WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Trapped in Criticism

Trapped in CriticismConstructive criticism is meaningful, and should be taken as one’s concern for improvement. Government officials, both from the ruling party and the opposition, are usually opposed to criticism, even when it is justified.

Be that as it may, any citizen has the right to criticize any public servant, once the reason for doing so is based on improvement. There are those in society, however, who are consumed by the need to criticize just for the sake of it. There are those who criticize the government, and others who criticize the opposition just for political mileage.

For instance, there are those who, just because of their political affiliation, can see no good on the other side. They point fingers and dance to the beat of the leaders of the political parties, UPP and ALP, without any objectivity.

Recently, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabiah visited Antigua & Barbuda. All seemed well until one Kuwaiti MP condemned the visit. MP Musallam Al-Barra claimed that the trip brought no value to Kuwait.

Following that statement and others, it seemed like the "vultures" came for Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer. Interestingly, Al-Barra initially thought that his prime minister’s visit was “a clear and tangible action.” He later questioned the visit after he read a specialist’s report.

Al-Barra then questioned the benefits of Kuwait signing such agreements with "a two-island Caribbean nation with a population of 82,000 and a total area of 442 sq km with no economic activity, no technology sector and an annual growth rate of no more than 0.5 percent, 'which has no real political weight regionally or globally'."


The above categorization of Antigua & Barbuda is Al-Barra’s opinion of Antigua & Barbuda. Apart from the population size, this characterization is flawed.

Now I do understand his point, and obviously he is looking at the benefits and lack thereof to Kuwait. But those who jumped on Al-Barra’s bandwagon and switched the criticisms to Antigua and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer may just be politicking.

Al-Barra suggests that there is no economic activity in Antigua & Barbuda, and some of the bloggers agreed. Now, if that’s the case, how is it that leader of the opposition Lester Bird, in his Sunday broadcast to the nation, said that the government taxed the people EC$2 million and borrowed another EC$2 billion since taking office in 2004.

I am not justifying the taxes or the loans, but rather, if Bird is correct, then it makes Al-Barra’s statement out of whack. The Kuwaiti MP suggested that there is no technological sector and no regional or international weight. Now this statement is very interesting. No technological sector. What does that mean?

In terms of tourism, I think that Antigua & Barbuda is as equipped technologically to suit the sector as anywhere else. True, we are not manufacturing and exporting technological products, but isn’t that what can be possible with the relationship between Antigua & Barbuda and Kuwait?

Apart from that, what else do we manufacture and export?

I agree that we need to diversify our economy, but we have, since the decision by the late VC Bird to place our eggs into one tourism basket. Al-Barra also suggested that we have no regional or international weight. Okay, no regional weight means what?

Antigua & Barbuda is home to thousands of people from Jamaica, Guyana, and Santa Domingo. That suggests a lot of regional weight, if anyone asked me.

Internationally, Antigua & Barbuda, as a member of the United Nations, has the power to vote just like every other member. That was putting Al-Barra’s criticism into perspective.

Some Antiguans & Barbudans who criticised Prime Minister Spencer for reaching out to Kuwait seem to have ulterior motives. This is the statement by one blogger, and many others, while not saying the same thing have taken the same tone:

It seems that the PM of Kuwait likes the red carpet treatment wherever he goes. I had questioned this marriage between Antigua and Kuwiat. “Finally, he has been exposed by Al-Barra. I just don't see what our country has to gain from these treaties with the richly oil nation.

“Mr. Spencer, the people of Antigua want to see sound economic activity, and (their) they are in desperate need of jobs!

“Well, I guess, it (most) must not be easy to be in your position, with all that criticism from Lester Opposition leader, and now an official from Kuwait.

“It (it’s) good to see someone outside telling the truth.

“Mr. Spencer, this is not my words:"no economic activity, no technology sector and an annual growth rate of no more than 0.5 percent."

“What are you going to do or say about that?”


