An aerial view of Little Tokyo in Kingstown, on mainland St Vincent.
News
November 8, 2022
ALBA Bank to help finance refurbishment of Little Tokyo

The Alba bank is providing half the funds needed to undertake the refurbishment of Little Tokyo.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves as he spoke on Sunday, November 6 on the Issue at Hand interactive radio programme on WEFM, during which also revealed that a decision has been taken in principle to have the Bank set up office for a representative to be stationed in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The Prime Minister was reporting on his recent visit to Venezuela where, among other things, he attended the Ministerial Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People’s of Our America (ALBA) Bank.

He said based on this decision, the Bank’s management has been directed by the Ministerial Council to seek out the cost of an office in SVG.

“Somebody has to come on the ground and find somewhere and see the rent,” the Prime Minister explained.

Dr Gonsalves noted the heavy investment which the ALBA Bank has made in this country “either with its own monies, or monies which it administrates for other agencies”.

Apart from other projects, the 14 year old ALBA Bank has assisted with finances for the construction of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), and the Vincy Fresh agricultural plant at Diamond.

The Bank also has investments in other Eastern Caribbean territories, including St Kitts/Nevis, Antigua/Barbuda, Grenada, and Dominica.

The Prime Minister said the bank also has small investments in St Lucia and Guyana.

And, while on his visit to the South American country, Prime Minister Gonsalves was successful in securing fifty percent of the cost of refurbishing Little Tokyo, Kingstown.

“I was successful in getting the US$2.5 million,” of an estimated US$5 million that is required to undertake the upgrade of the bus terminal.

The other half of the funding needed for this project, will be sourced from elsewhere, “but we have money to proceed,” said the Prime Minister who returned home last Saturday, November 5.

On Wednesday May 18, Gonsalves had hinted that some of the rum shops now in operation at Little Tokyo will be removed when the facility is refurbished.

At the time he was speaking about the upgrade on NBC radio, and noted that based on the manner in which the government wants to rebuild the area, some persons may have to be put elsewhere.

He had also said then, that in the rebuilding of Little Tokyo, “there won’t be thirty something rum shops.”
Plans are in place to upgrade the facility to not just a bus terminal, but a place where families can feel comfortable to go and socialize.

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