Newly appointed president of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Eddie Abed is calling for an end to “social delinquencies” and the air of expectancy among Barbadians.
Abed also contended that productivity was at “all time low” and that entrepreneurship was “far too rare” after 50 years as an independent nation.
“We have a generation expectant that the state must supply all social services and demand. Our productivity is now at an all time low even with technological aids and 97 per cent literacy” the BCCI president said in his first official message to the private sector grouping.
“[Entrepreneurship is] far too rare for a nation that wants to punch above its weight. And most telling is that the state-provided services are being stretched with ever more demands yet less revenue,” the businessman charged.
He said with the country celebrating its 50th anniversary of Independence this year, this was an opportune time for citizens to not only identify the problems, but to also “advance ideas” and work to find solutions.
And he said the BCCI was well placed to lead the charge in that regard.
“It is in this vein that we, as the oldest private sector organization in Barbados, must plunge deep in our vast ocean of diversity, knowledge, wisdom and invested capital to steer our country. It is not sufficient to merely participate. We must lead,” he told the members in the February issue of the Chamber’s newsletter.
Abed promised to redouble efforts to improve business facilitation and increase productivity and entrepreneurship in foreign exchange earnings and savings.
He promised to be in regular contact with members to hear from them about the matters they want the BCCI to tackle and the issues for which they require advocacy.
The new president also called on both Government and the private sector to maintain a pro-business environment in order to help grow the economy.
“The strength of our Chamber lies within our membership. As such, I welcome feedback from all persons in any matters of concern. In fact, the secretariat will continue to canvas our membership regarding any areas, both obvious and obscure, we should pursue robustly.
“Historically, once the economy picks up the immediate desire for change tends to wane. I sincerely hope we realize that growth, which has to be private sector led, can only flourish and be sustainable if a pro-business environment is in existence,” said Abed.
In her outlook, Executive Director Lisa Gale said she hoped that the tourism projects scheduled to come on stream this year would bring “well needed” relief to the “ailing” sector.
“The concomitant local spending will also be a well-needed boost. When construction is booming, economic activity is automatically impacted and many sectors see and feel the positive effects. Restaurants, food vans, hairdressers and many of the smaller businesses feel the benefits. We hope that the permissions, the contracts and all of the requisite specifics are in order to ensure that this becomes a reality,” said Gale.