This week the government of Saint Lucia participated in two important regional integration activities that will have far-reaching and long-lasting positive benefits for our country.
On Tuesday, the government, led by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, started two days of meetings with a high-level technical team from Venezuela and PDV S.A. to refine and finalize the bilateral cooperation agreement that will allow Saint Lucia to purchase petroleum products from Venezuela at highly concessionary terms and establish a financing facility for essential major projects in the social and productive sectors.
PetroCaribe provides Saint Lucia with an alternative source of petroleum that will advance the immediate and medium-term energy security agenda of the government.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony, accompanied by the Minister for Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Sen. James Fletcher, participated in the XII Presidential Summit of ALBA in Guayaquil, Ecuador, at which Saint Lucia was officially accepted into the regional integration movement.
In addition to providing an important regional forum for articulating the myriad pressing economic, social and environmental issues confronting developing States like ours, ALBA represents a significant avenue for Saint Lucia to access very low-cost financing for critical national initiatives.
Saint Lucia joins sister OECS member countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in ALBA.