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OECS Business Council rolls out sustainability strategy to private sector in St Lucia
Published on March 13, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The OECS Business Council met with members of the Private and Public Sectors in Saint Lucia last Wednesday, March 6, 2014, to present its rationale and strategy to engage and represent the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) private sector at a regional level.

Sir Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, highlighted the need for a strong private sector to change the course of the region.

“The crisis has exposed the major structural issues,” he said. “We have not developed a private sector which has been given the chance to move out of a certain zone because the system has been skewed towards importation for distribution and a few commodity exports.”

Statistics indicate that economic growth in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries overall have declined over the last 20 years.

“In order to improve per capita income, growth needs to measure 5-7%,” stated Lilian Piper, president of the OECS Business Council. “Effective reform will take place only if the private sector knows what it wants and can communicate and negotiate with Government purposefully and effectively.”

This private sector-led initiative aims to create valuable linkages with the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) through the three key pillars of investment climate, logistics and connectivity, and skills and productivity.

The Caribbean Growth Forum initiative is being implemented by the public sector as it is critical that the public sector effects major reforms to improve efficiencies and the ease of doing business. It is however imperative that the private sector harmonizes its approach with the public sector and speak as one voice on issues that will spur growth and development.

At the end of the meeting, all participants pledged their support to the process.

The OECS Business Council will continue a series of meetings throughout the OECS over the next few months to include all stakeholders in the process. The OECS Business Council recognizes the urgent need for action in this regard to spur growth, which will only redound to the benefit of all citizens in small islands.
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