Fri 16th Jan 2009
Since independence we have witnessed a downward slide in agriculture. The sugar industry was buried and the once vital banana industry has failed to keep the economic momentum going. This has happened to the detriment of the backbone of the economy, especially in the rural communities. Banana's contribution to GDP in the 1990s was well over 100 million dollars. In 2008, the Government stated that revenue was down to just 8 million dollars.
Gross lack of foresight and managerial competence was exhibited in 2007 when the ULP regime panicked as a result of the falling banana revenue and increasing poverty in the rural areas. In an ad hoc manner, they decided on a four component strategy to introduce coconut water bottling, vacuum packing of dasheen, farine production and the wanton utilisation of agricultural lands in places like Buccament for the tourism dollar. All four projects have failed significantly.
The incompetent ULP regime is now like a fish out of water, gasping for oxygen to keep their political heads above the waterline. Gonsalves made a schoolboy-like economic television broadcast, stating that in 2008 supermarkets recorded record sales. Gonsalves simply does not know that supermarkets are driven by imports, and the more you import, the more jobs you help to create abroad. The less SVG exports the higher the rate of unemployment in SVG.
It is clear to all that Gonsalves does not measure up to the required high standard for a prime minister and minister of finance. He delivers all these academic papers which show no relevance to solving the economic problems of SVG. His approach, and that of the entire ULP regime, to the management and governance of SVG, is to the detriment of our country. Rather than moving forward economically, we have regressed. The statistics show this fact.
The Green strategy to build a strong and sustainable economy is to involve people from the grassroots up. How is that Green? By fully utilising our available indigenous resources for our best interests. For example, we have wasted 27 years of our fish resources with Taiwan. Surely the common sense approach would have been a joint venture project with a 60 / 40 ratio. Under this strategy we would have a steady revenue of over 600 million dollars annually.
Think of what SVG could have done to elevate Vincentian families with 600 million dollars annually for the last 27 years. This 16.2 billion dollars would have transformed the rural economy into productive community factories. Green strategies of manufacturing will put Gonsalves and the ULP to shame.
The bottom line is that we have seen that the ULP for the past 8 years is just a talking shop. We will never see innovation and creativity coming out of the ULP. How could they dare talk about a third term when they are so weak and causing so many people misery?
With its knowledge and expertise a Green government will expand and revive the economy which will create an abundance of jobs. Both skilled and unskilled people will be assisted to get the job that's right for them. We will work hard and ensure that all families rise out of poverty and there will be prosperity for all.