of it in terms of the revenue position,” he explained.

“We have had at least eight reviews under the [International Monetary Fund] programme and you look and you will see that they do an assessment called debt sustainability assessment. So there is no question about whether or not the debt is sustainable.” (SC)

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