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Economist: Get creative to grow the economy

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Dominican economist McCarthy Marie is urging regional governments to get creative in the search for new economic opportunities.

His comments follow a call from Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor Sir Dwight Venner for regional leaders to find a transformational industry to take the region forward.

“Although he spoke about the need for a transformational sector he didn’t identify one … that is something we all have to go out and look for,” Marie said.

“We have to be creative in the OECS to get our economies moving and we have to find that new niche.”

The economist said the region needs to think carefully about what services it can offer the world “at a better price than they can get elsewhere.

“Creativity is basically what is going to get us out of our jam whether it will be in cultural industries and or software development,” said Marie.

The economist said the region cannot sit back and wait for tourism to bounce back because competition in the industry is getting tougher.

“We should be getting into the business of producing software but what we need to do is get the education system up to speed so that the students are able to do that,” he added.

Meanwhile, Marie said while the OECS continues in a slow growth pattern – people should be cautious with their spending.

“We are in a period of slow growth and that is going to continue for a while. People should be more cautious with the spending and make sure they have sufficient cushion for six months to a year while they search around for a new job or start a business on their own,” said Marie.