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Panel members discussion evening Scientific Bureau DA’91:

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The Scientific Bureau of DA’91, has organized a discussion evening with the theme: ‘Why are we getting poorer?’. Professor Jack Menke, VES chairman Steven Debipersad and entrepreneur also doctor Jim Rasam, took part in the discussion. Debipersad stated that it seems that Suriname “is stuck in a number of vicious circles”. According to Debispersad, not everything that works well for rich countries works for Suriname. He explained that Suriname has not included a clear definition of what constitutes small, medium and large entrepreneurship in its policy. He said further that Suriname could be a better country only if the definitions adopted by the Caricom were taken in consideration. Parts of President Santokhi annual speech were quoted by VES chairman, during his speech. The president had stated that the government is strongly committed to sustainable development for Suriname, as the people have a right there. However Debipersad finds that the president’s statement contradicts reality.

According to Subhas Jhauw, member of the Scientific Bureau of DA’91, Suriname is experiencing very small growth in comparison to other region. He gave an example, of the recent growth forecasts of other region in comparison with Suriname, it’s evident that Suriname is lagging behind. The growth forecast in the region is almost 3.6 percent. Suriname’s growth forecast is around 1.3 percent. Menke indicated that a simple answer can be given to the question: ‘Why are we getting poorer’. Menke said that political parties play a role. They show enormous spiritual, intellectual and moral-ethical poverty, while at the same time they are gaining more and more monopoly on political power. However politics, in general, is unable to unravel the terrible web where the informal, formal and illegal economies are interlinked, let alone leave this web. According to him, it is on the one hand “gloomy” to see how politics is drawing more and more power, and on the other that this phenomenon has been taken over by the business community, the institutes and the entire community in Suriname.

Menke said that any government’s policy should be towards decentralization, with the involvement of regional bodies.

Rasam stated that the government should not only present well, with a plan that is good for the development of Suriname in the long term. Rasam characterized Suriname as a “seriously ill patient” who needs help soon. According to him the development of the country should not be tackled quickly only by politics but a joint approach must be taken. And there should be a good long-term development plan, so that the country is developed by design.

by Orsilia Dinge








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