On May 1 following the signing of the MOU with DFID Premier Reuben Meade hinted that there was soon to be progress of a manufacturing plant developed in Montserrat. He said at the time he was not at liberty to say what kind of plant it would be.
Since then there have been much speculation as to what this secret industry would be that forces the Premier to be mum on the issue. It became just a bit more than whisper as TMR has learnt from usually reliable sources that this manufacturing business has much to do with tobacco.
Earlier this week Montserrat joined in observing “World No Tobacco Day”. Health officials held a forum inviting especially the young as they discouraged the use of tobacco, not a known problem in Montserrat. The Health Unit had issued a publication promoting No Tobacco Day which began “Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills when used as directed by the manufacturers.”
This week Meade spoke to ZJB News where he repeated his line about not being at liberty to say what the product is that would be manufactured. This time he said where the company is coming from. “We have being in discussions with the manufacturing company operating out of South America and Canada,” expressing that the principals had already visited the island, and “ we are expecting them here again next week so that we can finalise plans on it!””
The Premier said that occupiers at the factory shell in Shinland will have to vacate. “It means that in the factory shell we will have to make some adjustment, we will have to put people out,” he said.
The Premier was upbeat about his secret industry and spoke of the benefits. “But then again, you have to look at the greater good where you will be getting a fair number of full time employment being created. Once we get that project going then there are others which we are lining up to have some discussions with them so that we can at least start employing people in the private sector,” he told ZJB News.
He said the business would be “similar somewhat to the rice mill (of the 90’s) but on a smaller scale.”
“I am not yet at liberty to say what product it is, but we will be in a position to get some exports going, it means that more stuff going out through the port means that the port workers have more work,” he said, adding the product is not ‘illegal’.