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What is the long term plan for SVG?

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28.APR.06

Editor: As we sell off our precious lands across St. Vincent and the Grenadines to raise money for the land for the International airport, I would like to ask all the stakeholders in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and across the Diaspora to carefully consider the following: What is our long term plan for St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Have we decided what we want our country to look like in the short, medium and long term, or will we always accept the highest bidder? Have we considered our future generations? {{more}}Have we considered the Diaspora as a preferred, genuine source of development investment, including buying these same lands we are selling off to non-Caribbean nationals? Have we considered that Vincentians abroad are already scouting other parts of the world for their retirement properties because they are not sure St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going to be an attractive option, especially given the apparent preferential treatment to non Caribbean nationals?

We talk about “Brain Drain” but if there is nothing being done that is equally attractive to lure our fellow Vincentians back home, or even to invest back home, why would they have any interest? Have we considered that Caribbean and Diaspora tourism would be far more sustainable than creating a new apartheid in SVG? Have we considered collecting taxes or any other source of income from non Caribbean nationals, when we do sell them land and property, or are we going to continue to give away years upon years of tax free breaks (last one I saw said 20 years tax free income for a new development on the Leeward side)?

Have we considered learning from other islands and countries who have decades of experience in foreign investment? Have we considered differentiating ourselves in the marketplace and ensuring that we have sustainable tourism and other investment products that not only meet the needs of today, but serve to enhance the lives of our future generations?

Let our history be a lesson to us and guide us in our decisions as we develop our beautiful nation!

God Bless Our Nation,

Concerned Vincentian

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