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Prime Minister makes strong case for more local investment

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is encouraging more nationals to pool their financial resources so that they can invest in Antigua and Barbuda’s economic development.

The prime minister issued the call as he congratulated the shareholders of the Antigua Investment Group (AIG) on the completion of the new 535-foot-long superyacht pier at the Falmouth Harbour Marina.

The new pier makes Antigua and Barbuda the only country in the OECS that can accommodate yachts a maximum of 400 feet long.

The launch of Falmouth Harbour Marina’s superyacht pier came just weeks ahead of the expected launch of the fifth berth at St. John’s Harbour which will be able to accommodate the world’s largest Oasis class ships.

PM Browne said the developments by the Antigua Investment Group/Falmouth Harbour Marina’s success gives a positive signal that the private sector is moving lockstep with the government’s port development efforts.

“Previously, we could not accommodate the Oasis Class of cruise ships. Now, with the fifth berth, we are able to do so.

“Similarly, we could not accommodate the largest cargo vessels, however, with the upgrade of the cargo port, we can now accommodate any cargo boat in the world today because of the rebuilding of the port.

“In terms of the superyachts, which they are making now and which are more than 400 feet, the AIG directors built a facility that can now accommodate these vessels,” he revealed.

Browne also commended AIG for its foresight and creativity in establishing the marina 28 years ago and constantly upgrading and expanding its facilities to be able to serve the growing needs of the industry as the years progressed.

PM Browne said the AIG serves as a sterling example for Antiguans and Barbudans of the need for and benefits of investing in their country.

“It is a model that other nationals should follow, to pool their resources which is one of the examples of the benefits of partnerships. If we didn’t have these original nine persons pooling their resources – some even took out mortgages – we would not have had Falmouth Harbour Marina today. They are a good example of how we can sustain partnerships. It is also an example of how Antiguans and Barbudans should invest in order to generate wealth,” he emphasised.

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