BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is expected to discuss the state of that country’s economy when he meets with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington this month.
The Stuart administration is grappling with a growing fiscal deficit, significant unemployment and foreign and domestic debt. This could result in the downgrading of the country’s investment grade rating to junk bond status by rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
During the April 21 to 26 visit, Stuart will also address the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation and will open a symposium of the Caribbean Sea Commission.
On his trip to Washington, he will also meet with Barbadian nationals, most notably for a town hall-style meeting on April 22 at the Church of the Holy Comforter in the U.S. capital. Many Barbadians are expected to attend this meeting to hear Stuart’s address and ask the prime minister about the state of the economy back home.
His Washington visit will follow the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, to be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and various Caribbean and Latin American heads of government.