I thought that Prime Minister Spencer was doing just what he was being criticized of not doing. Al-Barra does not see any benefit for Kuwait, but he did not claim there was no benefit to Antigua & Barbuda. The point is, we all - the prime minister and every citizen who can - should shoulder this burden to move the country beyond this economic mess.

This is why it’s extremely important that the government act responsibly and be accountable as elected officials. If we all shoulder the weight, we should all benefit from any profits. I do believe that Al-Barra’s statement was taken out of context for political expediency, and that’s concerning when we look at going forward.

This is time for us to come together, hold our officials accountable, and help make Antigua & Barbuda better. Criticising is okay, if it’s motivated by improvement and not just for the sake of pointing fingers.

Hits: 1987

54 Comments In This Article   

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words guess who said this? MP Spencer this year on Observer radio and lester bird during the 2003 budget statement

#54 tenman » 2010-07-30 05:03

As my Government pointed out ... we may have paid late, but we did pay. None went without; all received a piece of the pie.

We could have taken the decision to lay-off hundreds of public servants, and so reduce the wage bill. Had we done so, we would have been praised by the international financial institutions.

But that praise would have come at a high price to all our people, not only those that we dismissed. The price would have been an economic downturn as less goods and services would have been bought. In turn, this would have led to lay-offs in the private sector and a continuous downward spiral in economic activity.
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tenman

#53 Cool Ruler » 2010-07-30 04:13

As change? Not to the same ALP who is the genesis of the problem inherited by the UPP, when everyone in the world was doing well Lester’s government could not even pay public servants and pay their debt. Now that things are bad globally they want us to believe they have the answers. Well am sure that the USA and the EU would love to know their secret so they can also come out of this
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Cool Ruler

Cool Ruler

#52 OOPS » 2010-07-30 00:16

The UPP has mismanaged our Economy,they have wiped out the Middle class, and have made the poor into beggars,IMF is not the answer, they can& will only make it worse,if the UPP Govt has no vision as to how to attempt to revive our Economy they need to just give it up, we are at the brink of a National Crisis and we must make a change ASAP.
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OOPS

Cool Ruler

#51 OOPS » 2010-07-30 00:09

Cool Ruler, you are always with this crap about the IMF not been the same, do you really believe that the IMF has any caring intentions for us, in they eyes we are small insignificant people, we need they help,so they will dictate, it is a form of Slavery all over again, only this time it's Economical Slavery, We survived for decades without they input, after numerous disasters, with less taxes, now that we have tripled our tax revenues, why are we begging at they doors? Gonsalves can say whatever he wants, i am not meaning to downplay these islands,but most of these OECS countries have never really been able to really get off the ground, its no wonder that They are now Glad to have the Likes of Baldwin Spencer to tangle with,they all have no vision.
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OOPS

Good Article

#50 Audrey » 2010-07-29 23:50

"This is time for us to come together, hold our officials accountable, and help make Antigua & Barbuda better. Criticising is okay, if it’s motivated by improvement and not just for the sake of pointing fingers"

Thank you, Magic.. This was very well written. I am glad to see someone is speaking up for Antigua & Barbuda.
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Audrey

Exogenous Shock Facility not for Antigua

#49 tenman » 2010-07-29 11:57

IMF Contention Continues
Monday, 31 August 2009 14:31 Hazra C Medica

According to Bird, Dr Gonsalves' comments about the Exogenous Shock Facility, as quoted in the local press, are misleading.

He explained that while Dr Gonsalves has drawn around US$5.7 M for his country under the facility, this is not what the UPP has in mind for Antigua and Barbuda.

“US$6 million under the Exogenous Shock Facility will cure not one ill in the disastrous economic circumstances in which the UPP has pushed our country," according to Bird. "So, with all due respect to my brother Ralph, he knows as well as I do that the Facility he describes is not what the IMF wants in Antigua and Barbuda."
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tenman

Jamaica and the IMF

#48 tenman » 2010-07-29 10:16

FOURTEEN YEARS after the nation ended its borrowing relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Government has admitted it has no choice but to return to the multilateral lending agency (see Jamaica Gleaner July 22, No option - Jamaica returning to IMF - Shaw - No immediate effect on public sector)
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tenman

#47 Cool Ruler » 2010-07-29 02:09

Even Ralph Gonsalves agree this is a good move
Aug 29, 2009 Caribarena.com
Vince nt and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves added his voice to the debate at Friday's launch of public discussions on the OECS Economic Union.

