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Private sector urged to give back
Construction magnate Bjorn Bjerkhamn is calling on private sector companies to invest some of the profits they made when business was booming into ventures that would help to develop this country.
Bjerkhamn, who is Chairman of the JADA Group of Companies, made the comments yesterday morning during a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony for the Deacons Multi-Sports Complex, which is being undertaken by the Urban Development Commis-sion in collaboration with Preconco Limited. The complex, the cost of which has not been revealed, will serve as a venue for several sporting activities and is expected to be completed within a six-month period.
“We see this opportunity to contribute to Barbados’ economy through the development of what is an under-utilised area ... and I would like this time again to encourage businesses that did well in the boom years to now invest some of the profits that they made at that time into the development of our nation and not just put it in their back pocket to wait for better days. It is time to give back and by doing so ensure that workers are not sent home and the development of our nation continues on its path,” he said.
The local businessman indicated that Preconco’s decision to embark on this venture emphasises their confidence in the future of Barbados. A country, he said, which remains one of the leaders in the Caribbean due to the country’s stable Government and their management of the nation’s resources.
“...So we look forward to working with them again on other developments and public/private sector projects. This project marks a great achievement for Barbados and we hope that this day also marks the first of many such successful projects between Government and private companies in Barbados and that the path that we have started on here, will be emulated by other private sector enterprises,” he said.
Bjerkhamn added that Preconco Limited considers it a privilege to partner with Government on the project, noting that our country’s future depends on our youth, and he noted sports is one of the best ways to channel their energy into productive areas.
Meanwhile, the construction company’s philanthropic assistance has been lauded by Parliamentary Representative for St. Michael North West and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, who noted that Government’s resources are very scarce and with increasing demands on its budget, it requires that they find strategic partners to work with.
“In the sense that it is not possible for Government to do everything, then we have to find strategic partners and today we have found strategic partners in JADA and Preconco; two outstanding Barbadian companies that have been doing, very quietly, a lot of philanthropic work across Barbados. People don’t know because they don’t do the big publicity about it. Government and the private sector can partner not only in business, we can partner in development as well, social development, and this is a clear example of that,” Sinckler noted. (JRT)