October 5, 2007

Dr. Gonsalves – SVG needs active foreign policy

More than one-quarter of this country’s 96 diplomatic relationships were established during the last seven years.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines must have an active foreign policy, because a country like ours needs even more than larger countries, to have an activist foreign policy and to have benefits derived from that foreign policy for our people,” Prime Miniser Dr Ralph Gonsalves said at a press conference earlier this week.{{more}}

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, St Vincent and the Grenadines has established diplomatic relationships with 27 countries, including Nepal and Finland last month, since the Ralph Gonsalves led government came to office in 2001.

Speaking to journalists, following his return form the United Nations, Dr Gonsalves explained that the surpluses in small economies like this country cannot finance some of the infrastructural and social developments that are needed.

“We have to have grants and soft loans,” he said, adding that projects like new roads, the international airport and such benefit from diplomatic relationships.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Patricia Martin explained that some of the relationships established however, don’t come with financial benefits, but rather cultural and social.

“It has been government’s policy to develop relationships with non traditional allies like new states in Europe, African and Latin American countries,” Martin said.