He said he has always “attacked” the IMF. According to Dr Gonsalves, the IMF is an institution with a “one size fits all” policy. However, he said some changes have occurred at the margins which open up opportunities for small countries experiencing difficulties to seek help. He spoke of the IMF's Exogenous Shocks Facility which allows countries to get 45 percent of their Special Drawing Rights with no conditions.

“I can get it at 0.5 per cent interest…for ten years, with five years grace. I would be a complete crazy man if I didn't take that money,” the Vincentian PM said. He explained that the Antigua and Barbuda government is approaching the IMF with a homegrown programme they have fashioned to take account of some of the new circumstances
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Cool Ruler

#46 Cool Ruler » 2010-07-29 02:06

So if you are correct why did Jamaica and Guyana went back to the same IMF, for more, do they love I remind you that the IMF of today is not the IMF of the eighties. As Ralph Gonsalves said at Multipurpose, any country would be stupid not to access these funds which was set aside to help small countries. Listen to what the IMF had to say

Economy to grow in 2011
With the plan in place, the IMF predicts growth in Antigua and Barbuda will resume in 2011 after a contraction of 7 percent in 2009, and will pick up to about 4 percent by 2015
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Cool Ruler

Cool ruler

#45 OOPS » 2010-07-29 01:24

Did foreigners just start coming to Antigua? You seem to have selective memory spanning back to just 6 yrs, may i remind you that foreigners have been flocking here long before the Birth of the UPP, so to answer your question as to why, it was because Antigua had much to offer,much that was created by the ALP. Ask yourself how many Antiguans with the option to leave has done so over the last 5yrs, the Foreigners may still try to come,because they homes have been Decimated by the Cruel IMF,which your Govt has now introduced in our fair land, If they can do such damage to those Large countries,some with resources,imagine what will be in store for us, God forbid if the UPP remains in office,they to will begin to scatter.
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OOPS

#44 Cool Ruler » 2010-07-28 14:00

I have been reading all day without comment but I see some persons in red is taking swipes anyway PLM is in fine form today, to the birdites who believe that should their party is lucky enough to be returned to power that all of Antiguas economic problems would vanish in thin air,your living in lala land. Answer this laborites if things are so bad why are so many foreigners still flocking there and is doing well
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Cool Ruler

OOPS(CON)

#43 Shelly G » 2010-07-28 11:31

Cool ruler& PLM should realize that people are suffering, and telling them about Global Crisis will not appease they hunger, a hungry man is an angry man, and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, that anger will be directed towards the sitting Govt, all we want is for the Appellate court to uphold Blenman's Decision,and i will prove to them just what they vodoo fiqures meant to Antigua.
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Shelly G

OOPS

#42 Shelly G » 2010-07-28 11:25

I am in total agreement with you, i think what Cool ruler and others fail to understand is that all those figures that they are constantly quoting, means absolutely nothing to someone who has no money in they pockets, no prospect of a Job in sight, and cant provide for they children and they self. How can they in all honesty be boasting of such tremendous achievements by the UPP Govt for five straight years, and in the space of two yrs, the recession wiped it all out, it took the AlP years in office,before they started having Fiscal problems, and one has to remember that Taxation was not this high.
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Shelly G

Tenman

#41 OOPS » 2010-07-28 11:01

I think you are too nice, you do not seem to realize that you are dealing here with some real Bias& Evil persons PLM a perfect eg, have you ever seen the comments made by that blogger about anyone who is not born Antiguan? sometimes i think he is someone who is a little off his rockers, i wish i had your patience, but i am telling you when it comes to Cool ruler, Plm& Eric, you are trying to awake a dead horse, as far as they are concerned ALP did absolutely nothing for Antigua,UPP did it all,i cannot see how i can sit and debate with persons who have that mind set, as i say before you must be just too nice. keep it up.
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OOPS

