Chastanet: Over US$1.5 billion in foreign direct investments coming to St. Lucia

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Chastanet: Over US$1.5 billion in foreign direct investments coming to St. Lucia
Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto (left) and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet who was on an official visit to Mexico.
Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto (left) and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Chastanet who was on an official visit to Mexico.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said that Saint Lucia is poised to benefit from over US$1.5 billion in foreign direct investments over the next two years.

Speaking to Watch Radio NYC, Chastanet said that policies introduced by government after coming into office “are working”, although it will take about three years before the true effects start to show.

“We are seeing that the economic growth projections of two percent or higher, we’re on track for that. We have over US$1.5 billion of foreign direct investment that’s committed to come to St. Lucia over the next two years,” he said.

“We’ve been successful in securing loans for a new police headquarters, a new police station in Gros Islet, $100 million for new roads, [and] $45 million for feeder roads to help our farmers. We’ll be announcing very soon, the commencement of the airport and we’re also looking to do the highway between Daren Sammy Stadium and Dennery,” he stated.

Chastanet also noted that since coming into office, statistics have shown that unemployment has dropped by eight percent.

“That’s huge,” he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister mentioned plans to upgrade the capital city and eight villages on the island in a bid to boost local business.

“We’re looking aggressively at Castries in terms of revitalising Castries. We’re gonna be putting monies into the development and the upgrading of eight villages. So, Gros Islet, Anse La Raye, Canaries, Soufriere, Choiseul, Laborie, Micoud North and Dennery South – those fishing villages. We will be spending significant amounts of money in fixing up the sidewalks, getting road signs in and the purpose of that is to help grow small businesses [and to] make those fishing villages much more attractive…” he said.

On the issue of taxation, the prime minister stated that, “Government was increasing the level of taxation, because it was broke. And so we think that what government needs to understand is that the way that it must earn more money is by growing the economy because if you just keep increasing the tax rate it becomes uncompetitive and what happens is people find ways not to pay the tax. So if you have a lesser tax rate people are more willing to pay it and then people will have more money in their pockets and they’re spending more. Businesses now hire more people; bring more things in and even the construction sector starts taking off.”

The tourism and agriculture sectors will also receive attention, Chastanet said.

“So we’re at the beginning. The good news is that the initial policies that we’ve had as the government are working. The other piece of good news is that we have major investments coming in. So we’re hoping to go from 4,000 hotel rooms to 6,000 hotel rooms,” he said.

“We’ve already seen banana production go from 12,000 to 30,000 tonnes. Fresh produce is now on the uptake. We’re seeing that our manufacturing sector, our rum and our drinks are growing. And those are all great signs and as the economy continues to grow and consumption continues to grow,” he said.

As part of a strategy to reduce youth unemployment, Chastanet mentioned the intention to convert Radio Saint Lucia into a recording and video studio to serve as part of a course at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

Watch Radio NYC serves the St. Lucian diaspora in New York.

(53)(9)

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds good to me .Do what you have to do Mr.PM I know many would like to see the country fall just to say I told you so .but do your best Sir for our county .We are depending on you

    (11)(7)

  2. A classic example of St. Lucians still believing that the world gives money for free. Even the Taiwanese expect some measure of reciprocity. Ofcourse we have to take loans but must ensure that the economy grows at that level where the debt becomes sustainable. All countries need loans to survive but they must be able to pay back at a rate that doesn't jeopardize the well being of its citizens. To just criticize loans is just moronic. Meanwhile all of our problems are connected to "lack of funds" so how would you fix those problems?

    It doesn't seem that St. Lucians have realized that philanthropist money in the world has dried up. The very Kenny Anthony that we have grown to admire had admitted this and that's why he struggled during his administration (for five years) to bring in foreign investors (apart from his own actions to stymie the flow of investors). He failed at growing the economy therefore had to tax the people heavily (even though he decried VAT as evil) which resulted in a recession, the likes of which the St. Lucian economy had never seen before.

    However there has been a noticeable change even in the spending habits of the average St. Lucian, this can be noticed at supermarkets where people were previously almost afraid to shop. There has been some optimism upon this new government assuming office (whether by the reduction of VAT, other changes or investor confidence). A fact that most of us might be unwilling to admit, however, i understand, because once you have been abused long enough it is very difficult to realize that you are free and could move on without a big stick at your back. People have even been afraid to talk about it but not now, and that's why Chastanet is scrutinized so closely. At times he is even vilified for things that people think he will do in future, is that an absurdity or just political mischief?

    If you doubt the PM then its your opinion, it cant be news because its just a feeling. How could people demonstrate for something that has not even occurred, even after they have been given reassurance that it won't? Thats when we stop being logical and pragmatic and start emptying the political vault because things are not going good for our party and we may want to create a diversion. Its all part of the political game but what do we want to learn from politics if we cant grasp the fact that every time Kenny Anthony leaves office we find out that there is some major problem that the country cannot seem to free itself from? Grynberg, IMPACS, Roachamel, St. Jude are just a few examples. Compton spent 31 years and still could not top that list of "Most Suspect PM" and i don't think that anyone will come close.

    If you want to point to someone you can definitely say you cannot trust it must be Kenny Anthony because up to now we have not known the true reason why Richard lost his visa, neither have we received 100 million immediately injected into our economy, nor was St.Jude or OKEU ever opened and the list goes on. How come we never had a march?

