Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has maintained that both this country‘s economic and political climate is stable and investment friendly.
In fact, the Prime Minister noted that this country has experienced a 5 per cent economic growth for 2022 and IMF’s projections for 2023 said the economy is expected to grow by 6 per cent.
“We have had record property sales in Mustique, we collected last year because of the number of properties sold, close to 100 million dollars EC in both alien landholding license fees and transfer property for taxes, stamp duties, and this year, we are on target nationally according to the IMF, according to the World bank and our own economists for 6 per cent economic growth,” Dr. Gonsalves said.
Speaking on radio on Sunday, January 8th, Dr. Gonsalves refuted statements in the media by head of the JAD Company in Mustique, implying that this country’s political climate is not conducive to foreign direct investments.
“You can’t say is because of the political situation, cause you ain’t paying your taxes, …. So that kind of self-serving rubbish that is written by JAD, don’t malign St Vincent and the Grenadines in that way and don’t take it out on the workers,” Dr. Gonsalves said.
The Prime Minister called on construction workers in Mustique who were laid off by the JAD company, to become unionized so that in future they have greater bargaining power in acquiring their severance benefits.
“What I would suggest always, is that the workers be unionized and that they use the union instruments to make sure that the collective bargaining agreements have particular provisions in relation to these matters,” said Dr. Gonsalves.
The liquidation of the JAD company has left 90 workers unemployed, however the Prime Minister said there is still a high demand for construction workers on Mustique and of the 90 workers, approximately 35, work in pool maintenance and they are likely to be rehired on the island. Dr. Gonsalves also indicated that he is in contact with the Mustique Company Ltd and the matter of severance is being taken seriously.