The ULP regime has failed to put forward a coherent strategy to create mass employment for our people, probably because they don’t have one.
Since 2001, they have been begging and borrowing and all they have achieved is high unemployment, high crime and high poverty. The SVG economy continues to get weaker, and more and more families are being pushed into poverty.
Tourism is the sword of death for SVG. Tourism is being used as an excuse to sell-off hundreds of acres of our crown lands to super-rich foreigners, in the hope that tourism might bring prosperity to the people of SVG.
Tourism can never bring prosperity to SVG. Barbados and Jamaica have had tourism as the engine of their economies for over 60 years, yet both countries have high levels of unemployment, crime and poverty.
Barbados has regular nationwide poverty alleviation programmes and in 2020, Jamaica’s debt was 105.6% of GDP. Jamaica is regularly on its knees begging the IMF and World Bank for financial bailouts.
Tourism cannot provide the financial yield necessary to cover public wages and salaries, pensions and NIS, interest payments on public debt, and the goods and services required to keep society and government in good working order.
The Ministry of Tourism should be closed and restructured into a statutory body like CWSA.
We have to modernise the SVG economy in relation to how the world is today and discard the ULP regime’s 1960s mentality. SVG must adopt structural change, away from tourism and towards a Green economy. A Green economy can create thousands of new jobs, increase revenue, ensure sustainable development and preserve our country for future generations, since we will have no need to sell our lands to foreigners.
To drive the above, a Green Government would bring in two new ministries: a Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Wealth and a Ministry of Science and Technology.
A Green government would cut ties with Taiwan and take back our deep sea fishing licence. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Wealth would create a billion-dollar tuna fishing and canning industry. This fish processing factory would create thousands of jobs in SVG.
The Ministry of Science and Technology would build a science and technology based economy. It would introduce free Wi-Fi (internet connection) throughout our country and build a science and technology university.
The Ministry of Science and Technology would help SVG businesses enter and compete in the global Green market, which is worth more than £6 trillion. In 2013, the United Kingdom’s entire renewables sector employed 250,000 people and was worth £33 billion a year.
The Ministry of Science and Technology would help SVG businesses enter and compete in the global infocomm industry. The Singapore infocomm industry had a revenue of $61 billion in 2018, employing almost 200,000 people.
In richer countries, technology is the engine of the economy, not tourism. A Green government would put technology at the heart of the SVG economy to make it strong.
Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, who has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance & Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, a Masters of Science in Macro-Economic Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the University of Bradford, England, and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Leicester, England, says that technology will give our nation true economic independence and protect us from the frailties and global shocks that are inherent in tourism.
Our children deserve a prosperous future and science and technology can assure them of that.