Above: signing the MoU (Photo: GIS)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Montserrat Premier Reuben Meade has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development outlining a series of governmental reforms the territory must undertake to receive increased aid from the UK.
That aid would come in the form of increased capital investment and technical assistance.
“It is expected that the successful implementation of the reform programme will put Montserrat on a clear path to faster economic growth and reduced dependence on UK budgetary support,” a release from Government House said.
In October 2011, Montserrat’s government committed to creating a Strategic Growth and Development Plan, linked to receiving future investment from the DFID.
Some of the reforms include streamlining the tax administration system, an eGovernment strategy and a revamped immigration and land acquisition policy, among others.
“Our goal is by 2020 to have our private sector taking over more than 50 percent of our GDP,” Meade said. “Montserrat cannot develop without local and foreign direct investment.”
The MOU was developed by Montserrat, and Meade said the DFID had agreed to support the territory in implementing it.
“We have established the timeline and said, ‘you hold us to this,'” he said. “Government’s reform was not handed to us by the UK.”
Montserrat’s progress in implementing the reforms will be reviewed in September of this year and in February 2013.
The DFID said in a release that the outcome of the February 2013 review would influence future UK investment decisions on projects including Little Bay Town and Carr’s Bay Port.