According to Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, the government will focus on enacting legislation aimed at economic recovery, investment and enhancing Saint Lucia’s business climate. In the Throne Speech delivered on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Her Excellency said,
“My government shall continue to enhance the business climate and bring before Parliament legislation making further amendments to the Companies Act and the Business Names Act.
As an interim measure and pending the enactment of a new Fiscal Incentives Act, amendments will be made to the extant act to allow investment in services to qualify for incentives. My government will also work towards enhancing the framework for Intellectual Property and for that purpose, will finalise Patent Regulations. This will widen our revenue base and increase our competitive edge.
My government will continue to emphasise good governance practices in support of our business sector, both within the private and public sectors. As part of this process, Parliament will consider new legislation to govern public procurement.”
The government will also amend the Shipping Act, to allow for the establishment of an Open Ship Registry. For years now, marine pollution has been a major problem and in some instances has halted investment in Saint Lucia. This issue will be addressed through a Marine Pollution Bill, to be tabled this year.
The governor general also highlighted Government’s intention to continue to modernize legislation in the Agricultural Sector through the enactment of an Agricultural Produce Bill and an Animal Health (National and International) Disease Prevention Bill. The Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Act will also be revised.
The Creative Industries Bill also features prominently on the legislative agenda. In the throne speech, Dame Pearlette Louisy highlighted the importance of the creative sector in job creation and effecting positive social change. According to her Excellency,
“Since assuming office my government has given support to the creative sector and we are committed to developing the sector. This is an important vehicle for generating employment for young persons as well as providing for a positive social environment. Consequently, we will move to enact the Creative Industries Bill in this parliamentary session.”
The governor general also announced the government’s intention to enact a National Land Development Corporation Bill to address the perennial problem of unplanned developments and to rationalize land use.
In 2014/2015, government will continue to strengthen legislation that deals with deterring crime. As such, a Proceeds of Crime Bill and a Justice of the Peace Bill which seeks to properly regulate the office of Justice of the Peace will be introduced in the House this year.