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CSOs can help with diversification
A country’s human development index is just as important as economic indicators like gross domestic product (GDP), according to David Dulal-Whiteway, CEO of the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business (ALJGSB).
“Civil society organizations (CSOs) have a significant impact on our society. I believe their role is now is more important than ever before. We are witnessing a degradation of our social fabric.
“I have been involved with FEEL (Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life) for 20 years and over that time I have seen how things have gotten worse. Many times, we speak about our GDP and how it increased but when you look at the social fabric and the human development needs of the country, we are actually seeing greater challenges,” he said at the launch of a T&T Civil Society Organization Business Workshop at ALJGSB in Mt Hope.
Dulal-Whiteway said the project, which is being funded by the European Union (EU), is critical for the future development of the country.
“It is very important for us to improve our techniques, to look at institutional strengthening, to ensure that to there is effective participation in decision making as national and local policies relate to business and the economy,” he said.
EU Ambassador to T&T Arend Biesebroek said CSOs are important in any society as they play a critical role in a country’s affairs.
“They hold governments to account when things are not moving in the right direction, create awareness and create intellectual competition,” he said
Biesebroek said the project can help with economic diversification,
There has been talk about innovation and diversification and where the country needs to go in order to become less dependent on the oil and gas sector. It is important that the business organizations and community think along with the Government how society should move forward,” he said.
Explaining how funding helps CSOs and national development, he added: ‘This particular project is intended to support civil society initiatives in the business sector with the aim of establishing a policy.
“A contract was awarded to this consortium of civil society organizations focusing on the construction of a better business environment. This is the debate the Government is having, how to diversify the economy and how can innovation contribute to this process.”
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