Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Letter: USVI needs long term master plan to achieve economic growth and sustainability
Published on August 21, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

The St Croix Strategic Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) will submit proposed legislation to create a local Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic (CEDS) Master Plan, in order for the US Virgin Islands (USVI) to achieve long term (10-20 year plan) economic growth and sustainability.

SEDI's disposition on this issue is a consequence of learning during the local government federally required incremental CEDS five- year planning and community outreach. The CEDS community outreach was a first ever town hall meeting of its kind held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, at UVI St Croix.

The USVI is eligible to receive on an annual basis an average of $3-4 million of the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding for research and development, and the USVI has neglected to access or utilize this critical funding source over a minimum ten-year period to help grow the USVI economy, this is according to the main presenter and expert of the USVI CEDS consultants. The USVI CEDS consultant stated she has been conducting federal CEDS projects throughout the US for 25 years, and the USVI as a US jurisdiction has neglected to develop a local CEDS long term master plan.

It is evident the constant turnover and revolving door of elected officials in the legislative branch (every two years) of government, and the lack of succession planning by the various executive branches, is a significant factor (not the only factor), but a major contributor to St Croix’s economic decline over a 25 year period. At the risk of sounding clichés, the saying goes if you "fail to plan, you plan to fail".

USVI law requires the government to maintain a balance budget annually, and should also make it mandatory that the local government produce and maintain local CEDS long term master plan with community input. This new law will help the USVI to mitigate the HOVENSA type economic disaster that caught us all by surprise and unable to remedy, because of the lack of diversity in our economy. In the absence of such a law or long term master plan, USVI economic growth and sustainability outlook and forecast will continue to be subject and at risk of the cyclical global economic landscape and marketplace.

We do not have the luxury and can no longer afford to be negligent, complacent or not be proactive in aggressively pursuing US EDA funds ($3-4 million) available to the USVI by the federal government that we continue to not access as a US territory. The USVI without a progressive and robust economic development agenda and policy cannot compete globally!

Back in the year 2006, the USVI government voted and supported unanimously to appropriate and fund ($500,000) a feasibility study for the creation of a USVI Securities Exchange and Capital Market. It was implied this initiative was not pursued due the lack of local government funding to underwrite this study. I would venture to say the US EDA funding program for the USVI could have been accessible to conduct this feasibility study. The USVI is in need of its own capital market to attract new investors and new monies to the USVI economy.

St Croix district senators who were present and represented at the CEDS Town Hall meeting were Senator Diane Capehart, Senator Nellie O’Reilly and Senator Sammuel Sanes.

Anthony Weeks
 
Reads: 2081





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: