||Central Bank Of Barbados
In 2018, the Central Bank of Barbados continued its longstanding tradition of not only being at the forefront of economic issues, but also of supporting and promoting non-economic activities, including the arts and education. This article, the first in a four-part series, looks back at some of the Bank’s activities and initiatives over the past 12 months.
Review of Barbados’ Economy in 2017
At the end of January, newly appointed Governor, Cleviston Haynes, delivered the Central Bank’s review of Barbados’ economic performance in 2017. In his report, Governor Haynes said that “the Barbados economy continued to face significant macroeconomic challenges associated with declining international reserves, weak public finances and the need for the implementation of measures that create a platform for sustainable growth over the medium-term,” and revealed that international reserves had fallen to $410 million, or 6.6 weeks of imports.
By October 2018, following Government’s decision to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund and to restructure its debt, gross international reserves had risen to $577 million (7.4 weeks of imports).
Frank Collymore Literary Endowment (FCLE) Awards
Heather Barker was named best writer at the 2018 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards for her anthology of short stories, The Plundering. Despite her collection being adjudged the best entry, Barker was not awarded first prize, as the judges felt that none of the entries submitted was of sufficiently high quality to be given the top award.
During his opening remarks at the awards ceremony, Governor Haynes reiterated the Central Bank’s support for the competition, which it has sponsored for the past 20 years, saying “The evolution of local literature is intrinsic to our national development and needs to be encouraged.” He went on to add that “I firmly believe that this is important as we need to find avenues to make literature commercially viable for its exponents.”
5th Distinguished Visiting Fellow
The Central Bank of Barbados’ Distinguished Visiting Fellow Programme entered its fifth year when the Bank welcomed Dr. Andrew K. Rose, the B.T. Rocca Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley in late March.
During his two-week visit to Barbados, Rose gave several presentations to groups from government, the private sector, and the Central Bank; conducted a webinar for students from all three campuses of the University of the West Indies; and sat down for a one on one interview that focused on international trade and discussed the state of the economics profession.
In his final major activity as the 2018 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Rose took part in the fellowship’s flagship event, the Caribbean Economic Forum.