Baptiste wants a more structured and cohesive DAIC

Baptiste wants the DAIC to be taken seriously
Baptiste wants the DAIC to be taken seriously

Interim President of the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC), Jeffery Baptiste, is of the opinion that the Association must do more to position itself to be taken seriously.

Baptiste, who was addressing the first of a series of town hall meetings at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday night, stated that the DAIC will be heard it is more structured and cohesive.

“I am also of the view that the public sector or government will only take you seriously if they see you as being a very strong and cohesive and structured organization,” Baptiste said. “As it is I am not certain that the public sector is actually viewing the Chamber of Commerce or the DAIC in that manner.”

He said the DAIC must do more and “present ourselves as a more structured.”

“And if you will, maybe a more serious organization as we set out to create a more investment friendly climate and to help those of us who invest in this market to extract a lot more value from our investments,” he stated.

The interim President remarked that the Association wants to influence the investment and the economic climate on the island but “as I said, we can only force that dialogue if we position ourselves in the manner that would force other stakeholders to take us up a lot more seriously than they have taken us now.”

There are about 37 paid members in the DAIC to date and he argued that this is certainly not the position the organization wants to be in the economy and the size of Dominica’s population.

“I am quite sure we can do a lot better than that,” he stated.

Meantime, Baptiste informed that the board has recognized that the DAIC needs to bridge the gap with its wider membership since the association is unable to add value without input and direction from them.

“Certainly as a board we recognize that it cannot be business as usual,” he said. “A chamber of commerce that has very limited participation from the membership, a chamber of commerce that is pretty much fragmented in its views that are not always guided in terms of the key development issues in our society and not always responsive to the burning issues that confront the private sector in my mind really isn’t adding value to the membership.”

He added that the DAIC need to be clear on the issues that are confronting members, on the issues that require advocacy at the level of the Association and this can only be achieved on a face to face and a structured dialogue with the membership.

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  1. nigel
    March 15, 2015

    Why is he repeating the same thing over and over. That’s all people seem to do in speeches. What is the actually plan moving forward? Whta proposal has been brought to the board of directors? What if any has been done to appraoch and attract business? These are things things we wanna know. We dont want you to tell us what we already know the DAIC should have been doing many years ago. If anything all you are telling us is that the DAIC is a failed system that needs new leadership and restructuring.

  2. Michael Norris
    March 14, 2015

    Perhaps, the DAIC should look at the Chamber of Commerce of St. Kitts for ideas on building a stronger (and respected) DAIC. The St. Kitts Chamber is a vibrant, well-organized grouping. It even owns its own office building and has staff and is not afraid in criticizing the government when it feels that it is necessary.

  3. CYRIL Volney
    March 13, 2015

    Baptiste, you have been an influential member of the board for years. So, what’s really new?

  4. Malgraysa
    March 13, 2015

    Maybe there would be more enthusiasm and cohesion if they all were afforded the opportunity of getting a Mercedes duty free. I guess there in lies part of the rub, everyone should have an equal opportunity.

  5. REAL!!!!
    March 13, 2015

    Jeffrey you mean well and may be heading in the right direction.

    But DAIC is look at as big boys club which does not attend to the bigger issues as a watchdog for the all businesses involved in driving commerce in Dominica.

    – The question should be why is membership so low and find a solution?
    – What is the new branding message for DAIC as home for all businesses and the watchdog for the all commerce in the business community?
    – What are the tangible things that can be execute to support the new branding statement?

    All businesses needs to feel inclusive with the structure of the organization, its message, contend all ideas( good or bad) and the DAIC will have success as a chamber of commerce on island.

    They should be prepared to make the right calls for the business community although it may be unpopular with the other stakeholders responsible for the development of the country.

  6. Harry Mack
    March 13, 2015

    Dominican business is too opportunistic for there to be any cohesion. A bunch of businessmen who are seen whispering all the time and afraid to speak out. Most Dominican businesses are buried in debt, not making a dime of profit but yet they continue to play with the politicians.
    The day when Dominican business stand up and tell it as it is “Things Are Bad” the policies of government are killing my business, then I will be part of DAIC.
    Look at Robert Tonge, immediate past president of DAIC, did he accept a ministerial position in his capacity as DAIC? He could not because how can Robert Tonge justify being part of an 18 member cabinet with permanent secretaries coming from no where? I like the idea of Tonge being a minister but under these conditions? So Jeffrey, the opportunistic tendencies of DAIC continues to kill the organization and it ain’t going anywhere. As soon as Lilian Piper got a regional position she abandoned ship. This is the DNA of DAIC, opportunism.

    • Watsonminus Crick
      March 13, 2015

      Is Jeffery a Nuecleotide? If so which one?

      • Titiwi
        March 13, 2015

        Boy, you want to make yourself sound so interesting. I admit I don’t know what you are talking about. Can you make yourself clear to me and other normal people and tell us what the hell you you mean.? Thank you.

  7. grell
    March 13, 2015

    You are one for the people Jeffrey,if only the leaders would put politics aside and move our country in the right direction,and stop all the victimization and corruption.

    • Fouchette
      March 14, 2015

      If ever there was somebody that needed to put politics aside it’s you!!!! Every item that you contribute a comment to on this website you have to introduce something about politics, even if it is an item giving a recipe for a carrot cake. You talking fouchette!!!

  8. Fanatic
    March 13, 2015

    Mr. President, suggestion to expand membership , implement a 2 tier membership to cater to small businesses. Then maybe we small businesses may consider joining.

  9. Anonymous
    March 13, 2015

    Well said my GM

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