An inconvenient year

#40 PLM » 2010-07-28 10:51

Tenman,
You are absolutely correct, and if the economy is your main issue, the UPP will have a steep hill to climb.
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PLM

@PLM

#39 tenman » 2010-07-28 09:27

PLM unless what you would call the foreign judge ruling is overturned by persons you would also call foreign, the mandate of the UPP will be voted on again this year. That then means persons will be looking at the the two years you would like for us to ignore for now.
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tenman

2008

#38 tenman » 2010-07-28 08:23

2008 was not a good year, the real gdp for that year is 1.8% which is close to the 1.5% the alp had in 2001 (mostly because of Sept 11). The 2009 budget, page 4 (http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v3/pdf/treasury/budget_speech_2009.pdf) jokingly says "With the UPP Government, Antigua and Barbuda has been securely positioned in the luxury compartment of our express train to economic growth and stability and peace and prosperity for all. It is with this immovable fact in mind that I present this year’s Budget under the theme “Right Track – Right Direction.”
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tenman

Is the UPP up to the task?: Only time will tell

#37 PLM » 2010-07-28 08:13

I’m looking at the first complete term of the UPP, and that is a perfectly logical demarcation. I’m not selecting 1 year and going crazy. 2009 and 2010 will be judged at the end of the second term in the context of how the UPP responded to global crisis.

I don’t make excuses. The UPP will have to adjust to the changing global environment, diversify the tourism product specifically and the economy in general, or watch as we return to the mediocre growth of the Lester “dato tan” Bird regime.

20042005200 620072008
5.40%5.00 .90%6.50%1.80%
For an average of 6.32%
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PLM

@NC

#36 tenman » 2010-07-28 08:08

NC you just made a really thought provoking post. A suggestion is to declare a holy war of them (I suspect you would more want me to say us). Better yet lets instead of debating shout/ post foul insults at each other. This is the best discussion I have ever had with PLM most times he is busy with his anti foreigner rants. Note how the discussion has so far caused him to move from saying the UPP has beat the ALP, based on GDP by a mile to now say at least 1% (I base that on the comment We ‘till bang Lester "1%" Bird). However if we was referring to the 1.5% GDP in 2001 then persons can then call MP Spencer "Baldwin "-7% "Spencer.
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tenman

@PLM

#35 tenman » 2010-07-28 07:49

PLM believe it or not I am enjoying the interaction, its time like this that keep the brain from getting dull. The figures (all figures not just the good times) that you argued we should use do not show the UPP as having an edge over the ALP. No one looking at figures will exclude a year simply because it does not look good. Anyone looking at figures would also want to give consideration to the projected figure for this year. Don't you think knowing that GDP is expected to decline by 2% is good information for business men to have especially since we have already passed the half way point? I tend to sometimes look at the US stock market and will tell you that not only are past earnings important but more import are projected earnings. Do you really believe that the hotel industry will any time soon see the profits it made in the good old days when there was a housing bubble? Face it, we are going through a period of correction, just like the US is.
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tenman

#34 NC » 2010-07-28 07:43

PLM, u really have patience with these Bird people, who always want to rewrite history
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NC

Confused

#33 A Member of the Red Brigade » 2010-07-28 07:40

PLM, yes, our economy did well during the period 2004 - 2008. But after that, what? Do you remember what the present minister of finance said about the economy when he took office last year? Yes, the Antiguan economy has done well in the past, but never has it been as badly as it isdoing now and this is not the ALP who said that, it is the IMF who this government so believes in. So stop blaming the ALP for everything and ask your people to do the right thing to get the country back on course. Ask the squatters to leave the place.
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A Member of the Red Brigade

@PLM - Not our fault

#32 tenman » 2010-07-28 07:34

PLM if you ignore 2010 and 2009 the Real GDP numbers (for the prior 5 years) would be 6.32%. However I can't see why you would leave 2009 especially out. If we leave 2009 out then following your logic what should we do with 2008 because it was 1.8% (not 6% or above). What also should we do with the outlier year 2006 because the over 12% was based on a one time event that would have happened even if the UPP was not in office and will be a long time in happening ever again.

