ORG calls for “honest’ conversation needed over state of the nation
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Improving the ease and cost of doing business is ‘critical’ to economic growth and lowering unemployment a local businessman and governance reformer stated yesterday, urging action over talk.
Robert Myers, the Organisation for Responsible Governance’s (ORG) principal, said: “For myself and many in business I think the big thing for us is can we actually as a nation really improve the ease and cost of doing business. That is so critical. We have to start acting on it as opposed to just talking about it.”
Myers continued: “The most critical thing to get growth and lower unemployment is improving the ease of doing business. This administration has made great strides on fiscal responsibility and I think freedom of information needs to be pushed.
“There are many sectors that can be pushed harder that are going to have a good impact on the growth of the nation. The most critical and helpful one in terms of our regional and global competitiveness is without a doubt that of the government’s efficiency and government’s ability to improve the ease and cost of doing business. If the ease and cost of doing business is so diabolical that people will move on.”
The Bahamas has seen a slight decline in its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, with this nation dropping one spot to the 119th position.
The Bahamas is now ranked 119th out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index with a Doing Business Score of 59. 9.
Myers said: “Smoke and mirrors is not going to help The Bahamas. Talking about how the private sector must train when the government is failing to educate is smoke and mirrors. Talking about NHI to prop up a failing system is smoke and mirrors; talking about propping up BPL instead of fixings its core problems is just smoke and mirrors.
“It’s the same with Bahamasair and other state-owned enterprises. If we can’t have an honest evaluation of where we are as a nation we won’t recover. We can’t just talk about it, put it in a report and forget about it.”
He said: “We are not near the fiscal cliff, we’re on it, we’re on the edge. It’s critical the government gets its fiscal house in order. It’s fair for the unions to scream because the cost of living continues to increase and they’re saying that the people can’t live on their current income.
“What they are not saying is we have very poor productivity and efficiency. They don’t want to have that discussion. Let’s start having honest dialogue about where this country is.
Myers added: “That’s the only way we will recover. Sugarcoating it won’t help move this country forward. If we don’t recover we are going to hit the ground. If we can pull up before we hit the ground we recover.”