This is our Third Statement to the Media following those issued on October 15, 2003 and November 15, 2003. It is in respect of our letter sent to the Prime Minister on November 25, 2003 listing some observations made while carrying out our monthly reviews and making certain recommendations.
The letter comes as a result of a decision taken at our last meeting on November 11, 2003 that in addition to the agreed Letter of Assurance for the period July to September members would submit recommendations within a week to the Chairman who would then collate them and put in the form of a letter of recommendations to send to the Prime Minister.
The observations relate to the dramatic decline in the performance of the banana sector; that private sector and personal/ household incomes are less than before and the implications for economic recovery of what may be a shrinking private sector; and the need to keep the IMG fully abreast of development of the IPRSP scheduled to be ready by the end of the year.
The recommendations are twofold. The first set recommends to the Government the establishment of an investment by invitation policy; the adoption of certain tax strategies in order to promote and attract investment to Dominica as the Nature Island of the Caribbean; a health and wellness allowances policy for the leisure industry; and venture capital incentives.
The other set of recommendations come from the Dominica Diaspora towards economic recovery. They relate to the use of the human resource capacity of overseas skilled and professional persons; for more streamlined arrangements towards home construction for Dominican returnees; for the greater use of Diaspora persons who have talent and skills in tourism promotion; and the establishment of a special task force to assist the Dominica Banana Producers Co. in its attempt to deal with a looming banana crisis.
The IMG took the opportunity to request information on Government's adopted debt strategy; the substitution of price controls on fuels by an automatic price adjustment mechanism; and Government's detailed public sector reform strategy.
Meanwhile the IMG awaits the October report on the country's macroeconomic performance for its assessment.