APRIL 8, 2009



The Government one week ago invited the private sector to be engaged in a consultation on the economy and this week Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) engaged the private sector and government institutions in the shaping of a Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS). On both occasions Honourable Stephenson King, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and other members of Cabinet participated.

Government is making every effort to involve the productive sector in an attempt to shape a budget that will reflect the necessary actions needed to be taken at this time to help to navigate our financial ship through the rough seas. There is agreement that it is necessary for everyone to take action that will improve the situation in the shortest possible time. There will have to be creativity on the part of all the leaders in industry and government will have to be the driver. The budget is the first step towards setting the stage for this new approach to doing business. During one of the meetings I attended someone came up with the idea that Government Ministries need to be ISO certified. That statement immediately got my attention. This is one action on the part of government that can really bring about the level of efficiency that is needed at this time.

As business persons got together between sessions at the meetings, the discussion was primarily about increased cost of doing business and the reluctance of their bankers to be flexible, even when there is adequate security to extend further overdraft facility. There is need for regular review of business accounts within the banks. Bankers should get out and visit their customers so they can have a greater appreciation for the efforts business persons are making. It was interesting to note that in most cases employees in the manufacturing sector were not sent home but were given the opportunity to work three and four day week. There is definitely need for concern as sales are declining rapidly in all sectors. It is simple – there is less money to go around.

There was not much discussion on a stimulus package as this seems to be the only stabiliser at this time which it is hoped will be an important part of the budget. Those persons with the responsibility for preparing the 2009/2010 Budget must have serious challenges to sustain an acceptable level of social services while applying measures to stimulate the economy.

The private sector has participated fully, their voices were loud, and it wouldn’t be long before the fruits of the collaborative efforts will be counted. This is an interesting period as it affords all sectors the opportunity to work together and forge relationships that will go a long way in creating a cordial environment in which the nation can tackle the difficult challenges and move forward.

I wish my readers a Happy Easter! It is important to note that sacrifice precedes joy. The world is grappling with difficult economic times, sacrifices will have to be made but in the end, we will all be better for it. This is a period of correction. This too shall pass.

Here is my selected motivational piece of the week:
Courage is the power to face your difficulties.
It comes from the reserves of your mind
that are more powerful than any of your outside circumstances.
When you recognize that you are bigger than your problems,
you gain the courage necessary to overcome anything.
Your obstacles will look large or small to you
according to whether you are large or small.
Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined.
It gives you the ability to rise above reality.
You are more important than any of your problems.
© Copyright 2009

Keep the Faith; remember always God is in Charge, Dream Big and Expect Daily Miracles!!!

Edward A. Harris
Freelance Journalist Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist (RECS)

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