You basically argue that the recession had nothing to do with anything we did. I find it strange that you want to accept the benefits of Americans over spending but refuse to accept the cost. Many Americans because of the real estate bubble, re-mortgaged their homes in order to vacation here. When the bubble burst this (finance) option was no longer available.
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tenman

How much wuk ar’u ah ge’me?

#31 PLM » 2010-07-28 07:10

Tenman,
Didn’t I just say I don’t know if the 6% is real or nominal? I’ll get the real numbers and bring dem ge’you man.

Anon,
With record high unemployment and low consumer sentiment in the US, Europe, and Canada, tourists are staying home or closer to home. What does that have to do with the UPP? As for context, I didn’t select one exceptional year. I said look at the entire first term, 5 years! If you want to exclude Lester’s 1% years, feel free, just bring any 5 and come! And if you want to include 2009, bring Lester’s last 6 and we’ll ‘till bang ar’u.
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PLM

@PLM

#30 tenman » 2010-07-28 06:57

PLM we cannot look at nominal GDP if we are looking at growth and trying to compare it across periods. If we did then it would be like arguing that the a government is responsible for the price of oil and other commodities going up. If you can recall from the PLM days the inflation rate was high during those times and the UPP experienced something similar. Why would you want to look at figures (Nominal GDP) which include inflation?
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tenman

....

#29 Anon » 2010-07-28 06:51

PLM,

Its funny how you compare Antiguas 2004/08 figures with all the BWI islands figures, and because the results are were favorable you claim the UPP policies were responsible for this.
Antiguas figures for 2009 were much worse than nearly all other BWI Islands, but for this you just blame the recession and claim "this is no reflection on UPP policies".
You cant have it both ways.
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Anon

Real or Nominal: We ‘till bang Lester "1%" Bird

#28 PLM » 2010-07-28 06:33

Tenman

I’m quoting an article printed on Caribarena ("IMF paints gloomy picture of local economy"), and it did not specify real or nominal. If you think the 6% is nominal, bring Lester’s nominal numbers nuh! As for context, in 2009 almost every economy on the planet contracted, so that is no reflection on UPP policies. If Antigua was the only country experiencing this deep recession, I would agree with you. This recession was caused by external factors not by UPP spending. At the end of their second term, we’ll be able to see in proper context how strongly or sluggishly the economy rebounds based on UPP policies.
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PLM

@anon

#27 tenman » 2010-07-28 06:26

Anon i saw where he said "According to the IMF the average GDP growth for the past 5 years was 6%!". I have grown use to the UPP batters changing their mouth after making load declarations. I call it the chaku syndrome.
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tenman

...

#26 Anon » 2010-07-28 06:19

Tenman,

Did you notice that he originally mentioned the "past 5 years" but then changed this to "the first term of the UPP"?
I think he wants to conveniently ignore 2009/10 and just use figures from 2004-08. Which is how he comes to his 6%
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Anon

@PLM - context

#25 tenman » 2010-07-28 06:14

PLM since we are looking at numbers in context, then we need to exclude special / one time events. One example you gave is the current recession which to my mind makes no sense. However a good example of a special event is world cup cricket, another one is the effect of the sept 11 bombing. I see this current recession as a correction for spending moneys we do not have, you seem to wrongly see it as a hurricane or worse.
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tenman

@PLM

#24 tenman » 2010-07-28 05:49

PLM what I am saying to you is 6% is probably nominal GDP (GDP not adjusted for inflation), can you point me to a url with the figure? I went out of my way to include references so that you do not accuse me of making up figures. Even if you excluded the projection for this year -2% which is a figure coming from the Ministry of Finance, the average 4.1% is nowhere close to 6%,
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tenman

