Douglas is the new Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment

Douglas is the new Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment

Ian Douglas, who was recently named Minister for Trade, Energy and Employment, says he is bringing a decade of ministerial experience to his new portfolio.

A former Minister of Tourism and Legal Affairs, Douglas pointed out that his former ministry and the new one are essentially the same in terms of administration.

“It’s not much different in the sense that at the ministerial level you really are an administrator and so my experience over the last 10 years would serve me well in the Ministry of Trade,” he said.

According to Douglas, his new ministry is a very important one.

“The Ministry of Trade is very important because trade plays a very key role in the economy, in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and in the generating of foreign exchange for Dominica,” he noted. “So in a lot of respects it is very much like the Ministry of Tourism which plays a very pivotal role in the economy, and so does the Ministry of Trade.”

Douglas said he has been learning the ropes over the past few days as there are specific issues in relation to the new portfolio.

“At this point I am just trying to survey the landscape and to see what is on the table, what we have before us, what are the challenges, and how we intend to meet some of the challenges and overcome those challenges so that we continue to succeed, not only specifically in the Ministry of Trade, but overall,” he remarked.

When questioned on his plans for his new ministry, he mentioned that a ministry’s vision does not necessarily change from minister to minister.

“The minister just brings different personalities, different drives and different energy but basically the road map laid out in the growth and social protection strategy for the forward movement in the Ministry of Trade remains the same,” he said.

Douglas stated that community-based tourism and the enhancement of tourism sites are some of his accomplishment in his old portfolio.

“What I feel a sense of pride and joy about is how we have been able to push the community tourism initiative and how a number of communities around Dominica have come to recognize their specific niche and their potential and to get involved in the tourism industry and the way that community tourism has taken off around Dominica,” he stated. “I am very happy that ordinary grass-roots persons see their role in tourism and how they can generate revenue.”

He noted that the enhancement of various sites around the island is another accomplishment that comes to mind.

“We have been able to enhance the various sites like Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool and a number of new sites that have come on stream in my tenure,” Douglas said. “These are some of the accomplishments that have readily come to mind.”

Douglas served as Minister of Tourism from 2007 to 2014.