The Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs & Social Security will host the inaugural meeting of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council with technical support from Compete Caribbean today.
Compete Caribbean is a private sector development programme that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and small and medium size enterprise development activities in the Caribbean region.
The programme, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.
“The changing contours of the global political economy characterised by the erosion of preferential trade arrangements; dwindling grants and aid; increased competition for foreign direct investment and donor fatigue, demands that the Government of St. Lucia maximises the use of limited resources,” a statement issued last night said.
“The launch of the NCPC is consistent with Government’s goal to ensure the efficient and proper use of available resources, increased levels of productivity, enhanced national competitiveness and provision of greater economic opportunity at all levels.”
Responsibilities of the Council include identification of key issues related to competitiveness and productivity in St. Lucia.
“The Council and its secretariat are committed to providing the necessary advocacy and research to produce timely and effective recommendations to policymakers on issues that affect both competitiveness and productivity in St. Lucia,” the statement added.
“Additionally, the NCPC can monitor and support the implementation process of these recommendations through advocacy and the conduct of the NCPC. It is not, however, accountable for implementation where this relates to government decision making and/or reform.”
The NCPC secretariat will be a professional service that enables council activities to create impact; a repository for accessible competitiveness and productivity data and analysis; a secretariat that is flexible but operates within the parameters of the NCPC mandate and a focal point for national and international agencies on competitiveness & productivity.