#23 Antiguan » 2010-07-28 05:47

Magic is just a hyprocritical fool,he should have stayed in Hibernation, he is always first to speak about persons defending politicians right or wrong, yet just note how he always seem to find a twist when it comes to the UPP Govt,neither can he post his comments about they incompetence without making reference to the ALP,trying to shift blame in a cynical way, MAGIC NON BADY WANT FU HEAR U, U DONE LAS U DAY,NA COME YA FU TRY GAIN NO NIGHT, ANY BADY CAN SEE U A WAN HYPOCRITE.
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Antiguan

GDP 1997 - 2003

#22 tenman » 2010-07-28 05:37

https://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pn/1999/pn99106.htm google "Antigua November 23, 1999 IMF Article IV" shows that under the ALP Real GDP growth in 1997 5.6% 1998 was 3.9% (November 23, 1999 IMF Article IV page 1) , 1999 was 4.9%, 2000 was 3.3%, 2001 was 1.5% (Sept 11th), 2002 was 2.2%, 2003 was 5% (November 2004, Article IV IMF page 25) giving an average per year of 3.77% (26.4/7). The figures indicate a difference (comparing 2004-2010 :3.77% vs 1997-2003:3.23%) of about half a percent in favor of the ALP time in office, which some may argue is not major. Perhaps in the future we can honestly look at the cost particular our debt for this growth
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tenman

Proven facts not “rants”

#21 PLM » 2010-07-28 05:21

Tenman,

The 6% figure over the first term of the UPP is an IMF figure, not mine! I’m only quoting the IMF, and I’m 100% correct! You want to water down the numbers by including the global melting down in 2009 and the first 2 quarters of 2010. At the end of the UPP’s second term, we can view those 2 years in context. My statement of fact still remains. During the first term of the UPP, no other country in the BWI outperformed Antigua! And if me wrong, ‘tart call de name dem!!!
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PLM

@PLM

#20 tenman » 2010-07-28 05:03

PLM why don't you just admit you are wrong. The 5% figure you quoted is probably nominal GDP (GDP not adjusted for inflation). Is this a discussion or just your wish to rant because of your hate for the ALP and anyone who thinks differently to you.
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tenman

ALP maths: 5=7, duh?

#19 PLM » 2010-07-28 04:42

Tenman,

Subtract 2 from 7 and you’ll always get 5.
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PLM

@ BLING

#18 Morris » 2010-07-28 04:34

Do you think it is just Internet access that makes you technologically developed? If that was the case then the entire world is technologically developed. We are lagging behind because of antiquated equipment and our methods of operations, improper/substandard infrastructure to accommodate the volume of visitors, and the lack of timely and effective communication between agencies mainly because they are ill-equipped.
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Morris

GDP using figures from IMF - World Economic Outlook April 2010

#17 tenman » 2010-07-28 04:24

The url http://www.gfmag.com/gdp-data-country-reports/329-antigua-and-barbuda-gdp-country-report.html or google "Antigua and Barbuda GDP Data & Country Report | Global Finance" has all the figures
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
5.4% 5.0% 12.9% 6.5% 1.8% -7% -2%

which equates to an average over 7 years of 3.23%
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tenman

WELL DONE

#16 JahMa » 2010-07-28 04:23

Well done Ian, contrary to the beliefs of a few of the posters, mainly those whom suggested you were in hibernation which made you unaware of the economic outlook and forecast of Antigua & Barbuda (A&B), that you went overboard with your opinion, and you missed some important issues, one find your article to be very tactful. Not only was it tactful, it garnered constructive re**al, clarity and answers to some unanswered questions surrounding the Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabiah visited A&B, and its value to the Kuwaiti PM country and A&B, and it allowed your critical posters to voice their lingering concerns and what they deem more knoweledgeable facts, to your however in their view, hibernating, going overboard, clueless opinion while stimulating some flow of constructive criticism...
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JahMa

