Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine is confident that the local economy can be developed into becoming the showpiece of the Caribbean.
Antoine is optimistic that not withstanding the current difficulties that are being faced in Grenada, the country has the potential to be, “The Germany of the OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States).”
Germany currently has the strongest economy in Europe, which is going through an economic crisis like the rest of the major industrialised nations.
Antoine indicated that Grenada has the most diversified economy in the sub-regional grouping, as well as the potential for oil and gas, extremely good agribusiness, and renewable energy sources.
“There are a number of things which I believe we can use to build a new and modern economy,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary made the remarks while offering the day’s inspiration on the Government Information Service television programme, “Spice Morning” last week Wednesday.
He acknowledged that not only Grenada, but also the entire world is “facing some serious economic storms”.
However, in offering some comfort to people who feel depressed over the economic crisis, Antoine told them they are not alone since they are facing it with Jesus Christ whom he said is the Master of the storm.
“I always remind people… you’re in three places at any given time. You’re either in the middle of a storm, you’re coming out of a storm, or you’re going into one. Storms are always nearby so if we understand that, what we’re going through is difficult, but the question is how are we going through it?” he said.
The senior public servant admonished the people to return to their faith and draw upon it, and to also come together as a people under God.
Antoine chided his countrymen for placing their total confidence in politicians.
“I don’t think, other than Kirani (James) while he was here (for the homecoming celebration earlier this month), politicians by themselves can unite us as well intention as they might be,” he told the programme hosts.
The PS Finance noted that today’s politics is sometimes so divisive that it does not promote the kind of consensus around national priority and that Grenadians need to put politics aside and draw upon the key things that would drive the country forward.
Antoine believes that out of the current crisis would come opportunities, but if the people continue to complain they would miss them.
He pointed out that there are things in the country, which they the people have not been looking at seriously and they need to start to focus on them.
He identified those things as renewable energy, agriculture, and the Ministry of Health’s association with the St. George’s University with the proposed building of a new hospital.
The senior official in the Ministry of Finance also spoke of Grenada now having an Olympic Champion in the person of Kirani James from Gouyave, St. John’s.
“Even in this crisis, those are gifts that we have – what are we doing about them?” he asked.
“You can play a role. You can either sit on the side and curse the darkness, or you light a candle. I am saying in this difficult time, you must not loose faith,” he added.
Antoine exhorted Grenadians to start rolling up their sleeves and work harder rather than continue to “look outside for help.”