“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
We all share the vision of Caribbean sustainable success.
The success of the development sectors within a Caribbean country is facilitated by the efficient management of the corporate governance, financial investment, marketing, technical/support operations and people enhancement systems in each sector.
Currently, individual Caribbean country economies are so small they cannot enjoy the full benefits of economies of scale, and this frustrates the achievement of efficient management.
Therein lies our challenge!
There is no federal government or organized commitment to an economic union. It is therefore difficult to mobilize the Caribbean community region (11 million people) to benefit from economies of scale and to perform well in a competitive global environment.
How do we tackle this challenge?
Let us reflect on the example of an economic gearing system which was introduced before, in this column, in the context of development sector sustainability.
For example, in a sustainable tourism sector, the economic gearing system consists of three interconnected gears – the large gear, the medium gear and the small gear.
The objective of a dynamic tourism marketing strategy is to increase the number of arrivals per year and the average spend per visit of long stay and cruise tourists – large gear.
The greater influx of tourists and their spending power will increase the rate of growth in demand for tourism services (e.g. hotels, restaurants, museums, festivals and diving) and agricultural linkages (e.g. farming, fisheries and agribusiness) – medium gear.
The greater demand for tourism services will increase the rate of demand for supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (e.g. taxi drivers, craft persons, operators, bartenders, waitresses, cleaners, attendants, small farmers, hucksters, fish cleaners and boners as well as packaging and trucking personnel) – small gear.
The market pull, from a global dynamic tourism marketing strategy, creates a demand for more tourism services, which in turn creates a demand for appropriate supporting MSMEs. This economic gearing system concept of interconnected gears, therefore, helps us to structure the integrated marketing system of the tourism industry. This may be extended to other industries.
How can the economic gearing system concept help to structure the components of efficient integrated Caribbean management?
We propose the following: (1) partnerships with friendly extra-regional countries, to increase experience and capacity in corporate governance, financial investment, marketing, technical and supporting operations and people enhancement – large gear; (2) the greater the interest we are able to attract from friendly extra-regional countries (public and private sectors), the more we can encourage regional disruptive innovative models – medium gear; and (3) the greater the disruptive innovation, the more reengineering we can promote in our development sectors in Caribbean countries – small gear.
Partnership with friendly extra-regional countries, regional disruptive innovative models and reengineering of existing national businesses is another economic gearing system consisting of three interconnected gears – the large gear, the medium gear and the small gear.
In the next several columns, we shall give examples of how to identify friendly extra-regional countries, how to introduce regional disruptive models and how to reengineer existing national productive sectors.
These examples will include agriculture, tourism, self-publishing, tertiary health care, regional air transportation, West Indies cricket, renewable energy, public relations, creative industries and education.
In the Caribbean, we have been marking time for too long. Our economies are not growing. We must start doing things differently. This approach, based on the economic gearing system concept, is proposed as our answer.
Let us ask and it will be given to us; seek and we shall find; knock and the door will open to us.