Permit me to reiterate the scope, in terms of subject matters, and impact on the economy of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
This Ministry covers the major areas of the goods-producing sector of the economy – agriculture, manufacturing and the distributive trade – contributing one third of the nation’s GDP and employing some 45 per cent of the labour force.
Mr. Speaker, when we add the linkages with the tourism sector and the fact that we cover micro, small and medium enterprises, which operate in every single sector of the economy, the real impact and influence of this Ministry becomes apparent.
Mr. Speaker, I make these remarks conscious of the role we have to play in facilitating growth and job creation in the economy through this Ministry.
In this regard, I pledge, on behalf of the entire team, our commitment to lessen the bureaucracy and by so doing enable the growth and development of agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and the distributive trade while strengthening the linkages to tourism and the other sectors of the economy.
Mr. Speaker, the awesomeness of this responsibility and my own political maturity tell me that, in the interest of good governance and moving the economy forward, we do not have the luxury of being partisan, but we must shun political divisiveness and embrace a policy of continuity, strengthening what is good, enhancing what has potential, and discarding what hinders development.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I propose, in this presentation, not to dwell on the past but to articulate a new vision for moving forward, for to be wholly partisan is more destructive than constructive.