“Strengthening Local Businesses for Long Term Sustainability”is the central theme of a new initiative that Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne will roll-out, with the launch of the first in a series of planned interactions between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the local business community. The forum will initiate a structured dialogue from which a greater common understanding, and recommendations for improving the business environment in Antigua and Barbuda, will emerge. The Forum will take place on Tuesday 30th April at the Sandals Grande Antigua commencing at 9:30 am.
According to Ambassador Daven Joseph, Development Commissioner and Chairman of the Forum’s Organizing Committee, the purposes of the forum are: “to obtain an understanding from business-owners and operators of the areas in which government could make changes or improvements, in order to support the growth of the private sector, as well as to introduce new business opportunities.”
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, as Minister of Finance, Corporate Governance and Private/Public Partnership, will chair the all-day event. Other Cabinet Ministers, and senior government officials from the Investment Authority, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade will also be on hand to provide further information on the range of government initiatives that are currently in place, other initiatives that are soon to come on stream, and to assist the policymakers in responding to the concerns of the business leaders.
During his 2019 Budget Speech in Parliament, PM Browne stated that: “Our Government wants to help create many more Antiguan and Barbudan entrepreneurs. And, we recognize that, often times, it is not that persons lack the basic acumen, but they lack access to capital and knowledge of sound financial and management techniques. We want to correct that!”
The information garnered from these engagements will be used to develop a strategic roadmap that both the GOAB and the business community may use to monitor the progress in implementing mutually-agreed recommendations.
Over One Hundred and Fifty businessmen, businesswomen and potential entrepreneurs representing a diverse range of economic subsectors have been invited to the Forum. Members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Employers Federation, and Financial institutions will also convene at the forum.
The Prime Minister and the Government place enormous importance on the success of these engagements with the business community. The Administration looks forward to partnering with the private sector to create a modern, high-growth economy which ensures prosperity for a broad range of Antiguan and Barbudan businesses.