Gonsalves doubtful of  economic recovery soon
June 17, 2011

Gonsalves doubtful of economic recovery soon

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is doubtful if an international economic recovery is going to take place any time soon, but maintains that this country is doing its best in these difficult times.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday June 15, said that a look at what is happening on the international scene may not be a promising one, however we must prepare for the recovery of the global economy.

“I have been trying to read the tea leaves, so to speak, and clearly, even by the end of last year we thought we were coming to the end of the recession internationally, but… let us look at the United States; they have been having 21 straight months up to January 2011 of nine per cent unemployment… there is the Euro debt, the deficit is climbing, and the stagnation in Japan… these are real problems ahead of us….”

“The recovery is halting, it is uneven, and it is taking place in a context of little or no recovery…. In Britain for instance, unemployment is climbing sharply. The experiment which the British is running they say, ‘You gonna take the bitter pill now and in two years time, we gonna find ourselves out of the hole’; (but) that’s a long distance.”

He also highlighted that regionally there are a number of Caribbean countries which are facing economic hardships and have had to rely on assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

These include Antigua, Grenada and St. Kitts most recently; following Jamaica, and Dominica, which has just come off of a programme.

“It doesn’t mean that St. Vincent and the Grenadines doesn’t have our own problems; clearly we do have the challenges and that’s why you see each of us in this special period has to lift our game.”

The Prime Minister noted that during this period, a number of public and private sector projects are currently taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which he says he believes would prepare this country for the recovery period.

He cited public sector initiatives such as the divestment of the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the construction of the International Airport at Argyle and the One Laptop per Child initiative, which he said are bright spots in the middle of the difficulties.

Private sector projects that are being undertaken and explored include the Buccama Resort, hotel projects in Bequia, Canouan and Union Island, and in agriculture, the cocoa and poultry projects.

“…Amidst the challenges you look for the spaces which you can find; the opportunities which you can garner. You have an optimism that you can do better.”

“Are you going to throw your hands up in the air, or do you take the world as you find it and make the best of it?”(JJ)