Thursday, July 17, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who also has responsibility for finance and economic development, has made a concerted effort to reach out to the private sector, to hear and address its concerns on the progress of the national economy.
There is now an office dedicated to public-private sector dialogue and the formation and planned expansion of the Economic Development Council.
Concurrent with advances and setbacks in industry is the constant meeting of these powers in an effort to stay on the same page.
Today the annual Business Forum addressed the theme of “Strengthening Partnership for Growth.”
CEO in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Michael Singh, who also chairs the Economic Development Council, says the forum has moved away from “speech-giving” in favour of direct discussions between the top people in both sectors.
The panels discussed such things as business climate and service delivery, banking and finance from the perspective of lending and investments; competitiveness and innovation in investment and export trade, and developing infrastructure and technology.
Director of Public and Private Sector Dialogue in the Office of the Prime Minister, Amparo Masson, says they aim to include all in this national discussion, including the trade unions as advisors.
And the Prime Minister himself spoke of how best to bring both sectors together to achieve maximum growth and development.
P.M. Barrow listed a series of efforts by Government to address business issues in the major sectors – interventions in the sugar and citrus industry among them – and promote trade, export and small business enterprises through such initiatives as Export Belize, a new organization dedicated to improving Belize’s export base, and the Small Business Development Center sponsored by Beltraide.
A consultant is slated to visit Belize to assist with plans for the Economic Development Council.
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