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Little support from CARICOM for Airport

Little support from CARICOM for Airport


The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) seems to be a bit skeptical about the construction of the international airport at Argyle, and has given very little support to the project.{{more}}

This view is held by Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who, in a letter to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, bemoaned the regional grouping’s lack of involvement with the US$250 million (EC$675 million) project.

Stating that most of the members of CARICOM have predominantly tourist economies, which demand, among other things, international airport facilities, Gonsalves asked how could SVG and Dominica, which are the only two members of CARICOM without such facilities, be expected to compete on a level playing field.

“CARICOM has never considered it to be part of its developmental business to assist Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines in the construction of international airports,” the letter, titled “On Strategic Directions for CARICOM” and dated February 9, 2012, said.

“Trinidad and Tobago generously contributed US$10 million in grant monies to this project in August 2008. Otherwise, CARICOM has stood askance, a little bemused, save and except for a small loan/grant of US$4.2 million from the CARICOM Development Fund, some one-third of which is the contribution of St Vincent and the Grenadines itself.

“CARICOM is not even helping with advocacy to garner resources!” he said.

The international airport at Argyle is being constructed with assistance from Cuba, Venezuela, Taiwan, Austria, Georgia, Libya, Iran, Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico, among other countries, and is scheduled to be completed in December 2013.