The Dutch relationship continues to be an important factor in the economy, with the Dutch insisting that Suriname undertake economic reforms and produce specific plans acceptable to the Dutch for projects on which aid funds could be spent. In 2000, however, the Dutch revised the structure of their aid package and signaled to the Surinamese authorities their decision to disburse aid by sectoral priorities as opposed to individual projects. Although the present government is not in favor of this approach, it has identified sectors and is now working on sectoral analyses to present to the Dutch.Also,
It is attempting to broaden its economic base, establish better contacts with other nations and international financial institutions, and reduce its dependence on Dutch assistance.
It is with this background that Suriname applied to our country for Grant Aid in support of the "Construction of Small-Scale Fisheries Center in Paramaribo" project that, through the construction of a functional landing facility (landing wharf, ice making, ice storage, gear repairs, etc) at the west bank of Paramaribo's Suriname river, aims to improve operational efficiency, production volume, and quality assurance.But, despite all of that apparently some reports wondered whether this is a "bribe" for a vote at the IWC. Suriname joined the IWC in July 2004, many years after it's first receipt of ODA from Japan, but nonetheless, the story has been reported in several western news outlets. Here's the Caribbean News Net's article:
It is expected that the execution of this plan will contribute to a strengthened economic platform through the reduction in the amount of time required for small scale fishing boat preparations and landings, the achievement of increased trust in product quality for both domestic and export markets, market expansion, the promotion of small scale fisheries, and the acquisition of foreign exchange.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Japan and Suriname on Wednesday have signed an Exchange of Notes to construct a small-scale fisheries centre in Paramaribo. Japan granted US$7 million for the construction.Good luck to the fishermen of Suriname with this new project.
Responding to questions from reporters, minister Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk denied that the donation was a favour from Japan in exchange for Suriname's vote to resume commercial whaling at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in May. Japan is pro-whaling, maintaining that whaling is a one of its national traditions.
Suriname and the other CARICOM nations have constantly sided with Japan and other pro-whaling nations and voted to end the moratorium on commercial whaling at last year's IWC meeting.
“This project fits within the framework of the cooperation between the two countries. It has nothing to do with the whaling issue,” argued minister Kraag-Keteldijk. Japan, along with a number of countries, including Norway, Nicaragua and Iceland, advocates the lift of a 20-year-old ban, while other nations, including Brazil, Spain, Chile and Peru are against.
Japan’s consul Kiyoshi Takeuchi stated that “the main objective of this project is to improve the working environment for artisanal fishermen and assure and upgrade the quality of their products while ultimately aiming at maintenance and encouragement of sustainable fisheries”. Takeuchi further noted that the fishing industry in Suriname “holds great export potential”.
Jagdies Bhansing, director of Suriname's ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, stated that in 1992 Japan had already financed a similar fishing centre in Suriname. According to director of Fisheries, Jaswant Sathoe, Suriname in 2006 exported US$ 40 million of seafood products to the United States, Europe and Japans. It is expected, he said, that with the new centre the fishery exports will increase.
... The reason these small nations support Japan at the IWC, even though doing so makes them enemies of Australia and the European heavyweights, is not to receive Japan's aid. It's because they believe that superpower-led nature protectionism threatens the survival of their nations.A lack of respect for the world's island and developing nations from the self-righteous anti-whaling NGOs of the western superpowers and their willingly gullible supporters is certain to keep them blind to the true reasons for the positions taken by those nations. To my mind, the offensive and disrespectful anti-whaling NGO "votes for sale" allegations, while successful in stirring up irrational emotions amongst western donors, are likely to continue to serve more benefit to the pro-sustainable use movement over the medium to long term, rather than their own.
The movement behind the whaling ban will eventually spread to dolphins, turtles, and tuna. "Dolphins and tuna have traditionally been important sources of nutrition", points out a foreign diplomat of one island nation. This official says that the expansion of the whaling ban to other species will "lead to impediments to securing nutrition for our people". If the existence of the main industry of fishing is threatened, "our entire economy may no long be able to continue".
The anti-whalers of Australia say that instead of whales and dolphins, people simply need eat beef. Yet how can an island nation having had it's fishing industry, a source of foreign currency, stolen away from it expect to pay for beef? Saying that they will be provided with sufficient aid amounts to telling them that they are to become subordinate states. The posture of support for Japan at the IWC by such island nations is ladled with the bitter anguish of dignified independent states...
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