Dominica PM reveals prospects, pitfalls for economic success

- Advertisement -

ROSEAU, Dominica — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Monday met with stakeholders in Dominica at the national consultation on development prospects, ahead of the 2017-2018 National Budget. The goal of the meeting was to acquire an objective analysis on the health and working of the Dominican economy, and to discuss plans for further success and growth.
Skerrit set the tone, stressing to the group, “The world is changing and more and more it is becoming evident that, going forward, we must have the fortitude and discipline to chart a path predicated on our capacity and ability to finance and pay our way through life.”
He explained that the government and its partners must analyze what is both possible and practical within the constraints of Dominica’s small population and resources.
The prime minister presented an important challenge facing the management of the national economy: overspending is not a responsible option, and yet the government has an obligation to continue delivering on crucial social responsibilities to its citizens “irrespective of budget realities”. Accordingly, continued economic growth and private sector development are priorities to which Skerrit made clear his firm, enthusiastic commitment.
Skerrit also discussed the government’s investment in certain projects that result in revenue that can be preserved to support the country’s needs. He underscored that, despite the abundance of project ideas and interest, the government only collaborates on projects for which a clear source of funding has been identified and can be relied upon and which are fully guaranteed to be serviceable.
The prime minister gave an example of such a project: “Work is currently underway at the new national hospital, because, as prime minister and minister of finance, I know how that project will be financed – how and from where the equipment will be sourced, and the type of technical and professional assistance I can rely upon when the construction has ended and the facility is in use. I would not have agreed to the ground breaking if I did not have the confidence of seeing that project through to completion.”
The government’s commitment to wise and prudent fiscal management was evident, and the prime minister noted that this same style of management will be required “if Dominica is to continue to defy the odds and keep its social and economic ship of state not only afloat but cruising.”
Skerrit also turned his attention to the spreading of false misinformation about certain projects and programs, stating, “What we must ensure, as a people, is that projected revenues are not undermined by actions and utterances of our own making. In other words, we should do nothing as a people to undermine our own economic survival.”
The prime minister highlighted the tourism industry, as an example, declaring that tourism is “everybody’s business” and pointing out that destructive actions could damage the entire industry and threaten Dominica’s overall economic sustainability.
He went on to draw the same conclusion about misinformation attacks against the citizenship by investment (CBI) program and the critical revenue stream which CBI brings to the people of Dominica.
“This is a trusted yet very vulnerable source of funding for the country. Its continued growth is dependent on the image it enjoys in the marketplace. Any sustained attack on the program, for whatever reason, will eventually adversely impact its performance and could ultimately bring about its demise. We all need to know and understand this as Dominicans,” he said.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here