BVI News

COMMENTARY: Corona, regionalisation and self-sufficient markets

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

Globalization is over as we know it. The new world will be driven by insular governance, regional integration, and bilateral agreements. Pundits expect the coronavirus pandemic to be one of the longest in history.

The Pandemic is expected to last for 24 months at the very least. This is going to be a long season. For the Caribbean, the good news is that Caribbean islands appear to have the infection rate under control.

Unlike countries that took the advice to lock down, and socially distance, lightly. Travel and tourism will change dramatically. The airline industry is expected to shrink drastically.

Already, major airlines have collapsed, and will only survive with government bail outs. Globally, the hotel and resort market is shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Most countries for at least 24 months hence will quarantine for all travellers to their shores, native and alien, for two weeks. This will be in addition to testing travellers for coronavirus.

That new travel protocol will take a further bite out of the travel and tourism market. As major corporations collapse in the USA and Western Europe, especially, supply chains will be impacted.

No guarantee

There is no guarantee food supplies that normally flow from northern industrialized states to the south, through shipping lanes, can be maintained. There are fears of food shortages, as food suppliers are impacted by the pandemic.

Consequently, the best policy these islands can adopt is the development of their internal markets. Internal market sufficiency can drive a country’s GDP. The USA is a resource-rich country that is the best example of a self-sufficient economy.

The USA can feed itself, and the country can produce within its borders, what it requires to satisfy its internal markets. Caribbean countries cannot do that today. However, that has to be the focus for the future. Food and drink sufficiency are critical if these islands are to survive economically into the coming decade.

Keep cash within local markets

Sufficiency will keep cash within local markets, increase the quantity of currency in the pockets of consumers, and the velocity of currency within a country’s borders, which is always an indicator of healthy commerce, trade, and industry.

Learning will have to focus on hands-on skills. The workforce of the future will be in construction, farming, maritime, agriculture, engineering, technical education, and the vocational skills required to drive an efficient internal market economy.

Inter Caribbean travel, and sea transportation for goods and products, will become vital to local economies. Regionalization will mean multilateral and bilateral cooperation between island territories and nations.

Trade between the islands in food, drink, locally made products, and various travel services, will become the norm.

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  1. Huh says:

    What no racism or student union politics this week!
    Hopefully, advertisers on this site refused to allow their names to appear alongside the usual b*llsh*t, and the publishers told him to cut out the usual racism and leftie politics.

    Like 7
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  2. E. Leonard says:

    Dickson, good read. Indeed, Covid-19 has plunged the US, Caribbean and the rest of the globe into an economic recession, teetering on the verge of a depression probably but hopefully not of the magnitude of the Great Depression that started in 1929. It is shaping up to be a long summer for the Caribbean; the Caribbean is a premier travel destination and Covid-19 will definitely adverse world wide travel. Reducing the food import bill and enhancing food security is definitely an urgent Caribbean, including the VI, issue.

    Though in my view, the VI becoming self sufficient is food production will be challenging due to a myriad of factors, including population growth, limited arable land, repurposing arable land for other uses (housing), indifference to agriculture, water challenges……etc. Nonetheless, the VI should ramp up the effort to increase food production. Ramping up local food production a)reduces food import bill, b)creates employment opportunities and a multiplier effect in the economy, c)provides healthier food ( non-processed food with high calories, fats, sugars, sodium) and enhances food security. However, the BVI is not alone in its food sufficiency challenges.

    Daphne Ewing-Chow, a Barbadian writer, in a Feb 20th article in Forbes magazine writes, “Five Overlooked Facts About Caribbean Food Security, ” listed some important points:
    1. In 2018, CARICOM food import bill was $4.75B and expects it to increase to $8-10B in 2020;
    2. Only 3 CARICOM countries produced 50% or more than the food they consume, ie, Guyana, Haiti and Belize;
    3. Some countries import 80% of the food they consume;
    4. Agricultural contribution to GDP declining;
    5. Declining production in some sectors, ie, fruit and vegetables;
    6. Imported processed foods are low in nutrients but high in calories, fats, sugars and sodium;
    7. 3 of 4 deaths in the region is due to non-communicable diseases; and
    8. Countries are not living up to food production potential and are burdened by a rising food import bill.

