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Sir Dwight Venner: Top-notch transportation system needed

Sir Dwight Venner: Top-notch transportation system needed


Without a top-notch transportation system, countries within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) can kiss the march towards a proper Post-Colonial Economy goodbye.{{more}}

This, according to Sir Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), who addressed the beginning of a two-day seminar on The Caribbean Futures: A People’s Post Colonial Enterprise, last Monday, February 11.

Sir Dwight, who spoke via a video link from his St Kitts office, identified an efficient transportation system and the free movement of labour as key elements in the push towards this new economy.

“There is no country that has developed in the modern times, or even from ancient times without a first class transportation system,” Sir Dwight said.

He also listed several challenges that small territories like those in the OECS face as they develop their new economies.

Among the challenges he identified are: the high prices of essential commodities like oil, food, and building materials, and the shift of economic power from the G7 nations to what is known as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

He also noted environmental issues as another cause for concern.

“The question now becomes, who will bear the major cost of reducing carbon emission and other threats to the environment,” Sir Dwight said.

He said that because of increasing concerns for the environment, late developers, like the OECS, may face stricter environmental guidelines than their predecessors.

However, with all the challenges that face them, Sir Dwight said that the OECS isn’t just concerned with survival, but has set it self on going way beyond that; keeping on the cutting edge of political, social and economic advances.

The seminar was organized by Project Promotions Limited, and included an impressive list of presenters. The five main presenters were the aforementioned Sir Dwight Venner, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Professor Norman Girvan, Dr Tennyson Joseph, and Oscar Allen, who replaced former Barbadian Prime Minister Owen Arthur who could not attend.

Ambassador Ellsworth John also made a presentation at the seminar.

In what Managing Director of Project Promotions, Cecil Ryan deemed a “very successful venture,” an average of 100 persons attended each day, including secondary school students, representatives from the public and private sector and civil society.

Ryan said that the seminar was intended to stimulate dialogue “as a new Caribbean is envisioned.” (KJ)