“Building and Economic Powerhouse through Innovation, Creativity and People Participation”
“Building an Economic Powerhouse through Innovation, Creativity and People Participation,” is the theme Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Corporate Governance, the Honourable Gaston has chosen for the country’s 2017 Budget Statement presented to Parliament on Friday.
“I report on the economy that, in 2016, grew at the greatest rate of all of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. I report on the economy that outpaced the vast majority of countries in the world with an outstanding growth rate in 2016 of 4.3%. That economy, is our own – Antigua and Barbuda. And, that remarkable growth figure of 4.3% is not my government’s number; it is the latest findings of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. This is truly an exceptional achievement and one that I know that this Honourable House will want to recognize and applaud. This is the backdrop against which I present this year’s budget under the theme: Building an Economic Powerhouse through Innovation, Creativity and People Participation,” stated Prime Minister Browne.
Prime Minister Browne said that his government’s performance which resulted in a stable economy stands tall to others within the region and the hemisphere.
“The Antigua and Barbuda economy is stronger today because my government confronted our country’s problems and worked diligently to turn them around. We inherited those problems from 10 years of mismanagement, corruption and inefficiency by the previous UPP administration. We have not rectified all the problems with which we were saddled, nor have we overcome all the challenges with which we were burdened. But, it should now be pellucid to all that we have grasped the nettle, and we are delivering the better conditions and prospects that our people have a right to expect,” PM Browne stated.
The country’s leader is expected to spend at least two hours detailing his government’s stabilization of the economy “left in shambles by the Opposition UPP with a deficit of over 600 million dollars.”