Barbados: Meeting the Challenge of Competitiveness in the 21st Century

Jul 2006
Thomas, Desmond;Rojas-Suárez, Liliana
The material within these pages shows that Barbados, a Caribbean country with just over a quarter of a million people, embodies many of the classic vulnerabilities of an island with a small open economy, yet aspires to developed-country status, and is already well advanced on the road to achieving the MDG targets. Viewed in this light, this book raises the question: Is Barbados the little island that can? The authors have approached that question mainly from the point of view of international competitiveness, one of the pillars, along with macroeconomic and financial stability, required for accelerated and sustained growth. Starting with a wide-ranging macroeconomic diagnosis, this monograph examines the strengths and competitiveness challenges facing Barbados from the points of view of the institutional and private sector constraints and environment for competitiveness, labour market conditions and trade policy framework and performance. It also narrows the focus to take a sectoral perspective, examining the leading tourism industry. To convey a sense of the public-policy complexities, the book also includes a brief analysis focusing on the agricultural sector.