The private sector's full, safe and unhindered access to the CARICOM Single Market was important for the promotion and sustainability of economic growth, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, said on Thursday.
Delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana, Minister Welzijn, who is chairing the Meeting, said that development depended on public-private partnership.
"After all it is the private sector that trades and does business," he pointed out.
His remarks were made in the context of one the main item for discussion at the Meeting - the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The Minister said that his background in the private sector provided a full understanding of the concerns and frustration of entrepreneurs who were facing trade difficulties within CARICOM.
He told delegates at the Meeting that the ways in which business was being conducted in the Region, had a "big impact" on the achievement of sustainable development and growth.
"Abiding by the principles, set out by the CSME, as well as full implementation, shall pave the way for a sustainable growth, as well as establish reliability for our business community," he reasoned. "Therefore I wish to stress the need for full, safe and unhindered access for our business society to the CARICOM Single Market.
Member States, he added, needed to consider what they wanted from the CSME and how to maintain it.
"We must not hinder each other to trade by using non tariff barriers", he warned.
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, in his remarks to the opening session of the Meeting, also referred to the role of the private sector and the creation of the environment to facilitate its full involvement in the CSME.
"The private sector is asking us to do better. The people of the Region are asking us to do better. "You can send a clear signal of your determination to make that difference by reaching agreement on the Regional Policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It is an opportunity to open the way for the small entrepreneur to benefit from our Single Market", the Secretary-General said, as he rallied the Council Meeting to "do better".
The COTED is responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of our Community. In particular, it is required to oversee the development, operation and implementation of the CSME.
The Meeting concludes on Friday, 12 May, 2017.