‘New normal’ superstorms could deter major investments

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Chief Environment Officer Diann Black-Layne believes Antigua and Barbuda is in for a rough investment period in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Her comments came at Thursday’s 15th annual hosting of the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Lecture where she was the guest speaker.
The environment officer said there was a reason why there was little movement on a number of investments which had been identified since the new administration took office in 2014.
“Why is that? It’s not because Antigua is not a great place to invest, it’s just that the financial sector has taken a pause and they’ve put down over six trillion dollars on their savings account, doing absolutely nothing with it. Because they realised that their portfolios now would be exposed.”
According to Black-Layne, investors are paying keener attention to the environmental risks associated with doing business in the Caribbean as extreme weather phenomena become the new normal.
“The investors and their corporations are now looking to see if a hotel is being built anywhere in Antigua and Barbuda. You can download a map from the NOAA website (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and you can do a simulation to see what would be the impact of sea level rise. So they do that themselves and if they see that there will be a little bit of impact, they cannot get insurance and they will not be able to invest.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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