    (11)(9)

    • Once again UWP Mouth Piece talking your garbage. Yes it's " OK" to take loans, and to criticize them is not "moronic" Only if you have "The Ability" To Pay. Can St Lucia afford it ?? You are taking about how Kenny ran the economy to the ground and the difficulties he had to bring in foreign investors, but what you will never admit is most of what the UWP are taking credit for now is what was in the pipeline left by the SLP. Allen Chastanet have not lured one manufactured investor to date to St Lucian shores. He is taking about 1.5 billion in direct investment BUT AT WHAT COST ? This is NOT A GRANT. when he gives his speech he must spell it out to St Lucians what it will really cost them and don't sugar coat it. All now The Laborie /Soufriere Highway is not even paid for yet; generations will still be paying the French for that but he wants to talk about building a highway from the cricket ground to Dennery South yes infrastructure projects create jobs but when the dust is settle again at what cost with a GDP of less than 3 percent so the only alternative would be to tax tax tax tax the poor people. Not everybody buying into his rhetoric

      (7)(1)

  3. A classic example of St. Lucians still believing that the world gives money for free. Even the Taiwanese expect some measure of reciprocity. Ofcourse we have to take loans but must ensure that the economy grows at that level where it is sustainable. All our problems are connected to "lack of funds" so how would you fix our problems?

    It doesn't seem that St. Lucians have realized that philanthropist money in the world has dried up. The very Kenny Anthony that we have grown to admire had admitted this and that's why he struggled during his administration (for five years) to bring in foreign investors (apart from his own actions to stymie the flow of investors). He failed at growing the economy therefore had to tax the people heavily (even though he decried VAT as evil) which resulted in a recession, the likes of which the St. Lucian economy had never seen.

    However there has been a noticeable change even in the spending habits of the average St. Lucian, this can be noticed at supermarkets where people were previously almost afraid to shop. There has been some optimism upon this new government assuming office (whether by the reduction of VAT other changes or investor confidence). A fact that most of us might be unwilling to admit, however, once you have been abused long enough it is very difficult to realize that you are free and could move on without a big stick at your back.

    If you doubt the PM then its your opinion, it cant be news because its just a feeling. How could people demonstrate for something that has not occurred, even after they have been given reassurance that it won't? Thats when we stop being logical and pragmatic and start emptying the political vault because things are not going good for our party and we may want to create a diversion. Its all part of the political game but what do we want to learn if we cant grasp the fact that every time Kenny Anthony leaves office we find out that there is some major problem that the country cannot seem to free itself from? Grynberg, IMPACS, Roachamel, St. Jude are just a few examples

    (5)(5)

  4. So $1.5 billion spent on Roads, Sidewalks, Road signs prettying up villages and "some" on bananas. That's the plan?

    I mean sure the country will look great for 8 years until the roads start to deteriorate, the road signs start to fade, the novelty in the villages fade and bananas, as usual, succumb to natural disasters. Then we start to wonder, where did the $1.5 billion go?

    Maybe we should try to find a productive sector which we can have a comparative advantage in and invest in it. Sure during the first 8 years while the new industry finds its footing you won't see many benefits, but you now have one more PERMANENT and GROWING growth engine.

    (8)(4)

  5. Be careful , don't put them things out early, before the Labour party get heart attack and call more marches , remember they don't want to see progress, it's a threat to their votes next election.

    (16)(7)

  6. I was getting excited reading this article then i realized if heard the same promises before. I hope the PM can deliver at least on a quarter of the things he stated

    (3)(1)

  7. What about the crime situation Pa? all those are good things but for now we truly need to remedy this crime and violence problem money is not our ills we must remedy the minds of the nation first. the way forward is through a healing process and you can make it happen the people believe in you and they voted you.

    Our country is hurting no amount of money can save us lest we save ourselves.

    (3)(2)

  8. Impressive Mr. PM. But before you run on how about stepping back and letting us know about the race track and OJ labs all things you indicated would have been completed and operational in November.

    (19)(3)

  9. I need some more details.
    Who are the people doing the investments, terms and conditions etc.
    Its easy to make board statements.
    Whats sweet in goats mouth......

    (26)(4)

  10. Guy Joseph cannot wait to see how much of this 1.5 billion he can pocket. Is there no laws in ST. LUCIA that will allow persons in government or the government to investigate Guy Alsacion Joseph. It is time St. Lucians put up or shut the hell up. I truly believe that an investigation is warranted ,

    (36)(7)

  11. If the investments are through CIP, it is not this government's initiative and is counterproductive because the cost outweighs the benefits. I would welcome any other form of investments.

    (14)(9)

  12. This all started due to the groundwork implemented by the previous administration. You only get partial credit for that. We will hold you up to that 1.5 billion number in 2 yrs. We are still awaiting resolution on ORC , the hospital, crime and all what was promised. These were suppose to come to fruition within your first year in office as promised by you and your minions. Seeing is believing. The implementation so far has fall far short for what was promised. We are waiting with baited breath.

    (20)(36)

  13. May God bless everything your put your hands to prime minister Allen Chastanet.Make St Lucia great again.

    (30)(35)

  14. Now that's what I want to hear/see. News with some substance. I hope it's true.
    It's time we get out of the doom and gloom. Folks, keep holding St.Lucia up in Prayer.

    (40)(8)

    • DREAM ON ! His panhandling did not pay off. Do you not see the "LOAN " word in there ? And who must pay it back ?? How do you pay it back ?? At what cost ?? At what percentage ?? Over which generation ?? Did you miss the part that says "GOVERMENT WILL BE INCREASING THE LEVEL OF TAXATION" ? Once again NOT ONE MANUFATURED INVESTMENT not even free zone. More career Molly Maids on the way for sure. I would rather use that money to finish the hospital and for small business lonas

      (23)(6)

      • The PM did not say he will be increasing the level of taxation. He was describing what government had been doing in the past. You must read in context or else your next job may be reduced to reading license plates by the road. That type of reading is purely abstract and requires no analysis.

        (7)(1)

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