Saint Lucia
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Guyana and Saint Lucia are Fastest-Growing Economies!

Earl Bousquet
Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

Left to the usual suspects, Guyanese at home and abroad will not know that their homeland is the fastest-growing world economy today, the fourth-largest offshore oil producer in the world, or that according to globally-respected financial institutions, it’s also predicted to again be Number One next year.

According to a June 2, 2023 article by Yash Sharma for BSEHExam.Org (Best Social Education Helper for Exams), as people everywhere naturally remain “curious about growth rate, GDP, economic growth, population and various significant factors of different countries around the globe”, an up-to-date study was done to update the fastest-growing list.

According to the authors, “Various nations are performing pretty-well, whereas many others are facing difficulties and challenges… but countries’ rankings, based on economic growth, keeps on changing, depending upon various significant factors.”

The writers note, “The most-commonly-used technique to calculate the growth of various countries is by estimating its GDP value” and identified “various factors affecting the economic growth of any country” as including “Inflation, Population, Unemployment Rate, Current Account Balance and Debt…”

The article adds, “Most growing nations contain less population in comparison to other significant nations. However, regardless of vast population, India has shown remarkable growth…”

It also says, “India, Niger, Philippines, Vietnam, Ireland, Armenia, Uzbekistan and several others are included in the complete list (of fastest-growing economies in the world), even though their rankings based on economic growth can change, depending on various factors listed above…”

However, while using IMF figures to identify the world’s fastest-growing economies, the report makes the huge mistake of counting Macao, which is part of China, as a country.

By its bare statistical measurement, the Top Ten ‘fastest-growing economies in the world’ by IMF measurements, are: Macao SAR [58.9%] and Guyana [37.2%], followed by Libya [17.5], Palau [8.7%], Senegal [8.3%]; Maldives [7.2%]; Fiji [7%]; Democratic Republic of Congo [6.3%]; Côte d’Ivoire [6.2%] and Rwanda [6.2%].

But while the naked statistics must be true, the bare truth is that Macao is not a country. Instead, it’s part of the People’s republic of China (PRC) and a Special Administrative region (SAR) of the PRC, just like other regions, including Hong Kong, that have special administrative relationships more advantageous than others, for specific reasons.

Those engaging in that type of statistical analysis won’t easily make such an ‘error’, so it must be assumed that there were other reasons for including Macao, including to only exclude the PRC.

Just think of it: Whatever happens in Macao is part of what happens in China so it doesn’t add-up to simply exclude China and hail a part of it.

It’s the same with Taiwan, which the major nations of the world acknowledge as ‘the only China’ based on recognition of the One China policy openly treat like a nation while so denying because of its strategic geopolitical and military importance to their global political-military-industrial designs in the South China Sea, South East Asia and the Korean Peninsula.

So, just like the G-7 nations continue to cozy with Taiwan and treat it like a country while denying, international financial analysts feel they too can engage in statistical demagoguery to erase China from the Macao figures and place a part of the PRC at the top of the global ladder, where it could never have climbed on its own.

Developing nations are growing increasingly skeptical about use of IMF, World Bank, United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) yardstick to graduate them out of qualification by promotion to higher growth rates based solely on GDP numbers.

However, the inescapable Bottom Line being spelt-out by the figures above is the fact that everything about Guyana’s ever-rowing economic growth rate has to do with how-well the economy is being managed in the nation’s wider interest, at this very-early stage in what’s evidently already starting to feel, for many more every day, as the best future Guyana will ever have in their lifetime – and they’re surely starting to show it…

Same with Saint Lucia too, where, left to our usual suspects, it won’t be known that after Guyana, Saint Lucia is the fastest-growing non-oil economy in CARICOM or that it has the lowest unemployment rate today since 2010, or that the current administration has been so able to husband the nation’s finances to hugely subsidize fuel and cooking gas, flour, sugar and rice prices, financed from the incomes from oil and gas imports, or that hundreds of millions of US dollars are being used to pay inherited debts without borrowing.

But even though statistics can be bent for demagogy, the real figures, even standing naked, don’t hide the realities that spawned them, in which case both Guyana and Saint Lucia will continue to quietly score high, while preachers and dreamers of doom and apocalypse continue to wish that life wasn’t what it is in both countries simply because they don’t agree with the political directorates.

Nonetheless, it also goes without saying that in both instances, the new administrations, between two and three years old, have so quickly reversed the decline they inherited that many find it hard to believe the respective previous administrations could not have thought of any of the scores of new initiatives taken by the current administrations.

And in both cases, the administrations are led by parties rooted in working class traditions, emerging from the first Labour Parties established in the Caribbean after the 1938 revolutions that led to the establishment of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in Guyana and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) before 1950.

And both parties lead with the maxim of Putting People First, from Bread Freedom and Justice to every decision taken by Cabinet!