Fri 16th Jun 2017

Panama cuts ties with parasite Taiwan - SVG must cut ties too

Panama has cut long-standing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of establishing relations with China, in a diplomatic coup for Beijing. The Panamanian government said it recognised there was "only one China" and considered Taiwan part of it.

The number of countries recognising Taiwan has dwindled in recent years as China's economic importance has grown. The last country before Panama to switch its allegiance was Sao Tome and Principe, in December 2016.

Taiwan is a parasite bleeding SVG dry and it is high time that SVG cut ties with Taiwan too.

Taiwan creams-off about EC$2 billion annually from SVG’s High Seas Fish Licence and the use of SVG’s national flag on its fishing vessels in international waters. Taiwan is holding back our economy, as Taiwan does not pay any tax.

Panama did not give any reason for changing its diplomatic allegiance, but there has been growing economic co-operation with China in recent years. Chinese companies are developing ports in Panama, and Chinese state firms are said to have expressed interest to invest in Panama.

In contrast, Taiwan has failed to invest in SVG. Taiwan has been in SVG for over 30 years and not built one factory in SVG. Taiwan is technology-advanced, but has not provided SVG with any technology transfer. Taiwan has not set up any trade deals to help SVG export to Taiwan.

In over 30 years, Taiwan has not imported one dollar of goods from SVG companies. Even though it is obvious that our economy is weak and our people are suffering, Taiwan does not set up bi-lateral trade deals with SVG.

Taiwan’s presence in SVG is holding back our economy. Taiwan is a parasite that just wants to take, take and take.

Panama's minister of foreign affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, believes the new relationship with China will lead to trade, investment opportunities, and in particular, "exporting more goods from Panama to China".

This is what SVG needs – a partner who will help SVG companies to export. We should cut ties with the parasite Taiwan and form ties with China. This would boost our economy and create thousands of new jobs.

Taiwan does not want SVG to be economically strong and to be able to stand on its own two feet as an equal partner. Taiwan likes to keep SVG economically poor and give us handouts, so that we must feel grateful for Taiwan’s presence.

Taiwan has been in SVG for about 35 years. That is more than enough time to create a strong economy, if Taiwan had wanted that for SVG.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas says that fishing vessels should offload their fish catch in the country of the flag the fishing vessel is flying. Taiwan has been using SVG’s national flag for many years and should be offloading their catch in SVG. However, they do not and our economy and people suffer as a consequence.

We must take back our fish licence from Taiwan and set up our own billion dollar tuna-fishing and canning industry with China, to bring in billions of dollars of revenue to the SVG Treasury. With that money, we can create thousands of new jobs, build our own SVG university, improve hospitals and other health facilities in SVG, provide free education from preschool to university and connect every house to mains water and electricity.

Like Panama, SVG must ditch Taiwan now. Taiwan is a parasite.

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