The Antigua & Barbuda Chamber of Commerce Ltd. hosted a business luncheon on Thursday, March 30, at which Prime Minister Gaston Browne spoke on a number of issues affecting the country, as well as his Budget Presentation for 2023.
Martin Cave, executive director of the Chamber, says these events serve to inform its membership; the business community, in particular; and the Nation, in general, about matters affecting business and other aspects of the economy.
Cave describes Thursday’s luncheon and previous gatherings as a forum for information-gathering and exchange and for interaction among government leaders, political leaders, business-sector leaders and economy leaders.
He says the Chamber invited PM Browne to address this event in order to learn, firsthand, the Government’s plans for the economy.
Reportedly, Chamber members put to Browne – who is also the minister of finance – a number of questions related to inflation and the high cost of living that is impacting many businesses and most residents.
Cave is hoping that businesses will be able to arrest these high prices, which often are the result of some type of malpractice.
Cave says the Government can find smart ways to work on the economy; to take part in an economy; to divest some of the riskier industries; and to add more sectors. This will make it possible for some fledging home-grown industries to be developed and to grow bigger.
He believes that this country does not need to import everything, and that locals can do much more to feed ourselves; to create more import substitution; and to generate more revenue internally.
He says the goal of the Chamber is to become less reliant on external forces and to have a more comprehensive and diverse economy to support not only jobs, but growth in the country.
The event, held at the Sandals Grande Resort and Spa, was open to the public, although the business community was the primary audience.