Sinckler At The World Trade Organisation In Geneva
Minister of Foreign Trade Chris Sinckler is over in Switzerland fighting for Barbados as the WTO considers changes in tariffs. (CBC article here)
While Minister Sinckler’s work with tariffs doesn’t have the exciting cache of announcing a new hotel project or some other flashy government initiative, it is this important work in the trenches that very much impacts our economy on a long term basis.
The idea of working in Switzerland sounds exciting to the uninitiated, but the glitz of travel soon fades into the reality of life on the road. Chris might be doing a little sightseeing in Switzerland, but for the mostpart we bet that he will have started to miss home by now.
The World Trade Organisation & World Agencies Know We Lack Integrity Legislation
Minister Sinckler is trying to convince WTO major members that Barbados and other small and vulnerable economies should be given a break when compared to larger nations. That is all good and necessary for small countries like Barbados, but increasingly, larger countries and world agencies are becoming far less tolerant of government corruption than they were even five years ago.
Barbados does not have Integrity Legislation or effective oversight of government spending, and while the WTO and the larger nations are willing to help us out, they want to know that their support and concessions will go to the citizens of Barbados and not end up lining the pockets of the government’s members and friends.
How much easier and more effective could Minister Sinckler’s efforts be if he could say that Barbados had taken a firm stand against corruption in government.
Instead, Minister Sinckler can only tell his fellow Trade Ministers that the Thompson government was elected on a platform of integrity initiatives – but then failed to adopt even a single measure once it achieved power and held the keys to the treasury.