Fri 20th Feb 2009
When the ULP took office in 2001, the SVG import bill was less than 400 million dollars for that year and the exports was just under 100 million dollars. The trade figures for 2008 have revealed that imports have taken a gigantic leap to well over one billion dollars - the first time in any calendar year!
More seriously, exports continue to shrink. What this wide trade deficit tells us, is that the ULP regime's economic strategy has proven to be a disastrous failure in terms of jobs and wealth creation. For example, in December 2008, thousands of young people had to be put on a temporary road cleaning programme and a very wasteful duplication of office labour in government offices to provide temporary employment at Christmas.
The high trade deficit tells us that the ULP is creating jobs abroad and cutting jobs in SVG. The ULP's economic strategy is in shambles. The economy is growing with a balloon effect, because the high deficit is not sustainable and there will come a point soon when the balloon will simply burst. One only has to travel around this country, observe the dilapidated road system, agricultural lands covered in grass, shops closed permanently and hear the cries and complaints of ordinary folk to see this grave situation first hand.
The US economy carried a large trade deficit before it collapsed and that should serve as a lesson to us in SVG. Whereas the USA has the power to print money to ride their economic meltdown, SVG does not. It is therefore vital to take urgent precautionary measures to divert the SVG economy into a jobs and wealth creation direction. President Barack Obama told Congress last week that the US economy has to 'go Green' to create new jobs and wealth, and more importantly, be sustainable in the long term.
Since the formation of the SVG Green Party in 2005, we have put forward the Green philosophy and the importance of building a Green economy, driven by science technology and industry and utilisation of our local resources.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said in 2005, 'the SVG Green Party was a joke. There are two schools of thought: those who are oblivious, focus on tourism, generally sun, sand and sea; those who are farsighted and have economic intelligence, focus on a Green economy. The Green Party in Mexico, Germany and New Zealand any some governments around the world are pushing for Green economies. Under the ULP regime we have suffered more taxes, reduced services, increased poverty, businesses going bust, children having to drop out of school, unbearable crime rates and increased unemployed.
History is on the side of the visionary SVG Green Party, with the Green economic philosophy which involves the utilisation of our indigenous resources. The bottom line is creating new jobs and new products for an export driven economy. We are therefore calling on all Vincentains who want to see jobs and wealth to support the Green Party in this crucial transformation from red to Green. It is an international phenomenon that Green is prosperity and only a Green Government can rejuvenate our economy.