DeLisle Worrell said leasing the ports would be "an opportunity to lift overall economic growth by perhaps as much as one percent per year."
DeLisle Worrell, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, is calling on the country's Government to lease the island’s two main ports of entry. He said the measure would provide the significant boost the economy desperately needs.
He argued in his economic newsletter that “it is an opportunity our Government should not pass up” and that “we have here an opportunity to lift overall economic growth by perhaps as much as one percent per year, with the associated job creation and access to a global network of possibilities.”
He went on to explain that letting the Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams International Airport, or GAIA, would be the most lucrative privatization option available to Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Her government, which recently defaulted on its international debt, is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, in an attempt to save the economy.
However, Mottley's government has given no signal that her government is prepared to make such an agreement.
In July, the Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds outlined a significant expansion plan for GAIA, which would see the construction of five jet bridges, a rehabilitated runway, and upgrades to several departure gates, according to Caribbean 360.
The announcement echoed requests previously made by Worrell. He insisted that leasing the two ports to international capital would address the challenges to realizing their full economic potential.
“The operator would have access to its own sources of financing, something which is important to a Government which has lost access to international financial markets. An international company would transform the operations of both port and airport, bringing their efficiency up to par with those in advanced countries.”