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Antigua's Sustainable Development Strategic Plan - Exec Sum

  1. 1. Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Antigua and Barbuda 10/1/2014 Presented by Vezta Co.
  2. 2. Antigua and Barbuda: Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Page 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary 3 1.0 Introduction 6 1.1 Background and Purpose of the Strategic Plan 6 1.2 The Planning Process 7 2.0 Sustainability Framework 9 3.0 Strategic Directions 10 3.1 Potential Target Niches 10 3.2 Strategic Directions 10 4.0 Action Plan 15 4.1 Overview 15 4.2 Action Plan 15 Figures and Tables Figure 1. Fund Proposal Diagram 12 Appendix 17
  3. 3. Antigua and Barbuda: Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Page 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Antigua and Barbuda (the Country) has experienced a fundamental economic transformation in the latter part of the 20th century, fueled by a decline in the Country’s traditional agricultural base and the blockage of certain lucrative industries such as the gaming industry. This decline was related to global economic shifts that continue today as agricultural activities move overseas and are replaced by a knowledge and service-based economy. Throughout the West Indies, communities are struggling to adapt to the economic realities of the 21st century; emerging evidence indicates that the successful ones will be those that most effectively utilize their existing assets. Antigua and Barbuda's economy continues to be service-based, with tourism and government services representing the key sources of employment and income. Tourism accounts directly and indirectly for more than half of GDP and is also the principal earner of foreign exchange in Antigua and Barbuda. However, a series of violent hurricanes since 1995 resulted in serious damage to tourist infrastructure and periods of sharp reductions in visitor numbers. In 1999 the budding offshore financial sector was seriously hurt by financial sanctions imposed by the United States and United Kingdom as a result of the loosening of its money-laundering controls. The government has made efforts to comply with international demands in order to get the sanctions lifted. The dual island nation's agricultural production is mainly directed to the domestic market; the sector is constrained by the limited water supply and labor shortages that reflect the pull of higher wages in tourism and construction. Nevertheless, much hard work remains to be done to bring about a new level of prosperity and expanded economic opportunities for citizens. The Sustainable Development Strategic Plan defines a program focusing Country resources on actions that can most effectively promote a more prosperous economy. It has three basic objectives: 1. It establishes target market niches (business/industry sectors and social/occupational groups) that are attracted by the Country’s assets and which can expand economic opportunity and quality of life for citizens if developed as part of the overall economy. 2. It establishes principles and criteria to ensure that these niches contribute to achieving a sustainable economy that conserves precious resources for future generations. 3. It defines strategic actions that the Country and its nation partners can take to most effectively promote development of the target niches. Target Market Niches A range of business/industry sectors and social/occupational groups can be identified as potential targets for initiatives and programs to improve the Country’s economy. Three priority (target) niches on which it can focus its resources to promote economic development: • Tourism & Trade • Government Equity Finance • Education & Technology
  4. 4. Antigua and Barbuda: Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Page 4 Two of these niches relate to already established programs (promoting tourism and education) while Government Equity Finance via a sovereign fund represents new directions for the Country. Providing equity financing to projects is a vital component of the economy and encouraging technological entrepreneurs. Selection of the above niches does not imply that other business sectors or occupational groups cannot remain or evolve into important components of the Country’s economy, only that they will not be the primary targets of the resources to promote economic development. Two fundamental premises of the plan are: 1. The economies of the County and the larger CARICOM region are inextricably linked. 2. Cooperation at different levels of government and among public and private sector agencies, institutions, and organizations will be critical to the success of the plan. Based upon the identified target niches, three Strategic Directions were established as a framework for actions to be taken to implement the Strategic Plan: Strategic Direction #1: Tourism & Trade Continue to build Antigua and Barbuda as a center for visitation to and within the region based upon cultural/heritage tourism, eco-tourism, yachting, and special attractions and events. Strategic Direction #2: Sovereign Equity Fund Build on current initiatives to establish Antigua and Barbuda as a strong internal funder of infrastructure development and entrepreneurship via creation of a sovereign equity fund, to be funded by both global institutional and individual investors. Strategic Direction #3: Education & Technology Establish the Country as a center of technology-based entrepreneurial activity by aggressive fostering of education hubs such as the previously planned National Energy and Skills Centre (NESC), with focus on technological advancement of the Country’s human capital. Sustainable Economy The primary goal of the Strategic Plan is to promote a prosperous economy that can be sustained over the long term. This goal depends upon preserving, restoring, and leveraging the Country’s special historic, cultural, natural, and human resources. The following working definition of sustainable economic development guides efforts to achieve the goal: Promote economic activity that imports financial capital to Antigua and Barbuda from outside of the region while sustaining natural, social, and human capital as measured by: • Environmental (natural and historic) resource preservation • Viability of social and cultural institutions • Economic access and opportunity for the Country’s residents All three Strategic Directions support sustainable economic development as measured by these criteria.
  5. 5. Antigua and Barbuda: Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Page 5 Strategic Actions The Sustainable Development Strategic Plan identifies a series of actions to be taken by to implement each Strategic Direction. These actions fall into four categories: • Business Assistance: Technical and financial assistance and incentives for infrastructure projects and entrepreneurs and small businesses in the target niches. • External Marketing: Marketing Antigua and Barbuda via investment promotion and media to attract investors, individuals and businesses from outside the region that fit the target niches. • Internal Education/Outreach: Education and training for the Country’s citizens with a technological focus related to the target niches, as well as outreach to achieve public support for the Strategic Plan. • Regional Partnerships: Building partnerships and leveraging the resources of agencies and organizations at various levels for the implementation of the Strategic Plan. The comprehensive range of actions identified for the above categories show that successful implementation of the Strategic Plan will require: 1. Prioritization and phasing of actions over time. 2. Significant commitment of resources working with partners throughout the region.
  6. 6. Antigua and Barbuda: Sustainable Development Strategic Plan Page 6 Vezta Co. E Country Club Drive Miami, FL 33180 Phone: (1) 786-708-7533 Email: contact@vezta.co Web: www.vezta.co

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