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Thu 31st Dec 2020

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Fish is an important economic variable in the drive to grow the SVG economy

According to retired British Royal Air Force Engineer Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, who spent three years full-time at Oxford Brookes University, England, reading for his BSc,(hons) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics, fish is a very important economic variable to drive long-term financial growth in the SVG economy.

SVG is one of a small number of countries that has the right to fish for tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the financially incompetent ULP Regime has wrongly farmed out that golden cash cow to Taiwan and Taiwan does not pay fish tax to the SVG Treasury which is billions of dollars.

By using our tuna fishing licence ourselves, we could create a billion dollar fishing and canning Industry. This would guarantee a very high and regular rate of return on the money invested to set up this industry. Also, a fish Industry would create thousands of new jobs and long-term strength to the SVG economy, as well as enabling SVG to export fish and create a cash Cow for the SVG Treasury.

During the BREXIT trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, fish was a crucial variable in the talks for both parties with regard to creating a new trade agreement. Fish is a multi-billion dollar industry and creates mass employment and important revenue to the UK and the EU.

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, fishing was very important to the UK economy in 2019. In 2019, British vessels caught 502,000 tonnes of fish, worth around £850m, inside UK waters. By June 2026, it's estimated that UK boats will have access to an extra £145m of fishing quota every year.

As in Zanzibar, a new tuna fishing and canning industry in SVG would create thousands of new jobs in secondary local industries such as ice-making plants, cold-storage services, boat-building yards, workshops to make fishing nets, and engine repair and maintenance workshops.

The ULP Regime built a $1.5 billion dollar airport and put vast amounts of money and other resources into tourism. This is a very big mistake, in that, tourism could never bring prosperity to SVG. Neither the ULP Regime nor the NDP Regime is capable of creating an economy that is driven by a billion dollar fish industry.

Substantial positive changes have to be made in 2021 or else the socio-economic situation in SVG could break down further with very serious negative problems and consequences.

Taiwan creams off billions of dollars from SVG’s deep sea fish licence. SVG would be much better off replacing Taiwan with the cheap technology and ships necessary to do deep sea fishing on our own licence. This would create many jobs in the deep sea fishing industry and hundreds more jobs in SVG in the factories needed to process and can the fish.

A Green Government would create a tuna fishing industry and fish processing for export. Fish will then be affordable for all families. A multi-billion dollar fish industry will play a pivotal part in promoting good health, creating thousands of new jobs and bringing prosperity for all in SVG.

We have a very weak opposition, an economically incompetent government and that’s why we have a very weak economy.

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