Dominica: A Caribbean Island in Search of Opportunities

HatManInBoat

In his article “Dominica: A Caribbean Island in Search of Opportunities” Thomson Fontaine details the problems Dominica has been facing over the past few years and its attempts to tackle them. He gives a summary of Dominica’s colonial history and national development as a backdrop to the present conditions: high unemployment rate, increased levels of emigration of its young people, and challenges such as the frequent onslaught of hurricanes, the rising food and fuel prices, and the declining global economy.

Fontaine also explains the various setbacks Dominica has had with its allies, including Venezuela’s changes in terms for providing oil to the island at lower prices, and the United Kingdom, whose removal of trade preferences have caused a decline in banana exports. He goes on to highlight the country’s efforts to step up the export of fresh agriculture produce to neighboring Caribbean countries, renewed focus on tourism development, and experimentation with limited manufacturing. He also stresses Dominica’s efforts to take advantage of its vast fishing resources and to develop its own fishing industry, in spite of incursions of fishermen from Martinique and Guadeloupe into its territorial boundaries. As one of the most important changes he sees is the development of Dominica as an eco-tourism destination, “Blessed with an abundance of forests, hiking trails, lakes, rivers, mountains and exceptional dive sites, the country is quickly positioning itself to capitalize on the increasing interest among tourists in such destinations.”

In spite of the valiant strides Dominica has taken, he says, “Given the country’s most recent history, it will need all the help it can get as it seeks to rise to the level of economic performance of its neighbors and as it strives to take its rightful place among the world’s developing nations.”

For full article, see http://www.thedominican.net/2009/09/dominica-caribbean-island-in-search-of.html

Photo of Martinican fisherman from http://caribbean-direct.com/Martinique-Direct/Local%20Culture/MQElocalcultureM.html

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