Castries, Saint Lucia, November 30, 2021:– There’ll be much on the table when Saint Lucia’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture holds its 137th Annual General Meeting today – its first since the last General Elections, and its second during the COVID-19 Pandemic and with three objectives: Adapt, Operate and Thrive.
After 18 months of businesses, like everyone else, having to grapple and cope with the accompanying trials of the ongoing pandemic, the private sector has many plates on the table virtually left emptied by COVID.
Today’s session is being held virtually to protect members and to observe existing COVID-19 protocols – especially at a time when fears are heightening with news of a new Virus of Concern that can make the Delta variant look mild.
To this end, the private sector representatives will also be encouraged during the working session of today’s conference to “Reset, Rethink and Reboot”.
The session will look at the critical steps businesses need to take to survive the common threats of extinction posed by the pandemic, which will also most likely include the issue of Vaccination in the Workplace and the challenges facing both business owners and managers vis-à-vis the rights of workers in the context of a pandemic.
Most businesses represented in the Chamber and the Saint Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA) support Mandatory Vaccination, but the government has promised not to go that way, leaving the decision to individuals to consider persuasion instead of legislation.
Today’s meeting will hear from Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Development and the Youth Economy Philip J Pierre, the Feature Speaker. The business community will be expecting to hear his government’s plans and priorities for the country and the economy – and especially the role expected of the private sector.
The Opening Ceremony will be addressed by outgoing Chamber President Karen Peter, who served a rare three terms, the last to help navigate the entity through an election year during the COVID pandemic.
The closed session will receive the Executive Director’s and Auditors Reports, followed by Election of Officers to choose the Chamber’s Executive for the next two years.
Outgoing President Karen Peter has been overwhelmingly praised for her leadership during the past three terms and there’s speculation as to whether she’ll be asked to continue.
The meeting is taking place against the background of the uncertainties created by Supply Chain problems that’s sure to affect the earning capacity of many businesses during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday season, the second under COVID.
The uncertainty stares businesses in the face and there’ll be much concentration on who the next Chamber leaders will be.
Two things are certain, however, with several directors indicating they’ll no longer be available, there’ll definitely be new faces among the Chamber’s next leaders, and (barring the unknown) veteran Executive Director Brian Louisy will retain his position.