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PM Expresses Optimism in Regional Response to Economic Downturn

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 - Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, International Financial Services and Economic Affairs Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony has been expressing optimism over the region’s chances in weathering the economic storm gripping many Caribbean nations. Dr. Anthony told Cabinet colleagues and public sector managers who ended a two-day retreat here on Wednesday, May 22, 2002, that despite the economic downturn as a result of shortfalls in major sectors like agriculture and tourism, he was heartened by the resolve of regional states in tackling the problems head-on.

He says the belt tightening measures instituted by the Government of Saint Lucia as part of the 2002/2003 budget, was to ensure that St. Lucia safely navigates through the difficult waters.

According to Dr. Anthony, “I have no doubt in my mind that we will triumph over our difficulties. I also have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that we will see a return to healthy growth as I have indicated by the fourth quarter, but equally I have no doubt in my mind that we will have to work with the rest of the region as the region goes through what is undoubtedly the most serious predicament that it has faced since the early 70’s.”

Dr. Anthony says many Caribbean nationals have still not come to terms with the sharpness and depth of the downturn facing the region. He says in light of this regional governments will need to search for new models and approaches to governance.

The two-day retreat provided an opportunity for national reflection and the examination of critical issues impacting on the performance of government. Participants sought to agree on a common vision for the public service, set priorities and develop strategies to improve performance.


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