The suspect case created much unease at Argyle International Airport. (iWN file photo)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and the Argyle International Airport (AIA) were featured in the third edition of a textbook, widely-used in colleges and universities in Canada, entitled “Introduction to International Development Studies: Approaches, Actors, and Issues” published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

One Chapter of the book, captioned “Free Trade, Fair Trade, and South-South Trade”, in which St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Argyle International Airport were discussed, was authored by Professor Gavin Fridell, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies, at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

In this Chapter, Professor Fridell highlighted a “Critical Issues Box” on page 297 of the book, under the rubric “South-South Cooperation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” This “Box” reads as follows:

“The ‘rise of the South’ has brought with it a renewed interest in ‘a proactive developmental state’ not just among the largest southern economies, but also among smaller more vulnerable ones (UNDP, 2013:4). One unique example of this has been St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the government of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, in office since 2001, has boosted public spending on social programs (e.g. education and health care) and physical infrastructure (e.g., roads and low-income housing) to combat the negative impacts of the global economic recession and the decline of traditional industries, in particular bananas, which had thrived on the basis of a preferential agreement with the EU until it as quashed by the WTO in the 2000s.

“In the wake of declining preferential supports from northern governments, SVG has found increasing assistance from southern partners, including through membership in ALBA. Most notably, since 2008, Venezuela and Cuba have provided SVG with millions of dollars of assistance and soft loans to construct a new international airport design to promote fresh opportunities for trade, tourism, and services. An estimated $112 million of this assistance ___ over 40% of the cost of the airport ___ comes mostly in the form of “in-kind” support, including the engineering services, heavy machinery, wind stations, and an on-site laboratory. Additional support has come from other, non-ALBA, countries, including grants and loans from Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Iran, and Libya, and a free Airport Master Plan approved by Mexico (Fridell, 2013; Gonsalves, 2012).

“The airport is due for completion by the end of 2016. While projects such as this may not be able to overcome the vulnerability experienced by small island states in a highly uneven global economy, they do point to new and original forms of South-South cooperation that challenge the northern-based consensus around free-trade, while supporting governments developing southern-based alternatives to it.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves, dated February 13, 2017, Professor Fridell congratulated the Prime Minister and all Vincentians on the “wonderful achievement” of the Argyle International Airport.

Hans King

Press Secretary

3 replies on “SVG, Argyle Airport featured in Canadian text book”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    And, we are to take what away from this? The intention of the writer is to say what to the Vincentian people?

  2. Gavin Fridell is a left-wing Canadian university professor whose economic world view is in perfect alignment with the Comrade’s theoretical take on the evils of global capitalism (which is in constant contradiction to the practical way he has embraced wild west free enterprise).

  3. C. ben-David ,

    It seems that you are always steeped in negativism , particular when it comes to the current
    Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines . In your eyes apparently , it has never done anything Right . Your consumption of hatred towards the Government will unfortunately one of these days affect you Mentally ; or Physically or perhaps both Mentally & Physically .

    From your writing , unless One does not know better , people would be of the opinion that SVG
    is a land of Gloom & Doom . I do not get the impression that your perspective is credible . So
    let me ask You a question , Do You believe that the Government of the Untied States &
    England would have helped any Government in SVG to build an International Airport ???

    Obviously Prime Minister Gonsalves & the Cabinet had to resort to getting help from those
    willing to help them . The fact is that it was the Argentinian Government that helped in the removal of the Petroglyphs , after the Egyptians came and never came back due to the Upheaval in Egypt . The Mexicans came , went back to Mexico , and never returned . My understanding , is that Camillo Gonsalves , who I understand speaks Spanish fluently got the
    Argentinians to remove the Petroglyphs . All this delayed progress in completing the AIA .

    Let me at this juncture , Salute & Praise some People connected to the AIA , who as far as I am aware were not lauded for their Performances . The Ground Handling Crews ; The Firemen ; the Air Traffic Controllers ; the Customs Officers ; the Immigration Officers , the Security Personnel , the Baggage Handlers etc THEY ALL Performed Magnificently . Many of them very new to their positions at the AIA .

    In America there is a slang ” YOU HAVE TO DANCE WITH THOSE THAT BRUNG YOU ” ,
    Cuba ; Venezuela ; Taiwan , agreed to give enormous help , yet despite this fact you keep harping about Leftist . When The rains washed away some Bridges on the mainland , Pm Gonsalves got help from the Ecuadorians , and they sent some of their Army Corp of Engineers and they built the Bridges . BTW , Ecuador ,thought so highly of PM Gonsalves , that he was awarded the highest civilian Award in Ecuador . The NDP & its Supporters , on seeing the Ecuadorians in their uniforms , were ignorant of the fact that in most Countries that
    have Army Engineers , are generally wearing their Army attire , because they are not Civilians .

    Interestingly , whenever the PM goes anywhere , he always seeks Scholarships and assistance from the Countries he visits . The NDP & their Supporters , frown on that and call that begging , perhaps , that is why the current Government has been in office for many years
    & the NDP is not in Office . There is in my opinion absolutely nothing wrong in PM Gonsalves
    seeking help for the development of SVG , which is a small State .

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