By Tracey Khan-Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyana’s Private Sector is of the staunch opinion that while the country has developed, more could have been achieved and especially so, if the Private sector was given more “economic space” to thrive.
This is according to President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) Lance Hinds who was at the time part of a panel discussion on Hard Talk aired on 90.1 Love FM on Sunday April 12.
In addition to Hinds, the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Ramesh Persaud and President of the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) Clinton Williams were also part of the discussion and weighed in on the issue of Guyana’s economic state.
While acknowledging that economic progress has been made, the business community is looking to the next Government to ensure adequate systems are put in place to foster the growth and development of the economy at a more rapid pace.
Hinds, noted that their interests is, “how do we move forward, or the role the Private Sector is going to play and the role the government is going to play, the government takes up a tremendous amount of the economic space and the question is whether the government would become an enabler on the policy section and allow the private to grow unfettered and fill these areas that they currently occupy.”
Hinds said the Private Sector can take up more of the economic space that Government is occupying if it is allowed to, moving forward.
He also noted that there are a number of stumbling blocks that is hampering the growth of the sector for years and remains to be addressed even though calls continue to mount in this regard.
GMSA President Williams noted that for this to be done there is also need for a revamp of the political and social cultures if the country is serious about attracting and sustaining the type investment that would contribute to the nation’s development.
“Programmes that have been crafted for national development in any country you have to have the buy in or if not some consensus or compromise as it relates to what we need to do to foster development that has been absent unfortunately and when I compare our country to that of Singapore as a model, that is where I was coming from,” Williams said.
He noted too that Guyana should have adapted and tweaked some of that Singapore’s strategy to foster its development, since both countries gained independence around the same time, however, that country is now one of the trail blazers of growth and development in the world, after rising from poverty.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Persaud, spoke of the impact the National Competitiveness Strategy has had on the growth of the private sector noting that, “the general environment for business and the growth and development of business may not be as perfect as we would like it to be but the environment still was adequate and sufficient to nurture some level of growth and development in business.”
Persaud explained that he does not believe that the Private Sector has to be confrontational by calling Government or political leaders out for certain demands to be met. Even though they have been accused of not being vocal enough from all political spheres, “we only take public positions when we can’t get things done through negotiations and through the normal course…many of the times we are working through the process, through discussions, through negotiation with the various stakeholders to solve the problem.”
“The public is not purview to many of the behind the scenes work that goes on in getting things done,” Persaud also maintained.