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2,500 Vincentians working on cruiseships

2,500 Vincentians working on cruiseships

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Outlining that most trade and economic activities in the region were done through shipping, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has made a call for the Caribbean to always be in the quest to improve it’s shipping capabilities.

He said that like most Caribbean countries, St Vincent and the Grenadines used shipping to transport 70 to 90 per cent of its goods such as food, raw materials, automobiles, manufactured goods and bananas. He noted that with the amount of activity at ports throughout the region, it was vital for mariners to be properly trained and certified in the business.{{more}}

He also disclosed that cruise liners had 70 per cent of Caribbean nationals working on their vessels 2,500 of whom were Vincentians.

He estimated that $35-$40 million was brought in annually in remittances by these cruise ship workers and noted that it was time that they were not just the cleaners and bartenders on the ships, but also captains.

In delivering the feature address, Dr Gonsalves said that he was interested in setting up a maritime school in the country where the highest international standards would be set; he anticipated that this would provide exciting career opportunities for young Vincentians.

Dr Gonsalves received a round of applause from the gathering when he criticised larger nations for implementing stringent rules in the name of “terrorism” and for not ensuring that their own ports met these safety requirements.

The Prime Minister pledged that his government would continue to improve its mechanisms and urged other countries to ensure that the sea is managed more efficiently so that the resources are not depleted.

This country has the third largest ship registry in the Caribbean after The Bahamas and Antigua.

The nation’s leader was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Regional Workshop Flag and Port State Control Inspections, which was held from November 27-28 at the Foreign Affairs conference room.

The event, which had participants from 20 countries including host St Vincent and the Grenadines, was in conjunction with International Maritime Organisation IMO, Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding/Port State Control Secretariat CMOU/PSC, and the United States Coast Guard.

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