Gov’t announces $38m in new projects for 2018-2019

MORE than $38 million in new projects have been lined up for the current fiscal year, all of which will help to revive and boost the economy of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This huge investment will greatly impact the performance of the construction industry going forward, Governor John Freeman has stated.
These statements were made on Monday, June 18, during the House of Assembly meeting in Grand Turk.
Reading the Government’s fiscal and strategic policy statement, known as the throne speech, the governor stated that the Government has also contracted more than $12 million in construction projects.
“Government is committed to creating an enabling environment for new investment and is pleased that several varied-scale investment projects have and will be announced shortly and that these projects along with ongoing rebuilding work in the aftermath of hurricane Irma and Maria will further bolster activity in the construction sector,” Freeman said.
He noted that despite a forecast of positive economic growth in 2017, regrettably indications are that output in the tourism sector was significantly weaker during the last quarter of 2017 than forecasted.
Weather-related factors, mainly hurricanes Irma and Maria, resulted in delays and the cancellation of significant travel itineraries during the period September to December 2017.
Also, the loss of significant hotel room capacity in Providenciales during the final quarter of 2017, following the passage of the hurricanes negatively impacted the sector and resulted in the projected growth not being achieved.
However, the governor said that despite suffering the same strength and wrath of the hurricanes as other countries, the TCI was able to bounce back more quickly because of its resilience.
He reported that despite the poor performance in 2017, preliminary information suggests that the domestic economy stabilised during the first quarter of 2018.
Additionally, in 2017 construction activity increased slightly and is projected to show significant growth in 2018 and a steady growth going forward.
He added that the Government will soon begin an aggressive campaign and promotion of its new investment policy statement which centres on not only attracting new investment but seeking to maintain and strengthen old investments which helps in strengthening the economic structure.
The latter is being done through what is referred to as an ‘aftercare programme’.
He noted that the investment policy statement has some new distinctive features focusing on an enabling business environment, an articulated vision and goals, carefully documented project evaluation and approval process, encouragement of domestic investment, a focus on Grand Turk, training subsidies and engagement of local investors through structures that will allow the sale of equity to them, so they too can take advantage of the success of development projects.
Meanwhile, employment opportunities are also expected to increase steadily over the years, mainly due to an increased demand for services provided in, among others, the tourism, construction, fisheries and other sectors, Governor Freeman said.
He added that as part of the Government’s overall sustainable development strategy going forward, targeted sectors within the Turks and Caicos Islands economy will be stimulated.
Source TC Weekly News

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