From the Gospel of Sir Dwight Venner (2014)
The Role of the State
According to a discussion paper circulated by the former Governor of the EC Central Bank (to at a "conference call" meeting with a small group of Private Sector persons from the OECS): "…The state has a very important role to play in this new dispensation (for economic growth) but it must be complemented by the activities and performance of the private sector and the financial sector. ,,"
He went on to emphasize the role the government must play in our circumstances, including: provide an efficient and effective system of justice, law and order provide critical public services in health, education and social welfare regulate the economy; and actively promote economic growth and development that is equitable and sustainable.
Sir Dwight continues: "The fundamental problem facing governments in small, developing states such as ours is the absolute cost of government. With relatively small tax bases and the need to provide basic services, these states have serious fiscal challenges. The objective of such states must therefore be to operate low cost and highly efficient and effective administrations."
But he also goes on to stress that "There must be a systematic programme for the development of a viable and innovative private sector in our countries. Without this, most of our important business enterprises in the traditional sectors will be sold off to regional or foreign interests, others will cease operations as the founders pass from the scene; and the current age of internet buying will finish off the rest"
"At the government level, agencies such as Offices of Private Sector Relations (OPSRs), Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), Bureau of Standards, Air and Sea Port Authorities and Community Colleges are all critical to private sector development…
"The private sector representative bodies must themselves also look to the region and the international community for willing partners. These partnerships are crucial for the transfer of technology, investment opportunities from joint ventures, and the absorption of business and management practices." When will our chambers of commerce & manufacturing come forward to meet the challenge?