Prime Minister Browne Advocates for Innovative Public-Private Partnerships at Global Business Network Forum 2024

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Prime Minister Browne Advocates for Innovative Public-Private Partnerships at SIDS Forum

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently addressed the SIDS Global Business Network Forum 2024, emphasizing the need for innovative public-private partnerships to drive economic growth and sustainability in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Browne praised the forum’s engagement and the creative strategies discussed for expanding economies and increasing revenues in these vulnerable nations.

During his remarks, Browne highlighted the untapped potential in sports tourism and the orange economy, stressing the importance of a public-private partnership model where the public sector takes an equity stake in large businesses.

He noted that this approach would prevent significant profits from being repatriated to the global North, ensuring that more capital remains within domestic economies to fuel growth and development.

“In small economies, capital formation is often insufficient for the domestic private sector to pursue large business opportunities,” Browne explained. “By having public-private partnerships for profits, investments that the private sector cannot pursue on their own can be achieved in partnership with the public sector.

This model retains more profits within the domestic economy, fostering growth and development.”

Browne challenged the conventional notion that governments should not be involved in business, arguing that in small states with limited resources, such collaborations are essential to exploiting economic opportunities. He commended the forum’s focus on private sector-tailored support for SIDS, highlighting its potential to ignite economies and create a ripple effect of growth and development.

Reflecting on the tourism sector, Browne described it as a lifeline for many SIDS, providing jobs, fostering cultural exchange, and driving economic growth.

He praised tourism as a shining example of how private sector support can transform economies, enabling SIDS to showcase their natural beauty and rich heritage to the world.

“The tourism sector’s sustainable development demonstrates what can be achieved when the private sector steps in with tailored support,” Browne stated. “This sector has allowed us to build infrastructure, support local businesses, and create sustainable livelihoods.”

Drawing inspiration from Singapore’s transformation into a global economic powerhouse, Browne called for strategic planning, relentless innovation, and a commitment to diversification.

He expressed his vision for transforming Antigua and Barbuda into an economic powerhouse, a goal he hopes will be realized by future generations.

Browne also announced the establishment of the SIDS Center of Excellence, set to launch this Thursday.

This initiative will provide an opportunity for the private sector to engage fully with SIDS, bringing tailored investment portfolios and exploring new areas of economic development.

“As we move from SIDS GBN to SIDS4 and the SIDS Center of Excellence, I urge each of you to keep the momentum going,” Browne concluded.

“Remember to think smart, think environment, think sustainability, and think about sustainable profits for the benefit of all. Our journey does not end here; it begins anew with every innovative idea, partnership, and step towards a sustainable future.”

The SIDS Global Business Network Forum 2024, held on May 25-26, connects the SIDS private sector for impactful partnerships, ensuring their voices are heard globally.

This year’s forum explored themes like blue-green growth, community empowerment, and investment opportunities, setting the stage for the upcoming UN SIDS4 Conference.

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