Global Changes Negatively Impacting Caribbean
We present and encourage progressive Caribbean views of Caribbean and world affairs.
Global changes and world politics and their effects on trade and economic policies are slowly but surely having negative fallout within the Caribbean region. With the exceptions of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago,that have impressive natural resources, it is now very clear, that if regional leaders do not create, new models of economic development, the region may very well become the backwaters of the world and eventually be nothing more than playgrounds for the rich and leisure seekers.
The region was very fortunate to have certain valves to, release pressure from under developed economies in the 50’s and 60’s due to emigration to England and the United States of America. When the British economy started to falter, America and Canada picked up the slack and we lived to fight another day or another four decades. However, economic recessions throughout the 70’s and 80 have made North America just as unattractive as Britain had become. Tougher emigration laws did not help either and we were gradually forced to accept, that it was senseless to brave the cold of North America and the attendant racism and other negatives, if opportunities were not that inviting.
The relatively healthy tourist industry was the cash cow but we have often likened tourism to fire: A good servant but a bad master. Maintaining viable tourist industries has become a problem for most of our island states because the industry itself is like an attractive but demanding lover, it calls for high maintenance. It is also just as fickle.
Throughout the late 70’s and 80’s the engine for economic growth was the service industry. Many leaders talked about a Singapore model of development. It was merely talk, because in terms of our corporate culture and the failure to progressively understand how to market such services we stumbled. The wind was taken out of our sales, as international business began to operate at the speed of light and we just were not that positioned to compete with other countries.
While we banked heavily on the tourist industry, we allowed agriculture and manufacturing, in most islands, to decline and where they still breathed, it was just not enough to contribute to decreasing the cost of living. In other words, industries, agriculture and manufacturing, lagged in modernization and capacity. We are far behind other regions of the world in terms of modern agro- based industries and the management of energy sources.
In a nutshell we are now becoming hapless victims of a rapidly changing world economic order. We ignore this stark reality at our own risks.