Dominica Predicts 2.4% Economic Growth in 2015

Dominica says it is anticipating a 2.4 per cent economic growth this year after the island recorded a 1.1 per cent increase last year.

Miriam Blanchard, the island’s alternate Governor to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), said, regarding the fiscal accounts, that the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration is committed to pursuing a primary surplus of at least 2.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually over the medium term.

Blanchard was at the time addressing the 45th annual CDB Board of Governors Conference.

She told the meeting that the Dominica Government remains committed to achieving high levels of economic growth.

“We are satisfied that this is the means by which poverty and unemployment can best be addressed. Our growth objective is based on sound fiscal policies and administrative reform that will improve the environment for doing business and in so doing create an environment which will encourage domestic and foreign private investment. ”

She said the Government’s target is to achieve growth rates of between five and seven per cent over the medium term.

“The growth effort in the short to medium term will focus on four sectors, although not excluding investments in other supporting sectors. The four sectors are agriculture, tourism, energy and construction. The efforts at improving tourism infrastructure will contribute both to construction and tourism,” she added.

Blanchard told the meeting that the Government is now engaged in negotiations for the construction of at least four new hotels, in addition to investments aimed at improving the tourism product, including site development and air access improvement.

“We believe that these investments will improve the competitiveness of our destination,” she added.

In her report, the alternate Governor said that the development of geothermal energy is at the centre of the island’s efforts to have more of its electricity generated from renewable energy sources and reduce the cost of electricity overall.

“We have made substantial progress and expect that in the near future we will have completed the negotiations for the construction of a small domestic geothermal plant. The small plant will provide energy domestically, and is a precursor to the construction of the export plant for shipment to Guadeloupe and Martinique.”

She said growth in the construction sector is being facilitated through Government’s plans to enhance its capacity for the implementation of its capital programme, while at the same time establishing low-interest special mortgage facilities and special lines of credit at the Caribbean Development Bank.