Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently appointed businessman Asot A. Michael as the country's new minister of tourism, economic development investment and energy.
Michael has served previously in the government sector under former Prime Minister Lester Bird as his Chief of Staff. After that promising start, Michael was appointed a government senator, as well as minister of state, responsible for public works, communications, insurance, energy and St. John’s Development Corporation. He continued in this role until 2001, when he was appointed minister of finance and leader of government business in the senate.
The Michael family immigrated to the Caribbean over a half century ago, escaping the war-ravaged and poverty-ridden Middle East. His grandfather worked to build a better life for his family, making sure that each of his children had the opportunities he did not. Michael’s father and uncles all grew up to be extremely successful and politically active. It was from his father that Michael developed his desire to help the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
Since coming to office on June 12, the new government has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Yida International Investment Antigua for a $2 billion resort development that includes the construction of five-star hotels, a golf course, 1,300 residential units, shopping facilities, a modern conference center and a casino.