Delivering his independence speech last Saturday Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said Currently, a bundle of policies and programmes of our government is delivering much success and promises to yield even more in the future.
Prime Minister Gonsalves says the historic Argyle International Airport (AIA) which began operations on February 14, 2017, has occasioned an increase in passengers-by-air; successful direct non-stop connections have been established between Argyle and New York and Toronto, respectively by CAL and Air Canada.
On December 15th this year American Airlines begin their non-stop flight from Argyle to Miami; and other international carriers and destinations are in the offing.
The doomsday pessimists he says have been proven wrong yet again and again about AIA.
Gonsalves says the existing hotel stock is expanding; and new hotels and apartments are currently being built or are shortly to be built. The Resort at Adams Bay, Bequia, is about to be opened. The Buccament Bay Resort has finally been sorted out with new investors who are soon to take over ownership.
The Black Sands Resort at Peter’s Hope is under construction. The Mandarin Canouan Resort is in operation; and the Government has secured low-cost funding to construct a 250-room brand-named hotel at Mt. Wynne and a 90-room airport hotel at Diamond.
The cruise and yachting visitors are dramatically on the rise; and the top-of-the-line Glossy Bay Marina in Canouan is about to enter its first full year of operation.
The Prime Minister said current expanded initiatives in fishing, agriculture (cocoa, coffee, root crops, and vegetables), manufacturing, and the proposed medical cannabis industry, offer solid prospects for real economic growth and job-creation.
The diversified economy is growing and being placed on a sound footing. Indeed, this year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is experiencing economic growth, albeit modest, following upon marginal to modest economic growth in each of the last seven (7) years.
At the same time the government’s fiscal condition has improved despite the loss of substantial resources under the Petro Caribe agreement occasioned by the unwise banking and financial sanctions against Venezuela.
“ Amidst all our challenges, we have not gone to the International Monetary Fund nor have we sold our citizenship and passports! Our passports and citizenship are not for sale. We oppose such sale in principle and practice”.
Gonsalves says the private and cooperative sectors, including the credit unions, continue to play a most significant role in our country’s development, current initiatives by the state sector facilitate and fuel further developmental advance.