Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has reiterated that Government is
continuing to keep the "ship of state" steady and on a
growth path in a still volatile global economic environment.
Mr. Stuart made the comments today while delivering the feature
address at the opening of the Barbados Network Consultation 2016
(4th Diaspora Conference) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre,
under the theme: One Nation, One Family: Celebrating 50 years of
Independence – Shaping Global Citizens.
The Prime Minister told his audience: "The challenges of
downturn and recession are being courageously and creatively
navigated. Our faith in the future, and in the promise of Barbados
as a nation, continues to flourish with undiminished vigour.
"Barbados, we contend, is not just an economy, but it is
also a society. That perspective continues to inform our policy
He said Government's commitment to offering the highest
standards of health and education for Barbadians remained the
primary focus. He pointed out that the social development
programmes were still the most reliable avenues through which the
country sought to respond to the needs of the vulnerable and the
Mr. Stuart urged those present to take time for deep reflection
during the 50th Anniversary of Independence celebrations.
"Whatever our political, religious or philosophical
persuasions, we need collectively to determine what kind of country
we want to build beyond the celebration of our Golden
Jubilee," he contended.
He noted that the Diaspora community was a critical component of
Government's developmental thrust for Barbados. He pointed out
that the community contributed to the society and economy in many
ways, and listed them as including building homes; starting
businesses; remitting foreign exchange to relatives; promoting
niche products and cultural offerings in their communities; and
making cash and in-kind donations to some of our institutions
The Prime Minister said members of the diaspora must seek at all
times to reflect the positive habits and values that had been
traditionally associated with Barbados, among which are respect for
other persons; thrift in the management of personal economic
affairs; and a thirst for education and self-advancement.
"We recognise that progress and modernisation have affected
some of these habits and values, but for the most part, they are
alive and well even today, by comparison with many other
countries," he stated.
He said the Diaspora Conference, which started six years ago,
has been innovative and propelling, adding that reports on it had
been positive. "They all lead me to conclude that we have
achieved a great measure of success in our efforts to make
Barbadians based abroad feel a sense of belonging and participation
in all that Barbados strives to be as a nation," Mr. Stuart
Source: Barbados Government Information Service
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