In 2019 Suriname established the Centre for Innovation and Productivity (CIP) as a mechanism for support to productivity. Due to the pandemic this Centre has not been equipped and its start-up has been delayed until now. This current collaboration between the ILO and key stakeholders in Suriname including the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Youth Affairs, and constituents has operationalized this Center.
The delegation from the ILO, Mr. Mario Berrios, ILO Specialist Small Enterprises Unit in Geneva and Mr. John Bliek, Specialist, Enterprise, Cooperatives and Rural Development, from the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean was received by Minister Steven Mac Andrew of Labour, Employment and Youth Affairs (AW&J) on Monday 5 September. During the meeting, the Minister expressed his vision regarding the operationalization of the CIP and emphasized its importance for the economy. He expressed his appreciation to the ILO's willingness to assist Suriname with the start-up of the Center. During the interview, the minister also emphasized that the Surinamese business community mainly consists of micro, small and medium-sized companies and therefore has specific challenges in terms of productivity and innovation. The ILO delegation explained that Suriname will be on the agenda of the ILO Governing Body in November, so that the Governing Body can be extensively informed about the planned activities and support that the ILO will provide to the country.
The delegation therefore gathered information on how to support the productivity Center during a mission and identified the following key areas:
- Creation of tools and mechanisms to measure and follow up productivity growth
- Awareness raising and capacity building of staff and Board of Directors of the CIP
- Analysis and identification of key sectors that enable growth, with decent work
- Analysis of skills gaps both at the level of enterprise management and workers.
The ILO will support Suriname in sustainable productivity growth of key economic sectors and promote the economic inclusion for vulnerable groups such as rural women and youth thereby generating decent employment for all. The Centre for Innovation and Productivity will generate data to support evidence-based growth for Suriname in key sectors to support the creation of an enabling environment, creating skills, access to services and articulated policies.