Private sector bodies have been told that they may have to look beyond the region and engage with other similar entities.

Barbados??? Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, signalled this yesterday as she addressed the topic: The Role of the Private Sector in Regional Economic Development, during a panel discussion at the Caribbean Exporters??? Colloquium 2014, at Hilton Barbados.

She noted that an example was seen at the Small Island Development States Summit in Samoa, where a critical focus of that meeting was on private sector partnerships.

???They felt that they needed to not only bring together private sector interests, but also to work with Government to advocate for change and identify critical initiatives.

???It is important to look not only at partnerships, in terms of working with the public sector to advocate for what we like to describe as the appropriate enabling environment but also to look to see how we can work across sectors to mobilise resources, to utilise those resources in a way that maximises efficiency and effectiveness as a means of building a stronger private sector,??? Senator McClean said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), Pamela Coke-Hamilton, accepting that the region had to do better regarding its economic performance, said what seemed to be the issue was the dialogue taking place between the private sector and policy makers.

Ms. Coke-Hamilton noted the formation of the OECS Business Council and offered this as a solution to others, saying: ???Our mission really is to dialogue with the public sector. It is to take all of the information, all of the challenges of the private sector at various levels and present it to the public sector,??? she stated.

The Executive Director also called for advocacy and action and declared: ???I sincerely hope that we are going to have a formidable machine of how to dialogue and how to get action out of that dialogue.???

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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