Director of trade say ‘we need to export more and import less’
Director of Trade, Dr Eisenhower Douglas has proposed that Dominica’s economy could be developed if we export more and import less. Dr Douglas made the announcement while addressing a discussion on the topic, ‘Building Education and Awareness on the issue of Labour and Gender and their treatment in Trade Agreements’ at Roseau on June 29th, 2010.
The discussion was convened by the National Working Committee on Trade in collaboration with the Caribbean Policy Development Center and the Government of Canada.
“Trade is very important for economic development. It’s very important for economic growth; growth of national income. In 1988 we had the highest growth rate ever recorded in Dominica’s history. That was the year in which bananas income earnings was at its feet. The three previous years from 1986 to 1988, the mean growth rate of income was 7%, and we have not operated near that rate throughout most of the decades in the 1990s,” Dr Douglas said.
Dr Douglas said that issue of trade is a driving factor in the sustainability of the island’s economy, especially in Dominica’s case where focus has shifted from the trade of bananas to tourism. He believes that one of the main reasons for such a discussion is to reverse the current trade pattern, to facilitate better trade and more economic activity.
“In 2008 we were exporting less, we were earning less from commodity export in 2008 than we earned in 1980; 20 years ago. Secondly, in order to earn the equivalent of what we earned in 1988 today, we should have been earning $227 million in visible trade, so part of our mandate here is to really try to reverse that trend,” Douglas concluded.
Representatives from the Women’s Bureau and Gender Affairs as well as officials from the Labour Division were represented at the one-day consultation.