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Shirla Francis: Let’s work together

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A call for government and the private sector to work together if there is to be sustainable development and poverty eradication here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was made on Tuesday, by Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry, Shirla Francis.{{more}}

Francis’ appeal to the private sector came as the two groups met with consultants and the members of the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) to discuss ways in which the private sector can be stimulated.

Speaking to a wide cross section of the private sector, the PS urged representatives to collaborate with the Ministry and the PSDP by, among other things, making themselves available for the training sessions being offered, and making significant input into decisions of the Ministry.

“We need the input from the private sector. How we influence policy would be dependent upon your input.”

“We are hoping that this is going to be a long term relationship between the Ministry, the PSDP and you in the private sector.” Francis added.

Francis noted that the private sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Project (GDP) has been marginal to declining over the years, and that is why one of the government’s strategies is to engage private enterprises.

“It (the private sector) has not been playing an effective role as we would like it to be; the government is aware of that fact, that is the main reason for us to work for sustainable economic development, so that we can move forward not just for our local consumption, but at least for the international market.”

Minister of Telecommunications and Industry Dr Jerrol Thompson, speaking earlier at the meeting, said that if there is to be an ‘economic takeoff’, members of the private sector should be properly geared for the process.

The Minister stated that a number of projects have taken place and are currently ongoing so that private sector can be prepared.

“We have to get it right. We must be geared for success and focused on being viable not only locally but also in the regional and international communities.”(JJ)