Good luck – we’ll certainly need it

Saturday May 11, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Deputy PM Mark Brown. Deputy PM Mark Brown.

Dear Editor,

You report deputy prime minister Mark Brown took a delegation to China last month, to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation (“‘Cook Islands attend China forum”, May 4).

 

His release states:  “This year’s forum encourages closer integration among member economies through promotion of transparency ... through openness, inclusiveness and innovation. I have been particularly heartened by the emphasis placed on innovation and sustainable development given our own development approach in the Cook Islands in recent years.”

What an utter load of rubbish typical of a desperate government attempting to tell the rest of the world, in particular the Chinese, that all is well and our tiny nation is doing very well. Nothing could be further from the truth, because it is all smokescreens.

So, we now have Brown going cap in hand to China, looking to beg and borrow ever more funds for more hare-brained projects, projects that will simply be the financial ruin of our nation. Our government fails us at home on good governance – responsibility, transparency and accountability – yet has the audacity to give it lip service so they can borrow “project funds” from China.com.

To foolishly promote our “upcoming elevation from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ Nation status” does us a disservice. Our economy is 100 per cent dependent on the tourism Industry, just like a one-legged stool – with absolutely no other revenue streams (agriculture, fishing, aquaculture or pearls) to add strength and economic stability to our country’s economy.

We would very likely be the only country in the whole world stupid enough to boast of nine per cent-plus economic growth figures based on the tourism industry. Because when (not if) the next global economic collapse happens in 12 to 18 months’ time, our country’s debts (including new debt from the Belt and Road Forum) will tip over our one-legged tourism stool. And the Cook Islands will very likely be bankrupt ...

So, thank you ever so much, Henry, Mark, et al ... for nothing.

Ka kite e kia manuia,

Papa Williams

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