    Like 13
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    • Facts says:

      The BVI created a lazy society living off the financial sector. There is no desire or thought of a local doing any manual labor. This work is achieved by expats that you treat as slaves You say some countries import 80% of their food. Well, I would say the BVI imports 99% of its food. This shows how dependent and lazy the local population is. As time goes by and the financial sector disappears, the tourism sector diminishes by thoughtless rules and bad governance a harsh reality will settle into the BVI. It’s called POVERTY!!!

      Like 10
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  3. huh says:

    And here you are still hating. How much are they paying you?

    Let me give a go at it.

    Hopefully, advertisers and publishers on this site see the value in unearthing the truth behind rampant anti-minority globalism and international politics

    Like 8
    Dislike 7
  4. Stop. Please. says:

    Stop making up your own reality Igwe.

    24months pandemic. You just made that up.

    You are such a doom scenario theorist. It’s depressing. Write something positive for a change.

    Just complaining and coming up with doom scenarios is not social commentary.

    Like 9
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  5. Speak says:

    He speaks and utters total nonsense. He knows nothing but gibberish. It’s like a weekly desire that he wants to stay relevant to his 3 fans. They are impressed by his big words for a black man. Such command of the English language. LMFAO. In fact he speaks of nothing. The civilized first world because of good governance has the ability to fund not only industries but the people themselves during this pandemic. What has the black ruled nations done for their people? Sent them out a few rotten groceries. You pay taxes and supposedly some type of social security but did the government of the BVI open up these coffers to help the people? No of course not because the money is gone. In the pockets of the politicians. The world shall survive and the global economy will once again thrive. However there are lessons to be learned that will protect us in the future. In the BVI the lessons are never learned and the same mistakes compound themselves. True actually throughout the entire black world. If the black man set an example to the world perhaps there would be less racist issues. However that is not the case and once again the world must care and feed the black man.

    Like 9
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    • Quiet Rebel says:

      @Speak, you are either hold up in a cold flat in the UK or in the back woods of some little hick southern US town chewing on tobacco, drinking moonshine, typing a string of nonsensical racist declarative sentences. You would have been elated if Africans and African diaspora were illiterate so you could have continued to control and exploit them.

      Moreover, in the VI, freedom of speech and freedom of the press still exist. Like you and I, Igwe is entitled to free speech and his opinion. Do I always agree with him? No. No writer is going to satisfy a 100% of readers all the time. He or she may satisfy 50% a 100% of the time. However, if one disagrees with someone’s position on an issue, do so with valid counter points. Add something productive to the debate or STFU.

      Furthermore, if you are residing in the VI and are so miserable living among a population that majority of whom are of African descent, why don’t you leave? And don’t tell me that you are only in the VI to rescue the VI residents from themselves. The border is currently lockdown and will be opening soon so you can catch first thing sailing or flying. Bon voyage!

      Like 2
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  6. Diaspora says:

    Hoy es sabado. And as the sun rises in the east so too d the Igwe haters coming in droves on Saturday. Well, several hours elapsed since the publishing of his article and there was no hateful comments. But boi was I wrong. It is a settled issue now that whatever writes good, bad or indifference will draw the hateful poison pen of some readers. It appears if Igwe says 1+1 is two, they will disagree on that point. Anyway, this commentary was real talk.

    Like 13
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    • Group X says:

      Payed actors on stage.

      Points to the real racist. The new regular is propaganda, spies, sell outs and change agents.

  7. Beach bum 7 says:

    Please stop preaching negative views to the people.Its sickening.With god we will get threw this .

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  8. Rubber Duck says:

    Fortunately there are many people more intelligent than this gibbering buffoon. And because of them treatments and vaccines will be around in the next couple of months.

    No one will be eating grass any time soon.

  9. Really? says:

    Opening para “Pundits expect the coronavirus pandemic to be one of the longest in history.” I don’t care about pundits. I care about experts. Stopped reading immediately.

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