The New Democratic Party (NDP) is seeking to secure a strong and sustainable economy for every single citizen. One of the major strategies we will utilize towards this goal is private sector development.
Private sector development will draw upon private investment, which is a proven engine of economic growth and poverty reduction.
Tremendous benefits can be derived from private sector development. These include: increased national income, sustainable employment, stable economic growth, competitive markets, higher standard of living, infrastructural development, consumer cost savings and wealth creation and distribution.
The Unity Labour Party (ULP) regime however appears not to understand this basic fact. Evidence of this is seen through government’s ill-advised policies, and the fact that this government owes the private sector an enormous amount which has accumulated to millions of dollars; a crippling burden for a private sector already weighed down by some of the highest energy prices in the Caribbean.
The NDP recognizes that improving government policies and behavior will not only shape the investment climate and drive private sector development; it will also drive overall economic growth and improve opportunities for everyone. We will therefore provide a range of incentives and supports to encourage private sector development, and above all, create the stable and predictable macro-economic and social environment that will encourage investment. In order to foster private sector development, the
NDP seeks to focus on creating an attractive investment climate. Therefore, the NDP will establish a Ministry of the Private Sector to facilitate the development and expansion of private industry in general.
The role of the Ministry of the Private Sector will identify and seek to develop or expand a range of direct and indirect support services for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises SMEs, including: business pre-start , start-up and development assistance; business plan development and follow-up; business incubators; legal, accounting and financial services; information services including advice on government policies; advice on the effective application of information, provide communication and business technologies to the business process; offer consultancy and research services; managerial and vocational skills enhancement; promotion and development of enterprise based training.
The Ministry will also work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our overseas Missions, Caricom and the Vincentian Diaspora to identify trade and export opportunities for SMEs. Moreover, we consider SMEs, a critical factor in economic growth and we will create the conditions that will enable SMEs to play a major role in entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation.
In order to create the environment in which SMEs will thrive, the NDP will end the competition between government enterprises and SMEs, adopt and pursue appropriate fiscal and employment policies to promote an optimal economic environment, improve the attractiveness of entrepreneurship and remove the constraints to the development and growth of SMEs through, the establishment of a Development Bank to provide funding and financial support for SMEs.
There are also significant benefits that can be achieved through entrepreneurship. These include, increasing the number of self-employed persons through the creation of quality jobs.
This new work environment will produce new economic activities; to increase the motivation and skills of the unemployed in the rural area. To actively seek and create new employment opportunities within their own communities; to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth though all sectors of the national economy.
This will lead to a reduction of poverty and the negative effects associated with poverty, and to empower people to trust in their own abilities and knowledge. And, learn the basic values and operating principles of business, thereby adopting a practical approach to the world of business.
The NDP will adopt measures drawn up in consultation with representative of organization of employers and workers, to create and strengthen an enterprise culture which favours initiatives, enterprise creation, productivity, environmental consciousness, quality, good labour and industrial relations, and adequate social practices which are equitable.
We will engage in pursuing the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, through the system and programmes of education, entrepreneurship and training linked to job creation needs and the attainment of economic growth and development, with particular emphasis being given to the importance of good labour relations and the multiple vocational and managerial skills needed by SMEs. In addition, we will provide technical assistance for all new and expanding enterprises, and foster strategic alliances between Vincentian and foreign companies to gain knowledge about market entry and export led activities.
Also, provide access to energy, telecommunications and physical infrastructure either directly or through private sector intermediaries. As well as assist in understanding and applying labour legislation, human resource development and the promotion of gender equality, product design, development and presentation, packaging services, environmental management services, quality management, including quality testing and measurement and streamline business regulatory processes and procedures in order to substantially improve the ease of doing business in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Private sector development will improve the lives of our people, whether directly or indirectly.
It will expand the variety of goods and services available and reduces their cost, to the benefit of consumers. Private sector development will create sustainable jobs and opportunities for macro and micro-entrepreneurs alike. Micr