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Vincentians urged to be more proactive

Vincentians urged to be more proactive


A call has been made to Vincentians to be more proactive and businesslike so that they can capitalize on the spinoffs from the construction of the new airport.{{more}}

Dr. Rudy Matthias, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Airport Development Company (IADC), passionately called on entrepreneurs last Monday to start exploring opportunities that will come from the airport due to open in 2012.

“Vincentians should try to grasp opportunities like this one. We cannot simply sit back and allow foreigners to come and take the best parts of our country to make money, and after they’ve done that we complain,” said Matthias.

He added: “We need to be the first movers. After all, the airport is being built right in front of our eyes.”

His call was made at the National Insurance Services (NIS) Training Room, Kingstown, during an official ceremony for the launch of the IADC’s website.

The economist said it amazes him sometimes that things are happening (major projects executed) and “it’s as if nobody is paying attention”.

“Everybody is sitting back and waiting. Waiting for what I don’t know,” said Dr. Matthias.

Matthias also used the opportunity to link the criticism levelled at the construction of a major hotel at Buccament to that made against the construction of the airport. He stated that people senselessly complain about the new hotel at Buccament, which is projected to have over 1,000 rooms (the largest here) and significantly has the potential to boost the economy.

“Where were they all these years when Buccamament was lying idle?” asked Matthias, slamming the critics.

He noted that opportunities exist throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines, especially in the hospitality sector, due to the hive of activities taking place with government’s drive to stimulate the economy with essential projects. He added that 600 acres of land lying in Park Industry, Bequia, has been earmarked for the construction of a significant hotel type development. He urged locals to seize the opportunity to make an investment in this area.

“I am sure if somebody comes to invest in Bequia or buy the 600 acre parcel of land you will hear many comments, how we are selling our country. But the country is for sale to locals as well,” said Matthias.

“Why don’t you get up and do something about it?” he questioned, encouraging locals to invest now.

“We need to be more proactive. We need to be more businesslike. You can’t simply sit back and expect governments to do everything for us,” Matthias chided.

He mentioned that there will be investment opportunities at Arnos Vale also when the new city is built. Matthias disclosed that this will commence when the airport is relocated to Argyle.

Matthias, however, suggested that people should not wait on 2012 to start the planning.

He said he imagined the city of Arnos Vale having shopping centres, business centres, hotels, restaurants, villas, and recreational centres, etc.

The CEO promised that the IADC intends to try to help local businesses in St.Vincent and the Grenadines understand the opportunities that can be derived from projects such as the new airport.