Caribbean: Creating The Right Business Environment In The OECS

The business environment in the OECS region is being boosted by strengthening the voice of the region’s private sector.
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Photos: OECS

The business environment in the OECS region is being boosted by strengthening the voice of the region’s private sector. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) through its Competitive Business Unit (CBU) with support from the European Union (EU) launched the Project for the Revitalisation and Sustainability of the OECS Business Council on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. This project falls under the OECS - EU Regional Integration through Growth, Haramonisation and Technology (RIGHT) Programme.

The deceased Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner, the former Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), viewed the private sector as playing a more substantive role in the economic affairs of the region and therefore commissioned a private sector body called the OECS Business Council (OBC) which was established in July 2015.

Kareem Guiste, Head of the OECS Commission’s Competitive Business Unit noted the importance of the private sector to the OECS’ economic affairs and regional integration agenda.

“At the regional level, the need for private sector participation in the processes for policy, regulatory and legislative formulation and implementation is imperative, and the goal is to improve private sector representation and participation in relevant discussions of the organs of the OECS.”

Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Barbados, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Luis Maia, believes that there is a collective responsibility to develop sustainable solutions for economic resilience in the OECS region.

“We are of the view that by fostering a structured dialogue among all stakeholders, including the private sector, from formulation to implementation to boost sustainable investments and economic stability.”

President of the OECS Business Council, Gordon Charles, noted that with the authority to represent common concerns of the region’s business sector, the OBC will be in a better position to advocate for the collective interests of the private sector at the policy and negotiation level.

“The OECS private sector has lacked a unified voice to represent its collective issues, concerns, priorities and development goals. We need a strong, unified private sector presence in the development and implementation of policies that impact them.”

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has, as its core mandate, the responsibility to stimulate economic opportunities and growth through private sector development. In this regard, the public-private dialogue in policy formulation and implementation is essential to the OECS’ regional integration agenda.

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