Saint Lucia’s Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy has reiterated the importance of a foreign policy for the island’s economic and social development.
Making specific reference to the recently tabled report on a review of the Saint Lucia’s external relations policy, the governor general noted that government’s foreign policy and international relations thrusts will centre around three areas.
The first area she identified was Saint Lucia’s commitment to sub-regional and regional integration, particularly through the OECS Economic Union and the institutions of CARICOM.
“Secondly, my government will leverage our international relations efforts towards investment promotion and facilitation so as to increase foreign direct investment flows. This notwithstanding, my government continues to be immensely grateful for development assistance from governments all over the world. These include our traditional partners such as the United States, Canada, Cuba, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union, but also newer partners such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
“Thirdly, my government will continue to search out development assistance, particularly from non-traditional partners and through the opportunities of climate change mitigation and adaptation funding. Fourthly, in our foreign policy representation my government will promote the better understanding of the plight of small states so that, globally, there can be acknowledgment and agreement that such states require special treatment and delineation, given their openness and vulnerability, she explained.
According to Dame Pearlette, the government of Saint Lucia will align foreign policy initiatives to tourism, trade and export facilitation, consistent with national economic development objectives.
This expansive external affairs agenda, she added, will take active cooperation across ministries and the private sector, and will also require the strengthening and re-organization of the Ministry of External Affairs.