The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines intend to utilise money that has been paid down on the debt owed to Venezuela to invest in the local fishing industry.
Last week, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves met with Nicholas Maduro, President of Venezuela to discuss a number of financial initiatives which include over 100 million in debt relief.
Speaking at a news conference last Thursday, Minister Gonsalves explained, the money was being held in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) as sanctions imposed by the United States prevented the funds from being transferred to ALBA bank of Venezuela.
Minister Gonsalves said SVG has been given the go-ahead by president Maduro to “borrow back”the nine million us dollars, a portion of which will be used to purchase large commercial fishing vessels.
Minister Gonsalves said government plans to purchase up to six boats with the money and reinvest future money to expand the existing fleet of fishing vessels.