Barbados must pay closer attention to Antigua, says Henry
Political strategist Hartley Henry says Barbados needs to closely monitor Thursday’s general election in Antigua and Barbuda, in light of implications for Barbadian interests in the country.
Henry, who is coordinating the campaign for the main opposition Antigua Labour Party, which is seeking to prevent the United Progressive Party from securing a third consecutive term in office, tells Barbados TODAY the poll results could also have a ripple effect on regional carrier LIAT –– which is majority-owned by the
“The economies are quite similar in terms of tourism, financial services and what have you. You’re basically seeing a political scenario unfolding that could provide some insight and have implications in terms of the unfolding Barbados situation, because Antigua, even though it has its own experiences as far as twiddling with the tax system and what have you, the economic DNA of the two countries right now is quite similar,” said Henry, who joined the ALP campaign full-time about a month ago.
“. . . A lot may very well depend on which political party in Antigua can better forge cordial relations with the Barbados administration because clearly Barbados, as the largest shareholder, has some very far-reaching decisions to take with respect to LIAT and one of the issues in this campaign has been what will become of LIAT.”
While Antigua and Barbuda is not home to many Bajans, the political strategist noted that many Barbadians products had become staples in the Eastern Caribbean island.
As a result, he is adamant that the poll would also have implications for trade between the two countries.
“There are quite a few investors and Barbadian businesses that have expanded into Antigua, which is positive for the Barbados economy perspective. Right now I would think that Pine Hill Diary is the juice of choice in Antigua. WIBISCO is increasing its sales here considerably. You’re seeing the Oran windows, Solar Dynamics; and much of the roadworks has been done and is earmarked to be done by Barbadian firms. So Antigua has always been ripe for investments and business opportunities primarily by the Barbadian business sector,” he added.