President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Eddie Abed believes, “Business growth is our only salvation to growing our economy, and we must do more to transform our environment to a modern, competitive, efficient, low crime … country.”
In his brief opening remarks at last week’s BCCI luncheon held at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Complex, he said, “As a budding entrepreneur you can’t be afraid of failure or negative opinions but be prepared to sacrifice, out hustle, work harder and longer hours than your competitors to increase the probability of success. Even with this recipe, businesses that are not customer-focused will not prosper. Barbados is a small and island to achieve economies of scale you need to focus on markets beyond our shores, in so doing it does not only benefit the company but the country.
“We need a stable home market where the Government ensures that the environment is geared to success, business does poorly when government policy is unclear and rapidly changing, when business facilitation is hampered and not encouraged. Business is impacted where competitive financing is not available because of the prerequisites to qualify etc.….”
Speaking on the topic of business facilitation, Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business recently indicated, “Business facilitation seems like an elusive dream in our economy today. Business facilitation must be seen as everybody’s business and not just the Ministry of Commerce. I am deeply concerned over the length of time it is now taking to do business with the Customs Department. The tardiness of that department and the ambiguity of the policies and procedures is taking a negative toll on private and corporate citizens in this island and I suspect not providing the level of revenue the state should otherwise collect.”
“It is just taking too long to do business with some Government departments. I am neither amused nor impressed when citizens feel obligated to take a day off to renew drivers’ licenses, pay road taxes, get birth certificates, apply for police certificate of character, interact with CAIPO or even pay bills.”
“The new norm must be one where we can all do business with Government online and on time. Likewise, we have to set realistic time frames for processing applications such as TCPO, EPD, Building Standards Authority and such like .As well as ensure clarity and consistency in processes to completing such applications ...” (NB)