Fri 16th Sep 2011

Taiwan's presence perpetuates poverty in SVG

Taiwan's 30 year presence in SVG has been a great hindrance to the development of SVG.

Taiwan uses SVG's fish licence to fish for tuna in the Atlantic. They are creaming off billions of dollars and the people of SVG are getting nothing in return. Taiwan is not a friend of the people of SVG, just a friend of the NDP and ULP politicians who allow Taiwan to abuse Vincentians.

In order not to pay tax to the SVG Treasury, Taiwan has registered about 115 fishing vessels with offshore companies. This is a great loss to the SVG economy, but the ULP regime turns a blind eye. Meanwhile, the people of SVG have high bills and must pay taxes including VAT.

Taiwan is a rich country and its people are much better off than the people of SVG. The GDP per capita in Taiwan is over $96,000, many times more than SVG. Unemployment is low in Taiwan at around 5.2% and only 1.16% of the population is below the poverty line. Taiwan has over 100 universities, yet SVG does not have one.

Taiwan has reserves of foreign exchange and gold of $1049 billion; SVG has no reserves. Taiwan imports around $681 billion in goods, but does not import anything from SVG.

Taiwan is truly an enemy to the development of SVG.

Taiwan has done nothing to help sustainable development in SVG and boost our economy. They have not built any factories or built a university. They are happy to see the people of SVG suffer and go further into poverty, whilst Taiwan gets richer.

This is an exploitative, one-sided, immoral relationship in which Taiwan creams off billions of dollars, but does not reciprocate to help the people of SVG. A Green Party government will cut ties with Taiwan and create ties with China. We will use the SVG fishing licence for the benefit of the people of SVG.

If SVG had been using its fishing licence itself rather than letting Taiwan use it, SVG would be a richer country. Poverty could have been virtually eradicated in SVG with all the billions that Taiwan has creamed off.

Taiwan has been doing 'agricultural research' in SVG since being here. We are yet to see any results of this apparent research or any benefits to the SVG agricultural sector. Agriculture is at an all time low in SVG and this illustrates that Taiwan has not been a benefit to agriculture. Taiwan has some of the best agricultural land at Orange Hill, where it does this research. Any benefits of the research are probably taken back to Taiwan, because they aren't seen in SVG.

Taiwan has not transferred any technology to SVG with regards to fishing or agriculture. An SVG Green Party government will be fully justified in cutting ties with Taiwan and opening ties with mainland China. It is only when Taiwan has left SVG that our country will start to move forward and the economy will gain some strength.

SVG must go in a new direction, away from the begging and borrowing culture that Taiwan and the ULP propagate. Their strategy can destroy SVG in the long term.

< Back to Articles