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Slater: Job opportunities for Vincentians in Venezuela soon

Slater: Job opportunities for Vincentians in Venezuela soon

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There may be jobs and trading opportunities for Vincentians in Venezuela soon.{{more}}

This was disclosed on Wednesday, January 26, by Dr. Douglas Slater, the former Minister of Health, who now holds the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He made the disclosure while making his presentation on the 2011 Budget.

He emphasized the need for this country to use its diplomatic channels to develop its trading policies.

Slater said during an informal discussion with the Venezuelan Ambassador recently, the Ambassador disclosed that his country has plans to conduct major developments in housing.

“They have already spoken to us. They said that there are certain resources that they will need and they want to engage St.Vincent as a member of ALBA in participating in this. They intend to build a few million houses. They do not have all the raw materials and all the human resources to do so,” said Slater.

Slater said he believes the time has come for Vincentians to look for niche markets, especially in countries with which it has diplomatic relations.

He said his ministry will utilize diplomatic channels to facilitate trading arrangements with other countries. He challenged the private sector to get more involved in manufacturing.

“I think I hear too often from the other side a dependency on the state apparatus to do these things. We need the private sector, and that’s when I criticize the private sector. We need them to engage. We will facilitate the process. We will enable the process. You know the irony, Mr. Speaker, is when the state chooses to get engaged, then they come and say the state shouldn’t be involved in those activities,” said Slater, adding: “I am confused.”

Even though he may not be supported politically, said Slater, he is of the opinion that Vincentians have the confidence that he can ably perform in his new role as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“I think the fact that I have been elevated to Minister of Foreign Affairs is an expression of the confidence, and I believe, Mr. Speaker, Vincentians, whether they are supporters of Green Party, NDP or ULP, feel comfortable with Dr.Douglas Slater as the Foreign Affairs Minister,” said Slater.

Slater thanked the constituents of South Leeward for the confidence that they placed in him while he chose to be their representative.

He stated that they must have been proud of his representation in the House of Assembly.

After two terms as the Area Representative for South Leeward, Slater stepped aside and did not contest the December 13, 2010, General Elections. Following the elections, he was appointed Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs.(HN)