(PRESS RELEASE) – The final phase of the Competitiveness Agenda for St. Lucia was completed at the end of November with the final document to be presented in December 2019 for implementation in 2020.
The Competitiveness Agenda focuses on St. Lucia’s comparative advantage and the strategic actions required to create a competitive advantage for the island. The agenda is spearheaded by the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) with funding from Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility.
The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) was established with the mandate to provide solutions to government and other stakeholders on issues pertaining to competitiveness and productivity on island. As such the NCPC has embarked on the creation of a Competitiveness Agenda to boost St. Lucia’s economic growth, increase diversity and availability of jobs, increase access to finance among many other areas to create a competitive advantage for St. Lucia.
Financing the Agenda is Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility. Dr. Kieron Swift is the Project Development Consultant with Compete Caribbean.
“The Competitiveness Agenda really helps focus on the areas of comparative advantage that St. Lucia has and then identifies the specific priority actions that need to be taken to really hone and refine those areas to a particular competitive advantage which will allow St. Lucia to Compete with similar countries who are operating in its space. For this purpose, largely the tourism and services space and that would really put it on a firm ground for continued growth, continued generation of jobs, revenues and exports.”
Dr. Swift added that the Competitiveness Agenda will provide a mechanism for coordinating and monitoring the various activities with key stakeholders playing a vital role in fostering synergies for increased informing sharing to arrive at the common goal of a more competitive St. Lucia. Director of the NCPC, Fiona Hinkson noted that the NCPC will play a central role in bringing stakeholders together.
“The NCPC is expected to be the central coordinating body for the Agenda. We will be working with key stakeholders or key agencies that will be implementing the competitiveness agenda. So although we are coordinating, agencies in government like possibly Export St. Lucia, Invest St. Lucia as well as the Department of Commerce amongst other agencies will be implementers for the Agenda.”
Compete Caribbean has pledged continued assistance to the NCPC in the implementation phase of the Competitiveness agenda.
“To put it in numerical terms we have just US$100K of technical assistance still available to be provided and the expressed purpose of that is just as you put it, hand holding starting with the NCPC moving forward into, ‘what are you going to specifically do next week, the following week, next quarter, next six months and so on,’ to bring the agenda to light until it reaches a point where it develops its own momentum and it could keep going. But we’re not there yet so that’s what the focus is going to be in terms of the early stages of implementation.”
The NCPC also aims to create a competitiveness index to measure the Agenda’s performance while benchmarking St. Lucia’s performance against that of other region territories. The Competitiveness Agenda utilizes a smart specialization approach and focuses on St. Lucia’s Tourism Industry and the competitive advantages and opportunities which can be explored and further developed.