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Airport to transform the business environment in SVG: Matthias

Airport to transform the business environment in SVG: Matthias

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The Argyle International Airport is expected to create a transformation of the business environment in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, says Dr. Rudy Matthias, Chief Executive Officer of the International Airport Development Company (IADC).{{more}}

Matthias made the pronouncement at a session held on Tuesday evening by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) to discuss the likely impact of the Argyle International Airport on Vincentian businesses.

The session aimed to highlight the importance of the airport to the economic development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, identify the types of businesses that will be needed to support the airport, and disseminate information on the progress of construction of the facility.

Matthias told the senior business executives in the audience that with the coming on stream of the international airport, they can expect competitive air freight charges. He said that he is sure that entrepreneurs who are desirous of importing and exporting goods would welcome this. He noted that the airport will also help them to take advantage of regional and international markets in the global environment.

Matthias added that in and around the airport there will be a demand for shops and restaurants. There will also be an area allocated at the airport for fixed base operations, such ah services catering for private jets, the CEO pointed out.

He stated that the airport will create increased business activities and employment. Futhermore, with the airport being transferred to Argyle, the Government is expected “to generate a lot of money from the development of Arnos Vale”, which Matthias estimated the value to be in the region of $1 billion. He said other persons gave their valuation to be in the region of $600,000. Whatever the figure, Matthias said this cannot be attained unless the airport is transferred from its current location.

Speaking of other direct benefits to Vincentians, Jennifer Richardson, Communication Manager at the IADC, said there will be opportunities to operate concession stands inside the airport, as well as to provide catering services.

Richardson noted that there will be increased opportunities for tour operators and tour guides, as well as taxi operators, hoteliers, farmers, fisherman, and manufacturers.

She said Vincentians can also use the opportunity to set up bread and breakfast establishments because there will be a demand for rooms.

Richardson is also of the view that the new airport will create other investment opportunities, improved education and training.

She contended that there will be opportunities for businesses to decentralize from Kingstown. She said that she envisages an opportunity to extend the business hours here because more people will be coming to St.Vincent and the Grenadines and as a result of this more shopping will be done.

“If we are going to have more people coming here, we cannot continue to close business at 4 p.m,” said Richardson.

She expressed that the ultimate benefit will be improved standard of living throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines and an improved bottom line.

As a result of all the opportunities that will be created, Richardson used the opportunity to call on Vincentians to change their business attitudes to capitalize on what awaits them.(HN)