(PRESS RELEASE) – Mr Roderick Cherry delivered the feature address at the Southern Business Association’s (SBA) inaugural annual general meeting on November 6, 2019. It was held under the theme “Creating the Environment for Successful Business Growth in the South” as one of the slated activities for the 2019 Annual Business Month.
Mr Cherry was invited as the Chief Executive Officer of the island’s premier agency responsible for stimulating, promoting and facilitating the development of business and investment activities, Invest Saint Lucia.
During the AGM’s open session, Mr Cherry started his remarks by assuring the SBA that Invest Saint Lucia will be a propelling factor in helping the south become a leader economically and businesswise. He said, “None of us were alive to see it, but Vieux Fort, which is the second most populated town on our island, used to be the capital of Saint Lucian economy and governance. This was the epicenter of the sugar industry and still has some of the most fertile agricultural land on its miles and miles of gently rolling hills.” Mr Cherry added, “The south shall rise again!”
The CEO continued by discussing the investment models used in Vieux Fort from the colonial era up until Saint Lucia’s independence and present day. “The linear, unsustainable, exploitative model of investment may have been what defined our history, but I am here to say, it will not define our future as a nation.”
According to Mr Cherry, Invest Saint Lucia has several plans for the south and it is for members of the SBA to take full advantage of these opportunities. In addition to land developments in Bois Jolie and Beauchamp spurring SME and MME enterprise in the communities, Mr Cherry brought to the SBA’s attention that OJO Labs is one of the best working environments in Saint Lucia today.
Mr Cherry proudly explained to the SBA that the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club’s horseracing track, and the earmarked opportunity for Black Bay are not the shining stars in ISL’s plans for the south. “Perhaps the most ambitious project Invest Saint Lucia will be undertaking is Anse de Sable, a multi-faceted, hybrid real estate development on approximately 117 acres inclusive of the Queen’s chain of beautiful beachfront in the scenic southern coastline of Vieux Fort,” he said, “No more driving up to Castries and Rodney Bay to see the latest blockbuster or to enjoy fine dining and shop for designer brands. In fact, the kind of development Invest Saint Lucia has in mind will have the traffic flowing down here and with it, prosperity and opportunity for our southern communities.”
To end, Mr Cherry left the SBA with this to ponder on: “We want fellow Saint Lucians to remember that everything we offer to foreign investors is available to them! What is more, we have a mandate to ensure every Saint Lucia owns land and a home. The well-being of our people is at the very heart of our holistic development of our island. Are you ready for the south to rise again?”