The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce is discussing the existing negative perceptions of immigrants in Dominica.
At the association’s Eggs and Issues panel discussion this morning, panelists explained how immigrants can have positive impact on Dominica
Statistics show that in 2017, Dominica’s migrant population is at 9.5%, placing Dominica second on the list of migrant populations.
President of DAIC, Kenneth Green considers Dominica a “Migrant Country” and sees migration as an avenue for market expansion.
“The economic impact of migrants is seen in the level of contributions first but also in the difference even when you look between countries and consumption. So if you look at the amount of consumption in larger Caribbean islands where there is a larger grouping of migrants or immigrants who have moved into the local and you look at it within context to a country like Dominica, where you have less migrants… then you can see the value of having migrants within our communities,” Green said.
He noted that Dominica lacks a migrant policy which would address potential food security repercussions.
“We’ve not seen any inward migration policy that caters to our weaknesses, that caters to some of the threats that exist and to look at the opportunities. So if you look to things like our farm labor issue…right now the average rate for unskilled labor has gone up yet the farmers still cannot get people who have not gone through a high school education to accept between $300-$400 a week and in many cases, cash in hand. That is a difficult thing because you need labor to produce the very things that we eat, so it has a food security repercussion for us.”
He concluded that the increase in Dominica’s population will positively impact the private sector where consumption is concerned, noting that restaurant owners and event managers will greatly benefit from a greater pool of consumers.
“Restaurants, supermarkets, even entertainment venues, you don’t look at a fete, say, the World Creole Music Festival and other venues and say, to yourself, let me see how many of these people are Dominican.
No, we are looking at the economic impact from a generic point of view. So the amount of people here and also how many people leave has a serious impact on our economy.”