Government ministers and public sector agencies, which play a vital role in facilitating business here, have given a commitment to making that process easier.
The pledge came at a recently held National Forum on the Ease of Doing Business in St Lucia.
Organized by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture, the forum brought together stakeholders to examine ways to tackle issues which pose a challenge in conducting business in St. Lucia.
At the gathering Prime Minister Kenny Anthony encouraged attendees to make strong efforts towards reform geared at improving the local business environment.
They were further told by the minister for commerce that her ministry had identified deficiencies in business regulations and administration and were seeking to have them addressed.
Both ministers pledged government’s support and determination “to work with the private sector in helping improve St. Lucia’s Ranking in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report,” a release said.
Meanwhile, the Chamber has welcomed these assurances and further signaled its own dedication. Headed by President Gerard Bergasse, the chamber said it has placed the initiative at the top of its agenda.
The organization further took the opportunity to express elation at the prime minister’s insistence on having his finance ministry fully participate in the Ease of Doing Business Task Force, and his suggestion that the Division of Public Sector Modernization also gets involved.
The National Forum on the Ease of Doing Business in St. Lucia has agreed to meet on a quarterly basis while an Ease of Doing Business Task Force will meet monthly.
“It is now for the Chamber to insist that the Chamber’s Ten Point Plan, endorsed by the prime minister, be respected and followed through and that the key players remain committed, held accountable and engaged in the process,” the release stated.
The Chamber has been actively calling for serious reform in the business regulatory and administrative environment for years. These processes include import, export, licensing processes, taxation and business registration, among others, according to the release.
“The Forum has been designed as a process to keep agencies engaged through a regular public monitoring and reporting mechanism, where bottlenecks and challenges could be identified and resource constraints red-flagged to the appropriate authorities,” the release said.