The Support For Competitiveness Programme is one which I inherited, as Minister of Business when I took office last May. It was wrapping up at the time so I certainly cannot claim to have been involved in the development and implementation of this programme.
It is my understanding that the programme was intended to promote the implementation of the National Competitiveness Strategy and that The goal of the programme was “to enhance Guyana’s competitiveness and contribute to increased levels of private investment and exports”.
This is definitely a goal worthy of a dedicated high-impact programme and, I, therefore, recognize the good intent which the programme sought to pursue.
The need for public-private dialogue cannot be overstated. Consensus between these two key players for the development and implementation of a national competitiveness strategy is critical if we seriously want to improve the competitiveness of Guyana’s economy when it comes to attracting investments.
I believe the expectation was that a holistic, multi-agency response to the investment challenges of the day would create a business environment that was attractive to the private investors, locally and foreign. An ongoing public-private dialogue would have set the stage for strategically addressing these challenges.
I think it’s now safe to say that at the institutional level there seems to have been some breakdown in the process. The matter of competitiveness needs to be placed on the national agenda and supported institutionally with a sustainable framework for designing and implementing measures across multiple agencies of the state that will positively impact businesses operating in Guyana.
The private sector needs to be a partner in the effort and as Minister of Business, I welcome the opportunity to engage stakeholders on re-institutionalizing the public-private dialogue. In the area of improving the business environment for private investments and export development, our government is committed to prioritizing Guyana’s economic development.
As the driver of growth, the private sector is a key stakeholder in Guyana’s economic development and must be supported with a business environment that is conducive to growth and development.
The Ministry of Business will be working to implement measures that will see Guyana becoming a more attractive place to do business.
By collaborating with other state agencies, by developing and implementing 2020 strategic plans in all our subvention agencies, by submitting new projects for funding and by consulting with industry stakeholders we will provide businesses with an environment in which they can enjoy better returns on their investments.
As I said before we are committed to achieving the very same goals and objectives as the Support for Competitiveness Programme and while the programme may not have achieved all of its targeted objectives, our Ministry would certainly wish to build on what was achieved by the SCP and will be seeking to reestablish a framework for national competitiveness in Guyana.