The economic and social gains achieved by Grenada in the last few years ought to be both celebrated and consolidated, the country’s prime minister has said.
“Our resolve is to continue to build a country that can withstand external shocks, such as those that come with climate change and other man-made disasters. Our resolve is to pass on such a country to our children and grandchildren,’’ Dr Keith Mitchell said in his February 7 Independence Day address at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium.
Dr Mitchell, since his New National Party’s general election victory in February 2013, also has been serving as Grenada’s finance minister.
“When this administration assumed office in 2013, we met an economy that was experiencing negative growth of minus two percent year on year, for most of the preceding period,’’ he said. “Since then, with the use of proper fiscal management, the cooperation from our social partners and the subsequent stimulation of investor confidence, this country has been able to experience positive growth, averaging approximately 5 percent over the last five years.’’
As well, said the Grenadian leader, “our national debt has been substantially slashed from 108 percent of our Gross Domestic Product to 69 percent, enabling our ability to service that debt and still meet our commitments to our citizens. Our unemployment levels have been substantially reduced from over 40 percent to 24 percent.’’
Prime Minister Mitchell appealed to Grenadians to take the nation forward “in unity of purpose, patriotism, sacrifice, hard work, and with a vision for its sustainability’’.
Grenada, he said, is “not the largest nation in the world. Far from it. We are not the strongest nation in the world. Far from it. But we are among the proudest’’.