Press Release: Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal at the Conclusion of his Visit to Barbados

February 11, 2008

Press Release No. 08/24

Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Barbados on February 11, as part of a visit to the Caribbean region, and made the following statement:

"During my visit to Barbados, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Prime Minister David Thompson, Minister of State Darcy Boyce, and Central Bank Governor Marion Williams. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to exchange views with the new Government on the economic challenges and opportunities facing Barbados. Given its strong democratic tradition and political institutions, Barbados is well-placed to reap the benefits of globalization. At the same time, Barbadians know all too well that their small and open economy is vulnerable to a deteriorating external environment—particularly if it affects its major tourist markets. While the times ahead may prove challenging, I am confident that the government of Barbados will tackle such challenges with skill and resolve.

"I also met today with representatives of the donor community to reiterate the IMF's continued involvement in delivering technical assistance to the Caribbean region for another three years. This extension through 2010 provides support from a pool of international donors to the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC), located in Barbados. I am very pleased that this support will allow CARTAC to continue providing high-quality capacity building to the public sectors in 21 Caribbean countries across several areas, such as, public financial management; tax and customs; financial sector supervision; capital market development; macroeconomic management; and statistics.

"Later today, I will also visit the offices of the Caribbean Development Bank for discussions with CDB President Compton Bourne on areas of collaboration between our two institutions to promote regional development and sound economic governance.

"Before leaving Barbados, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Prime Minister Thompson and his economic team all the best in the years ahead. The IMF stands ready to support the new government with advice and technical assistance as it sets out to develop and implement strong macroeconomic and financial policies."


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