By KES Lewis
It’s now obvious that as a nation we will not experience significant economic growth and development through education. The resistance to creating a national university, increase in brain-drain and little to no opportunities for technological innovation are clear indicators that we need to look elsewhere. Which is why seeking private foreign investment is one way forward.
There are several advantages:
- Boost to the economy: foreign private investment can bring in significant amounts of capital, which can be used to develop new businesses, expand existing ones, and create jobs. This can help to stimulate economic growth and improve the living standards.
- Transfer of technology and knowledge: foreign investors can bring with them new technologies and business practices that can help to modernize and improve the efficiency of local industries. This can increase productivity and competitiveness, and spur creativity.
- Diversification of the economy: foreign investment can help to diversify the economy by bringing in new industries and markets. This can reduce the country’s dependence on one sector and help to make the economy more resilient to external shocks.
However, there are some disadvantages to consider:
- We can develop an unhealthy dependence on foreign capital: This can be risky if there are sudden changes in global market conditions or if investors decide to pull out their investments.
- There are risks to local businesses: Foreign investment can create competition for local businesses, which may not have the resources to compete with larger, better-funded foreign companies. This can lead to the closure of local businesses and the loss of jobs.
- Environmental risks: foreign investment may bring with it environmental risks, such as pollution, deforestation, or damage to fragile ecosystems. This can have long-term negative impacts on the environment and on the health of persons.
Overall, foreign private investment can bring a lot to St. Vincent. Seeking investment in the Grenadines to boost national tourism and local revenue is one option. Canouan was transformed when investors came to the island. Others can benefit also. We need to speed up the sale of prime spots in the Grenadines. If anything, I think we need to make the prices more competitive. With the recent sale of Petit St Vincent, eyes are now looking on the untouched beauty of the islands.
Opening up the hinterland is another option. If we cannot or won’t use it, I see no problem in giving eco-based investors an opportunity to create a green haven in the heart of St. Vincent. Private, foreign investment is one of the ways to increased wealth and we need to embrace it as a country. What other options are there?
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