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Taiwan hosts Trade Fair in SVG

Taiwan hosts Trade Fair in SVG

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St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ lack of a well established private sector is a hindrance to the country’s economic pursuits.

Acting Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker, in his remarks at the opening of the Taiwan Trade Fair and Agricultural Show on Monday, June 23, 2008, at the Methodist Church Hall, identified this area as a major hurdle in the country’s path to further development.{{more}}

“It is well known that we must be able to expand our trading ability in order to improve our economic stance in the world … because we do not have a well established private sector we are not able to move as fast and as far as we would like to go,” said Straker.

Straker criticised local businessmen for sometimes being “too timid” to get involved in areas that can add value.

The Acting Prime Minister told the gathering comprised of politicians, businessmen, civil servants and students that he trusts that they turned out in numbers not only to admire but to grasp some of the ideas, which can contribute to their adding value to local products.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said despite the distance that separates St.Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan, the relationship that exists between both countries is deep and very special.

“I do not believe that St.Vincent and the Grenadines has a relationship as close as we have with Taiwan, even here in CARICOM. I thank the Taiwanese for that relationship and the fruits that it has borne,” said Eustace.

In a frank manner, Eustace said Vincentians have to do more in terms of exports, if they are to earn the necessary foreign exchange badly needed for the further development of the country.

“It strikes me, Mr. Ambassador, Mr. Acting Prime Minister, that the time has come when we have to examine very closely the role of the Mission, in terms of its ability to push us along the road of exports,” said Eustace.

“I believe, seriously, the time has come for us working along with the Mission, Technical Mission, to identify some other commodities that we are capable of producing for which we know there is a very clear market.

New Taiwanese Ambassador to St.Vincent and the Grenadines Leo Lee, in his address, pointed out that his country is the 16th largest trading nation in the world, with more than one third of its export items being electronic products.

He disclosed that local businessmen Trevor ‘Sailor’ Bailey and Kelly Glass have already seized the opportunity to trade with businesses in Taiwan.

Ambassador Lee noted that the products on display are not for sale, but most of the items would be donated to local charities and government agencies at a later date.

The trade fair comes to an end today. It showcased a wide range of products which are produced in Taiwan. These included bicycles, cameras, telephones, cellular phones, lap top computers, jump drives, books, basket ball, plants, and food products made from local fruits. (HN)

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