President of the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) Kira Thompson-Aird has said that absence of businesses operating at full capacity has greatly affected the country’s economy in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
She was speaking at the DAIC’s first ever Business Recovery Expo after the hurricane on Wednesday at Palm Cottages in Roseau.
“The absence of our businesses at full capacity or operation within the DAIC’s membership and the private sector at large is a significant loss to Dominica,” she stated.
She said that association was disappointed upon receiving the reports of the needs assessment conducted after the passage of Hurricane Maria.
“Quantitatively based on 50% of our membership there is a recorded loss of over EC$200 million this figure I must remind you is a fraction of actual losses estimated of Dominica’s private sector at large,” Thompson-Aird pointed out.
Meantime, Minister for Commerce Roselyn Paul said that the private sector is fundamental to Dominica’s economy and the government recognizes their significant loss after the hurricane.
“The private sector is fundamental to the economy, you are key to creating jobs ensuring livelihoods and as government and as the Ministry of Commerce we recognize that the loss to you is significant,” Paul remarked.
She said that the efforts of the DAIC in organizing the expo should not go unnoticed.
Paul noted that the Government of Dominica remains a steadfast partner of DAIC.
“The government remains a very steadfast partner with you and I know you find in the Ministry of Commerce a very supportive partner one who facilitates your programme and will continue to do so,” she stated.
The expo was held under the theme: “Inform. Connect. Protect.” It sought to equip businesses with greater ability and the tools to make SMARTer decisions, establish network and support capacity that can be relied on by businesses’, and to augment businesses’ capacity to protect themselves through improved skills and knowledge on advanced disaster risk reduction.