GDP beginning 2004 using IMF figures

#15 tenman » 2010-07-28 04:13

According to the IMF during their article IV 2006 consultation. Growth between 2004 - 2005 was 5%, 2006 was 12%, 2007 was 6%, 2008 was 2.79% (CIA Factbook 2007 GDP was 1.613 billion and 2008 was 1.658 billion usd) and 2009 was -7% and 2010 is expected to be -2% (according to Harold Lovell in his Antigua and Barbuda: Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic..) These figures equate to 21.79%. When I divide them by 7 to get an average it equates to 3.11%
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tenman

UPP: Government in the Sunshine

#14 PLM » 2010-07-28 03:58

Anon,

Only Sir Vere was able to out perform the UPP during its first term economically. And yes, I’ll take the UPP’s first term over any 5 year combination under Lester “niche tings” Bird. Lastly, if things were so dire under the UPP’s first term according to you, what exactly are all of the Jamaicans, Guyanese, Dominicans, and Vincy’s doing in Antigua, and why are they forging Antiguan passports and Guyanese certificates to stay in Antigua? Have they all been living out of Vere III’s car???
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PLM

....

#13 Anon » 2010-07-28 03:14

PLM, it sounds as though you are suggesting Antigua has been doing extremely well financially over the last 5 years, do you walk around with your eyes and ears closed? We are doing so well that we have to beg the IMF for money because we are completely broke.
I guess you would like the next 5 years to be like the last 5?
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Anon

Facts are facts

#12 PLM » 2010-07-28 02:30

According to the IMF the average GDP growth for the past 5 years was 6%! If you have a more authoritative source feel free to share. In 12 years in government, Lester “bxxxxxxxxl” Bird never came anywhere near 5% in any 1 year never mind 5. Again, what other country in the BWI has averaged 6% GDP growth for the past 5 years? I defy the red brigade to name 4 or 3 or 2 or 1!
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PLM

real GDP

#11 tenman » 2010-07-28 02:10

The average real GDP for the past 6 years including this year's projected -2% is between 3.5 - 3.75%. Its funny but if you looked at it for the last 6 years of the ALP its about the same.
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tenman

bling

#10 tenman » 2010-07-28 01:53

Depends on the region he meant. I suspect he meant the Caribbean region. NOWHERE IN ANY PAST POST BY ME WILL YOU SEE ANYTHING ABOUT ANTIGUA LOSING ITS WEIGHT IN THE REGION.Hasn't one of the complaints against CARICOM been that our size put us at a disadvantage with countries like Trinidad (MDC vs LDC)? Have you listened to persons like Ambassador Murdoc who have stated because of our size we need to embrace CARICOM and the OECS more? If you read my post you will see I focused more on our global impact and suggested that we need to embrace CARICOM in order to have more of a global impact.
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@ PLM

#9 Higher Heights » 2010-07-28 01:45

It seems that you too have been in hibernation the last few weeks. Let me make it clear, I am not here defending Lester Bird or the ALP for I'm neither a supporter nor a sympathizer of the ALP, so that your moniker of the "red brigade" does not apply to me. Your claim of Antigua having a 6% growth rate over the last five years is simply false. Figures from the government and the IMF showed that Antigua's economy contracted by 7.5% last year, and that the year before it contracted by about 2%. It is projected by the same sources that it will contract by 2% this year. Four years prior, the average growth rate was around 5%. So there is no possibility of an average of 6% growth over the last five years. Get the facts please!
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Higher Heights

weight

#8 bling » 2010-07-28 01:28

so I guess Antigua & barbuda lost its weight in the region in 2004, right?
tenman, brownegal and higher heights please tell us what weight in the region means.
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bling

