Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)

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.

4 replies on “Gov’t to set up National Economic Advisory Council”

  1. I note that Camillo is the new Minister of Public Information. I hope that this isn’t the creation of a portfolio just for the sake of saying look we have a Ministry of Public Information. It must mean something. SVG is ranked number 105 out of 122 countries on the Global Open Data Index for 2015. We fall below such bastions of democracy as Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Pakistan and Russia. We are right below Saudi Arabia actually. Shameful is an understatement.

    It is imperative that we have an informed population. An informed population is more likely to make informed decisions. For that to happen we must have freedom of information legislation. This allows us to find out things like how much money was spent on a particular project, who was hired or fired for whatever reason, what are the terms of a particular contract, minutes of meetings, who are the members of particular bodies etc.

    This government has to become comfortable with the idea of publishing its data. Why don’t we at the very least have all of our legislation online? With published legislation people have less of a chance of being bamboozled by lawyers. Why shouldn’t we know the details of tenders submitted for government contracts?

    I am very disheartened by all the issues related to this past election season and finding the energy to advocate is harder for me. However, advocate I must. This is 2015 not 1985. The least the government can do is allow the citizenry access to important public information. Vincentian people, do try and keep this government accountable.

  2. Why hasn’t SVG published an “Annual Digest of Statistics” — which contained a goldmine of useful data about our country — since 2004?

    This has been the most secretive regime in the history of our country.

    Our British colonial rulers were far more transparent, trustworthy, honourable, professional, and accountable.

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