By Dana Niland
The Turks and Caicos Islands is projected to have some of the region’s highest GDP growth in the coming years, according to data from its Strategic Policy and Planning Department.
Future projections suggest that economic growth is expected at a rate of 4.4 percent in 2016, 4.3 percent in 2017, and 5.3 percent in 2018.
“This projected growth will be driven mainly by strong performance in the tourism sector and projected private sector investments worth more than $400 million dollars” stated Acting Director of SPPD, Shirlen Forbes.
The overall growth forecast is underpinned by continued growth in stay over tourism and real estate, with spillover effects in the wholesale and retail sectors.
The projections are dependent on the government of the Turks and Caicos Islands continuing its focus on short-run macroeconomic management, which will entail maintaining fiscal surpluses, exercising fiscal prudence, and maintaining low levels of internal and external debt and low rates of inflation.
The Hotel and Restaurants sector is expected to grow at an average of five percent over the next three years and will contribute significantly to the estimated growth in the GDP.
The SDDP’s findings suggest this sector will be propelled by foreign direct investment in large-scale tourism related projects, as well as the revitalization of stalled projects and other new private and public sector project.
Forbes noted that these numbers are forecasted growth, and that “one must always be mindful that there are a number of downside risk such as global health concerns, geopolitical tensions, adverse weather conditions and unavailability of external financing for private sectors projects which can hamper the TCI achieving projected growth targets.”