HIGH WYCOMBE, England — Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Saturday addressed Vincentians, friends of SVG and other interested parties on developments in the country, at The Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe.
Following the Commonwealth high-level conference on governance for small island states in London, the Gonsalves-led delegation visited the SV2G School of Pan Music in High Wycombe before the Town Hall meeting organised by the SVG High Commission.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of National Reconciliation, Maxwell Charles; Cenio Lewis, high commissioner for SVG to the UK; PM Gonsalves, wife, Eloise Gonsalves; SVG Cabinet Secretary, Susan Dougan; Doris Charles, minister counsellor, Dr Christopher Stange, honorary consul for SVG to Northern Ireland; Levi Odoe – honorary consul for SVG to Nigeria; Chaudry Shafique and Perveen Shafique, mayor/mayoress of High Wycombe; Sebert Graham and Beaulah Brown, deputy mayor/mayoress of High Wycombe; officials from Bucks New University, dignitaries, nationals and executive members of the various SVG National Associations in the United Kingdom.
Themain speakers included Prime Minister Gonsalves, Minister Charles, High Commissioner Lewis, and Mayor of High Wycombe Chaudry Shafique.
Dr. Gonsalves updated the packed auditorium about all sectors of the economy in SVG, providing a background and context from the overall impact from the world economic crisis and what the government is doing proactively to create a better future for all Vincentians.
He detailed the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, tackling climate change, shifting towards a green economy utilising geothermal and other renewable sources, CLICO/BAICO, the Building and Loan Association, creative and expanding foreign policies, debt/GDP ratio, transport including new LIAT fleet and expanding routes, reparations for slavery and genocide against our indigenous people, Kingstown/Arnos Vale master plan, agricultural diversification, National Heroes, the Education and Wellness Revolutions, low- to no-income housing, tourism and direct foreign investment in Buccament Bay, Canouan and Bequia.
Argyle International Airport is expected to be completed and fully operational early 2014 with airlines to be announced in the coming months, he said.
Musical and cultural renditions were provided by Kemuel Spence and Frank Robertson followed by a question and answer session with the Prime Minister.
Staff of the SVG High Commission presented gifts of thanks to the various dignitaries and VIPs that attended the event.
The evening finished with refreshments and time to speak to the Prime Minister before his