Chair of the Caribbean Community, Dr. Denzil Douglas.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr. Denzil Douglas, and Taiwan ambassador to Kingstown Weber Shih have congratulated the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) for undertaking the construction of the Argyle International Airport.

Douglas — who is also Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis — and Weber, spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony of the airport’s terminal building on Sunday.

Douglas noted that the terminal building was being commenced during a week when the global economic crisis especially impacted the United States, which saw its credit ratings downgraded from a perfect AAA to AA+ for the first time.

Douglas added that the effects would be felt within CARICOM, including its  sub-regional grouping, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, where St. Kitts and Nevis and SVG are part of an economic and political union.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (R) and Taiwan Ambassador to SVG, Weber Shih. (File photo)

Taiwan is financing the US$26.5 million terminal building, which is being constructed by Taiwanese firm OECC.

CECI Engineering Consultants Inc., another Taiwanese firm, was awarded the US$3.9 million contract for the design and supervision of construction of landside facilities.

Weber noted the similarities of Taiwan and SVG and spoke of the potential benefits of an international airport.

The airport, which began in 2008, is expected to be completed in 2013 at a cost of EC$652 million.

(I Witness-News apologises for the quality of the audio in this post)