Economic Recovery Committee begins seven-week public engagement period

The Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) assembled by government is now at the start of a seven-week public engagement period, when they will garner sector-specific recommendations and input for the rebuilding and sustainability of the country’s economy in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ERC has created subcommittees that focus on ten key sectors through which it will attempt to “deliver a position statement to the government on the current state of the economy, inclusive of immediate fixes and mitigation initiatives”, according to a press release from the Ministry of Finance.

Committee Co-chairperson Ken Kerr said in the release that the committee is tasked with providing policy ideas specific to each sector identified.

Those subcommittee sectors are structural reform; financial services; digitization and the conceptual economy;  tourism and the orange economy; healthcare and social capital; commerce, entrepreneurship and next-generation engagement; agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing; family island development; energy and environmental stewardship; labor and education.

“The prime minister challenged us to put together recommendations that will represent a bold vision for a modern Bahamian economy – that is stronger, resilient, diversified, future-driven and fully integrated,” Kerr said.

“A Bahamas with robust free enterprise, entrepreneurial opportunities, highly skilled labor, adequate job opportunities and sufficient social safety protection mechanisms for the disadvantaged and marginalized.”

The release added: “The subcommittees appointed by the prime minister earlier this week will facilitate public and stakeholder engagement over the next seven weeks via direct meetings, virtual town hall meetings and presentations.”

The ERC is also tasked with envisioning strategies for the quick recovery of the country’s economy in the face of economic shocks like COVID-19 or devastating hurricanes like Hurricane Dorian.

“For the committee, dynamism is anchored in innovation and the embracing of technology, employing strategies for growth and improved ease of doing business,” the release stated.

“The inclusive economy is built on equal opportunity, broad-based Bahamian ownership and the appropriate valuing of all spheres of productive human endeavor.

“The committee describes the sustainable economy as one that one that provides safeguards which protect the physical environment from degradation and destruction; invests in human, cultural and social capital; cultivates and builds inter-generational wealth and proactively promotes business continuity.”

Co-chairperson Marlon Johnson said in the release that public engagement will be an essential part of the ERC.

“These subcommittees will also have additional persons appointed to them from the broader Bahamian civil society,” Johnson said.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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