Local developer Mark Maloney is recommending greater collaboration between the public and private sectors to help correct the challenges facing the island’s economy, with tourism at the centre of the process.
It is for this reason, Maloney said, that the authorities must continuously create opportunities to attract a range of investments in the sector.
“We have to look at charting our own way and creating opportunities for the country centred around tourism,” the controversial businessman said.
Maloney said concessions were necessary to woo investors, while he called on the private sector to be creative in its offerings to help attract the investment needed here.
“Investors want to bring their capital to where they feel comfortable working, living and playing and feel safe. And in each of those categories are opportunities that exist for Barbadian companies to establish that they are capable of supplying the services that people that come to Barbados to do business require. I think it is important that the public and private sector play an integral part in working together on this and it is not we and them and it is not seen as political and one party against the other,” he said.
He called on Government to ensure that large international and local companies investing here were foreign exchange earners and were not “depleting the foreign exchange levels”, while he pressed for a review of the restrictions on exchange controls to help with “shoring up the levels of reserves”.
The developer said there was a need for improved governance, business facilitation, communication and trust to help raise the level of confidence in the country, and he called on the private sector to recognize that they too, were sometimes guilty of creating some of the challenges they faced.
“I don’t mean to be critical about the private sector but the private sector has problems as well. We all make mistakes in our businesses . . . we start businesses and spend too much money to create them, our cost is too high but we don’t beat up on ourselves for the mistakes we make . . . Government, just like the private sector, makes mistakes,” he said.