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SIDS4 contributions to the national economy ‘tremendous’

by pointe team
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The just concluded Fourth International Conference of Small Island Developing
States (SIDS4) has had a tremendous boost to the national economy with all
sectors of the society benefitting.
That’s the assessment of Prime Minister Gaston Browne speaking about how the
May 27-30 conference has impacted on the people and the economy of Antigua
and Barbuda.
The prime minister told the Browne and Browne show that the decision to host the
conference was a positive move with the benefits trickling down to every level of
the society.
“That decision would have redounded to the benefit of many Antiguans and
Barbudans who operated many of these AirBnB’s and other small properties. The
guests staying in these properties would have purchased food, others went to the
supermarkets to purchase groceries, the taxi-drivers would have done
extraordinarily well from transporting the guests and even the vendors shared in
the expenditure by the delegates and others attending the conference,” PM Browne,
who also holds the Ministry of Finance portfolio, stated.
According to the prime minister, there is an estimate that the overall spend into the
local economy was in the region of $40 million. Of this amount, at least 17 percent
goes to the government by way of the ABST.

PM Browne noted that the decision by the government not to engage a cruise ship
to accommodate the delegates proved to be the right one as the money that was
anticipated to have been spent on the cruise ship, ended up being spent locally in
accommodation at local AirBnB and other properties.
He noted that the price for the cruise ship was estimated at between US$6 million
and $7 million and he instructed Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Walton
Aubrey Webson, to jettison the idea as he felt strongly that this was too much
money to be leaving the country. That money, he contended, would be better spent
among the small properties sector to directly benefit these nationals engaged in
these accommodations. This was eventually what happened, the prime minister

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