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Caribbean & Central America - September 2020

BARBADOS: IMF emphasises importance of sticking to reforms

As a country that is heavily dependent on tourism, Barbados is inevitably one of the worst affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. On the tourism-dependency index, Barbados is ranked 14 out of 166 countries, with tourism’s contribution to GDP calculated at 39%. Tourism is also responsible for 39% of employment. To make matters worse, the crisis comes at a time when Barbados has been struggling to reduce debt under the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supervised Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (Bert) programme introduced in June 2018. An IMF team conducted a ‘virtual’ staff visit from 25-28 August “to discuss implementation” of Bert.

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