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George lashes out at monopoly

George lashes out at monopoly


President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Jerry George, in his maiden speech to the private sector, lashed out at the monopoly which exists in air transport to St.Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

In an impassioned speech to leaders of the private sector at the New Montrose Hotel on Tuesday, George painted a grim picture of the future of the private sector, if it remains silent on matters of air transport, food, oil, the lack of inventions, and the lack of a national exhibition.

Calling on the private sector in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the region to make their voices heard, George stated: ” It is (monopolized air transportation) affecting our businesses, and if we do not speak up about it, many of our businesses will be carrying additional cost that is probably going to put our businesses in trouble”.

He further stated: “In the past, the things that have been done to … fix this problem as far as I am concerned are not fundamental to the problem but been tinkering at the edges.

“We need to get rid of monopoly in air transport to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, open it up to competition, and let’s see what happens to the prices,” George sharply critiqued, noting that competition works.

“We need to call for open skies. We need to call so that we get rid of this wasteful monopoly that is totally inefficient, and that is something that we have to pay attention to, otherwise our businesses are going to struggle unnecessarily,” George emphasized.

He lauded the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for its role in calling for a regional food summit which has been well accepted by political leaders in the region.

The new executive of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said George, will be focusing on five main areas in 2008. These areas will cover membership, expansion and participation; advocacy and representation; institutional strengthening and capacity building; education and training; financial sustainability, business and economic development; and marketing, networking, research, data collection and analysis.

“These are the things we believe that if we could get them moving and get them right will make a difference in St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said George.

In January 2008, another session will be held to present the work plan that will be used to take the Chamber of Industry and Commerce forward.(HN)