||The formulation of a new Strategy for the development the Domestic Private Sector in Suriname has been based on a critical evaluation of the implementation of the previous Strategy. Restricted by the available resources and the lack of common understanding and approaches - both within the businesses organisations and within the government agencies, as well as between these 2 groups - the business goal to achieve a favourable business climate was not achieved.
The interventions were well conceived and were at the time of formulation very relevant to bring improvement for the DPS. The components for intervention were logical. However, the Activities were limited. While the components which were included in the EU financed project were only partly implemented, the interventions where the government was responsible for were hardly or not carried out. While a rather well functioning structural and frequent dialogue between the public and private sector has been set up, the conversion of activity to results was far from effective. However, the time consuming Institutional reform process is already showing some behavioural changes. As a matter of fact before the SBF became operational there was, apart from the individual political lobby of influential entrepreneurs, no structured dialogue between government and the DPS. This also applies to the internal communication between the leaders of the businesses organisations. The impact of the project on the competitive position of the DPS is not clearly visible. The economic growth during the past 5 year period is predominantly attributed to foreign investments, particularly in mining. No tangible sustainable improvements in the circumstances of the DPS has been realised. Although an increased conscience seems developing in both the public and the private sector, the conversion in effectively supportive behaviour towards the DPS is lacking. For sustainability of the established SBF and SBC an integrated, long-term approach of cost-effective support is necessary. For that purpose the businesses community and the government will have to put in more expertise and financial resources.
The Surinamese economy is dominated by the mineral resources, which are exhaustive. As a result employment and income creation is stagnating, apart from the education and the health care level, and also the income distribution has deteriorated. Reorientation of the current policy is urgently needed. This reform is a gradual process where the revenues from the mining sector are allocated to the further development of the sustainable sectors. Without exclusion of other interesting opportunities the sustainable development policy and resources must be geared towards the (sub)sectors: agriculture, livestock, fishery, forestry (timber and non-timber), hydro/bio energy, ICT and (eco-) tourism as well as the related (downstream) industries.
Objectives new strategy:
The general objective : Sustainable economic growth and employment in Suriname.
The specific objective of the new Strategy for the development of the LPS, which is attainable within the Nationale Strategie voor de Ontwikkeling van de Lokale Private Sector
timeframe, is formulated as:
-A favourable business/investment climate which is stimulating for the development of the Domestic Private Sector.
To achieve the specific objective 6 goals/results have been formulated:
Result (1): The legislation of importance for the LPS has been renewed/improved.
Result (2): The level of Direct Foreign Investments and Direct Domestic Investments have been raised.
Result (3): The competitiveness of local businesses have been improved.
Result (4): The sustainable growth sectors have been developed at a faster pace.
Result (5): The professional services to the DPS has been extended and improved.
Result (6): The awareness of policymakers, bureaucracy and businesses leaders and their involvement in the development of the LPS has been increased.
There are some risk factors which could jeopardize the achievement of the formulated objectives and results, including the financial-economic and political stability, the stability of the S&P rating of Suriname, the approval by the National Assembly (DNA), the strengthening of the judiciary as well as the willingness of the political leadership to effectively relinquish some of their powers.
For the new Strategy for development of the DPS a time horizon of 10 years has been assumed.
The Activities have been subdivided in 3 time categories, the Short, the Middle and the Long term. The SBC will develop annual Action plans to be approved by the SBF.
According to the law the SBF is, among other things, responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the national Strategy, which means that they will not do the implementation themselves but be focused on the monitoring of the implementation of the Activities. The implementation will take place in the specific departments of the Government, the business organisations and in specific cases also the SBC. However, many of the identified Activities are beyond the existing capacity of both the Government and the private sector organisations. However, by identifying and mobilising the specific expertise with all SBF partners part of the Activities can be implemented at minimal costs.
The current staffing of the SBC is too limited and the capacity of the SBC requires expansion. However, while the need for a professional SBC is evident, its sustainability has to be covered. On the one hand the existing legal partners in SBF will collectively have to guarantee the core staffing and basic operational costs. For the required additional capacity of SBC external financing will have to be attracted.
Another part of the Activities requires the contracting of temporary specific expertise (Technical Assistance), from both local, regional as well as international origin. Initially the national availability of the requested expertise will be assessed and if not regional and finally international expertise will be contracted. In many cases a combination of local and international expertise has increased its effectiveness. This will predominantly be financed with funding of international financing agencies and donors, apart from financing from the regular budgets of the responsable Ministries.
The formulation of a new Strategy for development of the DPS is useless if its implementation is not carefully monitored. The monitoring function is therefore as important as the formulation itself. The monitoring function of the SBF will be done by the department of Policy Advice & Research of its subsidiary the SBC. After approval of the monthly report by the director of SBC this is submitted to the Board of the SBF and he provides explanation in the next board meeting of the SBF. The Board of SBF gives their comments and possible instructions for the further monitoring. The SBF sends copies of the adjusted monitoring report to all organisations relevant in the implementation.