OECS Business Council Engages Regional Private Sector in Revitalisation Efforts

OECS Media Release

April 26, 2024 – In a series of collaborative efforts, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Business Council (OBC) actively engaged esteemed private sector representatives across the region to gather feedback and insights on revitalising and redefining the role of the OBC within the sub-region. These consultations were held from November 2023 to April 2024 both virtually and in person.

Established in 2016 under the guidance of the late Sir Dwight Venner and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the OBC has faced various challenges in fulfilling its visionary objectives. However, motivated by the need for a dynamic advocate for the region’s private sector, the OBC secured funding from the OECS-European Union Regional Integration through Growth, Harmonisation, and Technology (RIGHT) Programme to embark on a comprehensive revitalisation project. The RIGHT Programme aims to strengthen capacity and create an enabling environment for sustainable economic development planning, growth and prosperity. The OBC will work towards this through effective private sector engagement and participation and aims to play a pivotal role in driving progress.

During the recently concluded consultations, held in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the OBC shared updates on its objectives, accomplishments, and strategic vision. The overarching goal is to transform the OBC into a proactive sub-regional private sector entity capable of advocating for its needs and addressing common challenges hindering the growth of businesses.

The Director General of the OECS briefly addressed each consultation meeting,

“The OECS Business Council is about the indigenous private sector taking responsibility for its own development and seizing the opportunities created by the economic union to contribute to national and regional development. Such expectations carry several critical assumptions, and these are that the private sector is organized with representational legitimacy to speak authoritatively on matters affecting it, and to propose solutions that not only enable the ease of doing business but also advance national and regional economic progress.

“It requires also a willingness and being able to invest in productive economic activity and be open to more diversified business that aren’t over reliant on the distributive sector.”

These consultations mark a significant step forward in the OBC’s revitalisation journey. After gaining feedback from the consultations, the OBC anticipates continued engagement with stakeholders, partners, and businesses to build a more vibrant and productive private sector in the OECS.

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