With a projection of 7.5 percent rate of growth, Prime Minister Gaston Browne says it will be a strong year for the economy.
“It will be driven again, by our robust enlargement of investment in the tourism industry and a substantial increase in the number of tourists,” he told a national broadcast to mark the start of the new year.
In 2020, the government anticipates investment in the tourism industry of at least one billion dollars.
These expected investments, they include:
- $325 million in construction by PLH Ocean Club on Barbuda;
- $125 million renovation and expansion of the existing Rex Halcyon Hotel by Sunwing;
- $270 million beach club at Fort James by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines;
- The completion of the fifth berth at Point Wharf, to receive Oasis class ships for the 20/21 cruise season and,
- The completion of the $250M cargo Port by year end.
“To facilitate all this, the Government plans to improve the road infrastructure, including, resurfacing of several arterial roads, costing $63 million.
The prime minister announced that in 2020, construction of affordable homes and low-income social housing for the poor and the vulnerable will be accelerated.
He said 250 low-income, climate resilient homes will be built at several sites in Antigua and in Barbuda, utilizing a grant in the amount of $120M, from the people’s republic of China.
“In addition, $20M is being invested, utilizing a grant from the European Union and Ambassador Calvin Ayre to reconstruct damaged homes and construct new homes for the residents of Barbuda.”
“Also, the new airport on Barbuda, will be completed in the first half of this year, at a cost of $55M,” he said.
Browne said 40 million dollars will be invested in seven Megawatts of solar and wind power in 2020.
“In Barbuda, we will spend in excess of $30M, to implement solar power and to bury electricity cables.
All of this will result in a reduction of electricity costs and make both Antigua and Barbuda more resilient in the event of future hurricanes,” he said.