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Monday, July 22, 2024


While the V.I. government struggles to find ways to deal with vexing economic questions, some of the answers may be just a new book away.
The University of the Virgin Islands’ Small Business Development Center has published Perspectives on Fiscal Deficits by UVI Business Division Chairman Dr. Solomon S. Kabuka Jr. The book analyzes the territory’s woeful economic situation and offers suggestions for recovery.
The release of Perspectives on Fiscal Deficits comes a year after UVI sponsored a public forum on the government’s fiscal problems. UVI commissioned Kabuka to produce his work in order to keep the public focused on finding solutions to the problem.
Using information gathered at the forum, Kabuka offers solutions based on three concepts: reducing government spending, increasing government revenues and negotiating existing government obligations. He writes that the government must develop aggressive strategies to attract investors.
He also says the development of a transshipment industry for the Eastern Caribbean could encourage economic growth. Kabuka contends that port facilities, warehousing and repackaging of goods for shipment would translate into thousands of jobs.
"Puerto Rico does more than a half-billion dollars in transshipment to the Eastern Caribbean," Kabuka said. "In our own neighborhood they do over $500 million of business. We should build the necessary infrastructure here in the Virgin Islands."
Kabuka said the growth of the territory’s private sector depends on the development of new industries.
"The only industry we have focused on is tourism," he said. "We have not really gone out and said, how about financial services? The British Virgin Islands is being driven by offshore financial services. They can talk about a budget surplus — we cannot."
To obtain a free copy of Perspectives on Fiscal Deficits, call the SBDC at 776-3206.

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