The recent upgrade in Barbados’ foreign and local currency rating by Moody’s Rating Agency demonstrates the confidence of international investors in the effectiveness of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme.

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This view was expressed recently by Minister in the Ministry of
Finance, Ryan Straughn, as he delivered the feature address at the Re-opening and Naming Ceremony of the Barbados Workers’ Union Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Fairchild Street, Bridgetown.

Mr. Straughn added that the upgrade signalled to all that the Government of Barbados was committed to effective management of the public finances of this country.

“These gains will yield dividends in the growth strategy for the island going
forward, and will contribute to an overall improvement in the quality of life for all Barbadians. To date, we have met all the targets under the BERT Programme supported by the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility, and this Government remains committed to ensuring that the country’s economic position and growth going forward is as inclusive as possible. This programme and the growth it will deliver will ensure that prosperity is spread to as wide a cohort of Barbadians as possible.

At present, we are continuing negotiations of the external debt restructuring with our external creditors and are optimistic about concluding this part of the debt restructuring in due course, so as to cement international business confidence and bring even greater investment to our shores,” he stated.

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The minister stressed that credit unions must strive to provide their members with the means to open businesses, financed by their peers, as part of the transformation of the Barbados economy. He noted that the public sector could not achieve the recovery and transformation goals of the BERT Programme on its own. He said it is through partnerships with the private sector, labour unions and credit unions that tangible reform and transformation would be achieved.

Mr. Straughn urged the BWU Cooperative Credit Union to continue to
aggressively promote financial literacy within the school system through on the spot presentations, where they could make contact with students of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, in an effort to bring financial literacy and guidance to the next generation.

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Meanwhile, the BWU Co-operative Credit Union Limited, located at the corner of Fairchild and Nelson streets, has been renamed the Walcott Brooks Building, after founding members, Sir Frank Walcott and Linda Brooks.

In addition, several rooms have also been named after outstanding stalwarts. The conference room has been named after Ashton Turney; the library is named after Dalton Medford and the first floor has been named after Vere Rock.

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