A section of participants in busy mode while preparing for group presentations. (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

-More than 15 representatives collectively from both the private and public sectors, on Friday 11th August, gathered at the Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay for a workshop about ‘Stimulating Private Sector Development and Economic Growth.’

The event was presented by the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs in collaboration with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility.

The seminar observed five objectives namely: (1)To sensitise stakeholders about the state of the private sector development (PSD) in the region and its importance with respect to future growth, (2)To Increase awareness of current best practices by presenting PSD solutions that are working elsewhere, (3)To elicit discussion on PSD on priorities, at the national level, as observed by the public sector, private sector and civil society stakeholders, (4)To sensitise participants on the CCPF’s mandate, achievements to date and role in supporting the adoption of transformative PSD solutions in St.Kitts and Nevis and (5)To Identify promising PDS projects and strengthen partnerships for implementation.

Among those in attendance were bankers and employees from the Ministry of Culture and also Agriculture.

Representing the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union were: President Joseph O’Flaherty; General Secretary Batumba Tak; Treasurer Frank Farrell and Staff Representative Precious Mills.

Private sector development lead specialist and executive director of CCPF Slyvia Dohnert was a presenter.

Mister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Lindsay Grant, in his remarks, spoke about the function of Compete Caribbean.

“As we may all know Compete Caribbean is a private sector development programme that provides technical assistance and grants and investment funding to support micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) among other engagements in 15 countries across the region, our government is very supportive of its private sector as it no doubt is the major engine and growth and hence this initiative by compete Caribbean is very timely and it enhances the work that we’ve been engaged in and have identified as our policy initiatives on behalf of the private sector.”

He added: “The importance of micro and SMEs cannot be over emphasized. They are essential to our national economy and in recent times played and increasingly strategic role in rebuilding and rebalancing not only our national and regional economies but economies the world over. We remain cognizant that these enterprises are trying to survive in the current hostile financial and competitive marketplace and urgently requires long term and meaningful support from our respective governments.”

The Permanent Secretary of that Ministry, Jasemin Weekes, touched on the significance of the private and public sector partnerships.

“Your presence here today signals your interest and commitment to the task. The Ministry’s relationship with the private sector can be best described as cordial and buoyant. We not only engage our private sector partners on the implications of various agreements that we are party to but we also dialogue on opportunities to be realised through these various agreements and the approach and strategies to be taken to pursuing them,” she told in speaking to private sector representatives.

She informed that the ministry is mandated to provide support and assistance to our small and medium enterprises and collaborates closely with our manufacturing and commercial sectors in ensuring that the opportunities for growth, market access and market presence are realised.”

“We are, however, very much aware that such dialogue and relationship must be consistent and strategic given the dynamic impact of the environment in which we function,” she noted.

In addressing representatives of the public sector, Weekes said their attendance “suggest that you understand your role in building the public-private sector relationship with is mandatory in this dynamic globalised environment. As public sector officials, it is important that we continue forge, foster and deepen our relationship with the private sector, recognising that as technocrats the decisions that we make affect the ability to survive.”

General Secretary Batumba Tak (Right) and a workshop presenter Slyvia Dohnert, Private sector development lead specialist and executive director of CCPF share a photo moment after having a talk following the event. (Spokesman Snap)