Invest Saint Lucia conducted a business symposium last week Thursday to assess the current business environment and to chart the way forward for increase economic development in the south of the island.
The business symposium saw representation from almost every business sector in the south – manufacturing, construction, commerce and tourism.
Invest Saint Lucia, formally known as the National Development Corporation (NDC), made presentations to the business houses on the proposed guideline for Vieux Fort’s future economic development. Emanating from this symposium was a clear need for further consultation between the private sector and government.
Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, asked participants to reflect on the successes and failures of the past before looking to chart a progressive future.
“I’m asking that you do several things – understand that our island is in a very difficult period and that whatever we do we have to nurse our country back to recovery that establishes our potential, but at this time limits or caution the room we have to manoeuvre.
“I’m asking you to look back at the past, the history we have shared, the efforts that has been made to develop our community; the success and the failures – look at them very closely so that we learn from the past and that we can chart a future.”
Vieux Fort in the recent past has experienced some sets back with new business ventures, despite this the prime minister asked the business community to further innovate and invest in the limitless potential of Vieux Fort.
“I’m asking you to look to the future and to begin to identify the possibilities that exist for the future. For example I urge you to look at real estate investment; to look at the successes of others around us and let us engage each other to see how they could help you create employment; how we can help you to be part of this community?”
The prime minister also spoke of plans to develop a University Town in Vieux fort with the upswing of international universities like St. Helen University and Spartan Health Sciences.