The Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting and Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, are to participate in a private sector led ‘Power Breakfast’ were they will have open dialogue with leaders of the business community on a range of issues affecting the sector.
The meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday (April 26) at the Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, beginning at 8:00 am, is part of the Meet the Ministers Series and will see the business leaders and the government ministers having close-quartered and frank discussion to better understand and ensure consensus on policy issues as well as finding common ground to build partnerships.
Director of Strategic Corporate Interventions Limited, one of the organisers of the series of meetings, Christopher Samuda, said the intention is to “have dialogue with our ministers at a level that we think will build consensus and effect solutions to all the intractable problems that not only Jamaica has, but the region. It’s security meeting justice and we expect a robust discussion and anticipate that a myriad of issues and proactive discussion will take place,” he said.
Mr. Samuda, who addressed Tuesday’s (April 24) JIS Think Tank, said that the forum, which is also open to interested civic groups and small businesses, will allow persons to ask pre-forwarded questions of the ministers. This format is used to allow the ministers an opportunity to address matters of concern from an informed position.
Mr. Samuda, who is also Chairman of JAMPRO, stressed that the meetings are not "a talkfest" as specific guidelines are in place to bring some level of resolution to the concerns raised by the private sector leaders in attendance.
“We catalogue the concerns after the forum and have meetings with the respective minister. If a solution has not been proffered, we ask that there are channels identified. So we ….give them timelines and establish a machinery to resolve the issues, and invite other interested parties to discuss and bring forward their peculiar issues."
The Meet the Ministers Series was developed five years ago and has so far, hosted several ministers of government and prime ministers, locally and regionally.
These include former Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding in 2007; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas; the late Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. David Thompson; and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Mr. Samuda said the series has proven to be useful in addressing concerns. He noted that “an ordinary private sector leader can have the opportunity to interface with a prime minister or minister from another country, particularly in relation to an export problem that he is having, when otherwise, bureaucracy would have set in and there might not be a solution for a few years."
By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS PRO