Regional gov’ts urged to work toward generational development

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The Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General has called for regional governments to mobilise and formulate advancement plans for each state’s growth over the next 20 to 30 years.
Deodat Maharaj said presently there is not an “overall compelling vision for the Caribbean we want by 2050” — a blunder that he described as a major “flounder” by regional governments.
Maharaj said to compete effectively, small Commonwealth member states like Antigua and Barbuda will need to access the experts made available by that body to develop the capacity to negotiate and navigate what is a complex trading landscape.
He explained that the economic partnership agreements which the government undertakes require vast human resources which many potentially profitable industries are lacking.
“To compete effectively, you need a lot of technical skills in terms of engineering, welding and high-tech areas and therefore to reach a vision and have stability to advance human development in the Caribbean,” Maharaj said.
With most successful economies focused on becoming digital, Maharaj questioned what mechanisms are in place to take advantage of the “new thinking for new times”.
“We would continue to focus on tourism as we know it, we will continue to be affected by natural disasters, if we don’t build that resilience,” he added.
The Commonwealth official expounded on the most significant challenges faced by regional economies, to include high energy costs, absence of skilled professionals, low productivity and the inherent vulnerability to natural disasters.
Maharaj said the need for lawyers, economists and social scientists is evident by government’s habit of outsourcing experts to handle trade, tourism and other sectors.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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