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Editor’s Message


Steve J. Rajpatty, Editor-in-Chief

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way”.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
English novelist (1812 – 1870)

Charles Dickens’s opening paragraph from “A Tale of Two Cites” which was published more than one hundred and fifty years ago mirrors the economic climate surrounding those of us involved in the Caribbean’s construction industry today as we begin to feel the pressures of the economic downturn.

Given the direct correlation between income levels (individual, firm and government) and the demand for construction services, we expect a major slowdown within the sector. In fact the curtain has already been drawn on a number of projects leading to rising unemployment levels and underutilized resources. Many are anxious as they think about the industry’s future. Indeed, everyone is asking the question “Where do we go from here?”

Since our leaders have been slow in identifying any major plans to deal with the industry’s dilemma, the responsibility is on consultants, contractors and employees within the industry to forge their own way forward. Contractors and consultants from throughout the region have identified a number of strategies which can be of assistance.

Economist & Lecturer at the University of the West Indies Dr. Dhanayshar Mahabir expects that as the North American economy slowly recovers so too will our economies. However, he cautions that in the interim, we must adapt and make the required lifestyle and business changes which are necessary to get us through this period of diminished economic activity. We must also look for the opportunities which are there for the taking.

Playing the “blame game” and clinging to the old order will not get us out of this decline. We must also recognize that we did not get to this juncture overnight and it is imprudent to believe that we will awaken tomorrow and all will be well. We must be prepared to think strategically and work hard to regain what we only recently took for granted. Our resilience as a people has seen us through many similar type recessions, hurricanes and other disasters. It will help us through these trying times; however all things being equal, our recovery depends upon our own creativity, attitude adjustment and ability to be proactive in an uncertain environment. Despite our present circumstances, market stability and growth are both visible on the horizon, only we can decide if the journey there will be direct to Heaven or direct the other way.

- Steve J. Rajpatty, Editor-in-Chief