October 12, 2007

Local industries urged to meet new global challenges

Local industries have to step up to make it in this globalized, trade liberalized world, and this country’s government is willing to put its money into the effort.{{more}}

As he challenged local industries to become more adapted for the competitiveness of the new global market, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves said at a press conference last Monday that he was willing to invest in one or two of the industries, and even in individual enterprises to help bring them up to the required standard.

This, he said, will be done to “tool or retool those industries to levels that are internationally competitive.”

Using the rum and agro processing industries as examples, Dr Gonsalves said that he is satisfied that enough isn’t being done to make these industries more internationally competitive.

“Shouldn’t we put more money into those industries” Dr Gonsalves asked.

“Government is prepared to work with specific enterprises to help bring them to reach a particular stage,” Dr Gonsalves said.

Dr Gonsalves said that industries can no longer depend on government protection.

He cited the East Caribbean Flour Mills, which he said, has been getting exemptions since its inception, and has not been able to develop to a stage that it could stand on its own, and compete effectively on the market.

“The value has to be lifted in this country on a whole,” the Prime Minister said. (KJ)