The Government will establish shortly a broad-based National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) drawn from highly qualified personnel from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the region, the diaspora and elsewhere.
In making the announcement on Monday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the NEAC must not be confused with National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDEC), which he said, “represents a series of interests which were directed toward the subject of poverty alleviation.
“The NEAC will be drawn from appropriate professionals, from business and labour,” Gonsalves said.
Its central role will be to provide “valuable advice and guidance” to the government on the economic development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Gonsalves made the announcement at the swearing-in of the new Cabinet in Kingstown.
He noted that MP for East St. George, Camillo Gonsalves, has been allocated the newly designed Ministry of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Internal Trade, Information and Labour.
The Prime Minister said the detailed portfolio subjects include Commerce, Information Communication Technology, Public Information, Private Sector Development, Investment, Climate Change and Oceans.
Gonsalves said that he has shed some of his previous ministerial responsibilities, such as Economic Planning and Development, Statistics and Census, Private Sector Development and Investment, including Invest SVG.
“I am determined to begin the gradual transition to a new generation of leaders,” said Gonsalves, who said he will not lead the Unity Labour Party (ULP) into the next general elections.
“Of course, as Prime Minister, my co-ordinating role of all the ministers will continue to be pivotal. In other words, while I am giving a lot of responsibilities to the younger and newer members, it doesn’t mean that the old man is going out to pasture,” said Gonsalves, who is beginning a fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister.