Rodney Bay, St. Lucia By IGY MARINAS
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – The St. Lucia government launch the island’s five-year National Export Stagey (NES) that it says provides a roadmap to the growth and development of the export sector.
The strategy, to be launched on Tuesday, has been developed in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Development Fund.
“The NES provides a unique window of opportunity for Saint Lucia to modernize and start a new cycle of export growth. The strategy advocates a multifaceted approach that incorporates the thoughts of relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector and builds on consensus from the entire export community about what is needed to boost the country’s export performance,” said Commerce Minister, Bradley Felix.
ITC director and chief economist, Marion Jansen said her agency is delighted to have accompanied St. Lucia in setting “an ambitious roadmap to improve its business environment and transform its export industry by fostering the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises”.
National Export Council Chairperson, Mrs. Marguerite Desir, described the 2020-24 strategy as “a roadmap to the growth and development of St. Lucia’s Export portfolio” and had been developed over a two-year period involving more than 250 stakeholders from the private and public sectors.
The NES highlights areas where St. Lucia is deemed to have comparative and competitive advantages and provides meaningful development strategies aimed at propelling these industries into international markets.
A government statement said that the strategy’s vision titled “Uniquely St. Lucian with global appeal”, expresses the expected outcome of the many actions and interventions to be undertaken by the government offices, affiliates and statutory boards, under the guidance of the implementing Agency, Export St. Lucia.
“The NES – with recommendations on how to foster innovation, investment and seize market opportunities – is designed to position small and medium-sized enterprises and trade issues at the forefront of the country’s policy agenda,” it added.
Export St. Lucia’s chief executive officer, Sunita Daniel said the “NES is an invaluable tool which will lead the way to the continued elevation of St. Lucia as an export leader in the region.
“Every sector, planned intervention, policy to be debated and activity to be coordinated was penned through a meticulously inclusive process that took the Nation, the exporters, the buyers, the environment and all other factors affecting trade into consideration.”
The first NES was established in 2004 and focused on the capacity of the country to produce and offer to its many export partners, the commodities and services that were in demand at that time.
The government statement noted that global preferences changing, demand versus supply and the requirement to meet customer demands, there was a need to reassess and redesign the process, leading to the development of 2020 strategy.