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Fri 7th Nov 2014

Preliminary trade statistics show SVG economy getting worse

The recent trade statistics for the SVG economy show that both imports and exports are shrinking. Imports for Jan to Sep 2013 were $744m. However, for Jan to Sep 2014, imports had dropped to $713m. There was a significant drop of $31m. Exports for the corresponding periods, fell from $83m in 2013 to $78m in 2014.

Shrinkage in both exports and imports show that households and businesses have less money to spend. There is no money circulating around the country as much of households’ and businesses’ money in soaked up in high electricity bills and high taxation rates.

The consequences of a shrinking economy will be more businesses forced to close, an increase in unemployment and an increase in criminality. The highly incompetent ULP regime is bankrupt of ideas to stimulate economic growth and financially incompetent.

After 13 years of failing to create sustainable revenue, the ULP regime has virtually destroyed the SVG economy. All around the country people say how hard life is and how difficult it is to make a few dollars. Hardship seems to be the staple diet of our country.

SVG Green Party Leader, Ivan O’Neal, believes that substantial change and structural adjustment is needed if there is to be any hope of creating a strong economy. The SVG economy needs a variety of revenue creating industrial sectors that can create thousands of new jobs for our people.

In order to attract sustainable sources of foreign investment, we must create a highly skilled workforce. SVG needs, therefore, our own science and technology university and a number of vocational training centres.

In Germany, training for many vocations is provided by means of a dual programme of training and education. Apprentices spend three to four days a week at a company providing vocational training, where they acquire the practical skills required for their field of work. The remaining one or two days are spent at a vocational school, where apprentices receive a theoretical grounding in their future job.
An apprenticeship lasts between two and three-and-a-half years.

The table shows that the ULP regime has massively under-funded education and training for our young people, consigning them to a life of poverty and unemployment. The lack of education and training for young people hinders their ability to become entrepreneurs and start their own business. This has a knock-on effect of shrinking the economy, as more young people leave school under-educated and under-trained.

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A Green government will substantially increase the amount of money put towards education and training. We will tax the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and put this money into our children’s education and future. We will build a university in SVG and vocational training centres.

One of the best ways to create innovative, sustainable sources of revenue for our country is to educate our people and skill our workforce. If we do this our economy will grow, not shrink, and there will be thousands of new jobs for our people.

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