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‘Coalition of the Willing’ list gets longer

‘Coalition of the Willing’ list gets longer

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Count them! The “Coalition of the willing” or the “Compact of the Committed” – whatever the catch phrase, for the US$200 Argyle International Airport, the number now stands at eleven.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced that Portugal, Iran and Libya have all committed to assisting with the construction of the airport.

They will join Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Turkey, Austria, Brazil, and Taiwan as countries that have contributed or agreed to contribute in some way or the other to the project.

This assistance, which will include “substantial immediate assistance – in cash” from Iran and Libya, was just part of the substantial benefits that Dr Gonsalves said will flow from his just concluded two weeks European and Middle Eastern trip.

Dr Gonsalves, at a press conference last Wednesday, May 6th, at Cabinet Room, said that follow up will be made in each of the cases with delegations from those countries making visits to St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He did not say how much money will be given in the case of the cash pledges.

Other areas of airport development contributions include assistance from Portugal with the lighting and telecommunications systems for the new airport.

He said that in addition to airport support, he was able to secure commitments for university scholarships, and the Portuguese government has also indicated their willingness to provide assistance in the areas of primary and secondary school education.

Dr Gonsalves also said that Manuel Pestana, of the Pestana group, Portugal’s largest tourism and leisure group, has also shown interest in investing here.

He said that a team from the Pestana group, which owns 38 hotels (over 6,500 rooms) and owns the Euro Atlantic Airways, will be coming to St Vincent and the Grenadines to examine tourism investment possibilities.

Additionally, Libya has also indicated their intention to set up an Embassy and Investment bank in the Eastern Caribbean. (KJ)

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