Giving us hope Editorial
Stabroek News
October 18, 2001

The triumph of Ronald Bulkan and his brothers in making Precision Woodworking Limited which they started in l983 a furniture manufacturing business of international repute will give us all hope. Despite all the business class suffered in the years of licensing, foreign exchange scarcity, the policy of miniaturisation and widespread emigration some top class entrepreneurs have survived with the knowhow and stamina to make it to the top. It cannot have been easy in an environment where businesses still face high interest rates, short term loans, a very high cost of investment in machinery and equipment given the low value of the currency, high electricity rates and other disadvantages.

It shows us it can still be done, we have the ability, and those other Guyanese who qualified as finalists, Gerald Gouveia, Pritipaul Singh, Dennis Morgan and Ms Mayfield French must also be congratulated. It is this spirit of enterprise that we so badly need to set us on the road to development. Ernst and Young International and their local representatives Ram and McRae, the Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago and the other sponsors have done a good job in showcasing our regional entrepreneurs. It raises our spirits to see that many are still succeeding despite the odds and setting an example for the rest of us.

In his excellent series in the Sunday Stabroek on the National Development Strategy (NDS) Dr Kenneth King has been highlighting the many opportunities that exist in various areas of the economy for private enterprise. Govern-ment should be working with the private sector and the donor agencies to try to implement or at least get started on some of the programmes that have been outlined. The NDS is a virtual blueprint for the way forward, what it needs is an active input from government and our businessmen to breathe some life into it.

Mr Christopher Ram has indicated that in his Business Page in Sunday Stabroek he will be publishing a two part series on `Entrepre-neurship'. There needs to be a broader and more insistent focus on the whole question of private initiative and how it can be fostered. Properly seen, the private sector includes our farmers, vendors, minibus owners, and those many others who provide goods and services of one kind or another. What we are trying to cultivate, surely, is a society of independent, innovative and hardworking people who can spend their energies developing everything from Amazon tourism to transportation businesses, land, air and sea, as we open up our beautiful country.