Articles

Fri 2nd Aug 2013

Balance of trade figures show that SVG's economy has disintegrated

The SVG trade figures for the first half of 2013 reveal that SVG is being swamped by imports. The table illustrates the ULP regime's economic incompetence. For every dollar SVG exports, SVG imports about nineteen dollars.

The trade ratio is grim. It shows that, not only is the economy rapidly shrinking, but that it is on the verge of collapse too. Gonsalves' economic policies cause much pain and suffering and we can expect to see an increase in the cost of living, more businesses closing down, record high unemployment and even less money circulating in the economy. Life will be even tougher and there is a real risk of social unrest.

January to June

2012

2013

Banana fresh
Plantain
Rice
Flour
Exports total

$ 1.2m
$ 0.8m
$ 6.0m
$15.9m
$23.9m

$ 1.8m
$ 0.5m
$ 6.2m
$17.7m
$26.2m

Imports toal

$470.5m

$492.2m

Balance

-$446.6m

-$466m

(Source SVG trade statistics- Research by Ivan O'Neal BSc. Hons, MSc, MBA.)

SVG does not grow rice or wheat, yet the trade figures show exports of rice and flour as SVG's main export. Also, the banana boxing plants are not being used not for banana, but for fetes and beauty pageants. That's how badly the banana industry has disintegrated.

It is strongly believed that the fiscal results for the first quarter of 2013 show the overall balance in a massive fiscal deficit. SVG Green Party has asked to see the figures for the government's fiscal operations for the first quarter of 2013, but was refused. Why is the ULP regime hiding these figures?

SVG must change direction and become a Green economy and create thousands of new jobs. The ULP regime has killed the banana industry; we should focus on fish now and build a fish processing and canning plant to create jobs and revenue.

The 2013 fisherman of the year told us that billions of dollars that can be made annually from the fish industry. SVG must get rid of the parasitic Taiwanese and take back our billion dollar deep-sea fish industry from Taiwan and operate it ourselves. There is a big international market for fish and a fish industry would create hundreds of jobs and get money circulating around our country.

The more SVG imports, the more jobs we are funding abroad. For the past two years, Vincentians have spent almost half a billion dollars a year financing jobs abroad. We must create jobs in SVG by producing much more of what we consume and spending our money locally.

SVG needs an urgent solution to lift our country from this desperate situation of a weak economy and high unemployment. SVG Green Party calls on the ULP government to divert the $204 million ear-marked for the Argyle Airport and urgently invest the money in the construction of a fish processing plant.

A fish processing plant is not too high-tech to build. It could be constructed and in operation within 12 to 18 months. The priority at this point in time must be jobs for our people, not an airport for tourists.

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