#7 browngal » 2010-07-28 01:13

"Al-Barra also suggested that we have no regional or international weight. Okay, no regional weight means what? Antigua & Barbuda is home to thousands of people from Jamaica, Guyana, and Santa Domingo. That suggests a lot of regional weight, if anyone asked me." Magic, it is funny what you consider to be weight in the region
;D;D Do you remember the good old days when "little" Antigua was considered to be the leader in the OECS and CARICOM. The treaty signed by the 3 Bs Bird, Barrow and Burnham at **enson Bay in Antigua Do you remember when other leaders sought counsel from V.C. & Lester Bird before making decisions? Now we appear to be mere followers with Ralph Gonsalves playing the leadership role. Gone are the days when Antigua carried weight. No longer can we say "We bigger than them".
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browngal

Of bird brains and desert rats

#6 PLM » 2010-07-28 01:04

This Arab would fit in well with the ALP; he’s long on ignorance and short on facts. Antigua has enjoyed a higher GDP growth than any other country in the BWI in the past 5 years. What other country in the BWI has enjoyed 6% GDP growth? Antigua has been the political center of the Leeward Islands for 300 years and a founding member of Caricom. As for the red brigade, they are incapable of constructive criticism. The have little use for facts, and are therefore reduced to laughably incoherent and outrageous claims.
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oh please

#5 tenman » 2010-07-28 00:22

Magic though I would admit some posters went overboard, I find your opinion piece to do the same. I for one pointed out the wrongness of his gdp figure of .5 %. The man is however right about our Global significance and we need to stop thinking that we can make significant moves alone. If we can stand alone why did the PM request and get CARICOM support for the WTO issue? Magic the problem with the visit is I am yet to see the government spell out how we benefited from this visit. Do you know? One poster made the argument, that I strongly agree with, that the appointments we accept to chair UN bodies bring us no benefit. If the poster is wrong, can someone please provide information spelling out the benefits vs the cost. The only benefit comes to the politician who can pretend we doing great things on the world stage while we tax payers pay the cost.
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Morris

#4 BLING » 2010-07-28 00:06

most hotels, probably all in Antigua have access to the internet.
just go to Heritage Quay when Cruis ships are in and you will see many tourists on line via free wifi
even Caribarena.COM is available to the Antiguan population including the government to reach the rest of the world throught its technologies.
A visitor to Antigua more than likely can be mobile, easier and cheaper than even the United States.
the point is the writer suggests that Antigua & Barbuda is a sequipped technologically to deal with tourism.
show how that is not true.
what is needed to deal with tourism.
there is work to be done but give credit where its due
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BLING

Flawed?? part 2

#3 Higher Heights » 2010-07-28 00:05

Secondly, "Al-Barra also suggested that we have no regional or international weight. Okay, no regional weight means what? Antigua & Barbuda is home to thousands of people from Jamaica, Guyana, and Santa Domingo. That suggests a lot of regional weight, if anyone asked me." Magic, your logical development here is simply less than magical! No regional or international weight means just that, Antigua and Barbuda carries no clout in regional affairs much less in international circles. Let's not try to sugar coat it, we have neither the economy nor population to have any clout. If you doubt that ask officials why they continue to "negotiate" with the USA on the WTO matter. In trying to appear unbiased, you have proven yourself to be myopic and sentimental.
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Flawed??

#2 Higher Heights » 2010-07-28 00:05

This article by Magic misses some important issues. Firstly, Magic mentions, "Following that statement and others, it seemed like the "vultures" came for Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.... But those who jumped on Al-Barra’s bandwagon and switched the criticisms to Antigua and Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer may just be politicking." The statement he references is the one made by a Kuwaiti MP regarding that country's visit to Antigua. Obviously, Magic was in some cave hibernating. Long before that statement was made Antiguans and Barbudans have been questioning the wisdom of such a visit, and to boot, on many radio stations! This has nothing to do with "politicking", this has to do with the nation's international relations and implications for us as a people.
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Higher Heights

Are you kidding me?

#1 Morris » 2010-07-27 23:10

In terms of tourism, I think that Antigua & Barbuda is as equipped technologically to suit the sector as anywhere else. Really? Well if you are comparing us to the other countries in the OECS then maybe, but beyond that we are light years behind buddy.
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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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