Declaring that it has adopted “the Royal Standard” of investment promotion and facilitation, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) has officially announced its rebranding as a national agency, striving to succeed for the benefit of all Saint Lucians.
The unveiling of the new brand took place on Monday, September 30, during a press event at the Harbour Club, Rodney Bay.
ISL’s top brass presented the new brand as a ‘culture change’, rather than just cosmetic change, geared to attract investors who treat Saint Lucia as their own precious home, and not a place just to profit off its people, natural resources.
Chief Executive Officer Roderick Cherry said that under the new tagline, “Make It Your Own”, a refocused ISL will promote more aggressively the island’s natural and physical attributes, along with the economic advantages, such as a stable business environment to targeted sectors and investors.
“On the international stage, what we have done with our new strategy is to try to focus very clearly on a few areas: tourism development, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, and agro-processing,” Cherry contended.
“The difference now is that we have recognised what we do well and we are using that, rather than throwing a wide net, to be very specific on the types of investment we go after,” he explained further.
“ISL will more aggressively promote the island’s natural and physical attributes, along with the economic advantages, such as a stable business environment to targeted sectors and investors,”— Roderick Cherry, Invest Saint Lucia CEO.
On a similar note, Pinkly Francis, Invest Saint Lucia Chairman, contended that the rebranded ISL will pay greater attention to local investment, consistent with the agency’s mandate to create economic activity and employment.
This was necessary, Francis asserts, as ISL is mindful of the perception among Saint Lucians that the entity focuses on attracting foreign direct investment and less on local investment.
He said that the facilitation process that ISL provides is the same for national and foreign clients.
“An investor can come to Invest Saint Lucia and we will walk you through the entire process — from conceptualisation of the idea through to applying to various government entities for approvals, including concessions from the government. That has always been available to the local investor. They simply do not take advantage of it,” Francis pointed out.
“What we have done now with our new image is to place more emphasis and make it known to the local investor that our doors are open. We have had a lot of success stories that we facilitated through Invest Saint Lucia. One example is Brice & Company. We have done a lot over the years in ensuring that Brice & Company become one of the large entities in Saint Lucia,” Francis indicated.
“We are also focusing on other sectors — the hotel sector, the hospitality sector, ICT. These have always been dominated by foreign direct investments. We have now embarked on developing the Anse de Sable project in Vieux Fort that focuses on creating opportunities for local investment in the hospitality sector,” he continued.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet congratulated Francis and his board for ISL’s many initiatives, noting that the brand they had created had been developed from the actual work of attracting investment in Saint Lucia.
“Many people confuse the brand (ISL) with what we actually do. I think that ISL has done it backwards here,” Chastanet began.
“We have to make a compelling case as to why somebody would want to come to this country. The job of all of us together is about achieving that… The effectiveness of doing business in government has to change,”— Allan Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.
“In fact, they have been doing it for some time, and are now allowing the brand to catch up with what they are doing, and that is really commendable because it is real,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there is a tremendous amount of competition that is taking place in the world. If we want to be able to capture our fair share of investment, it means that we are going to have to be more innovative and hungrier than everybody else,” the St. Lucian PM added.
ISL’s rebranding comes at a time when the Government of Saint Lucia is moving to activate major transformational changes and improvements in the economy.
These changes include the expansion of the Hewanorra International Airport, upgrading and building new roads, and the sprucing up of capital city Castries.
Additionally, all sectors of the economy will continue to benefit substantially from infrastructure improvements in communications, water supply, sewerage and port facilities.
The ISL team has scheduled promotional missions and trips in the next few weeks including CHICOS in Jamaica, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to deliver the message to new investors.
Royal blue and gold will be ISL’s new brand colours to convey the image of Saint Lucia as a crown jewel.
Better inter-agency collaboration, new dynamic marketing materials as well as annual investment awards to recognise both investors and agencies that have demonstrated excellence in service delivery — are some of the tools that will give expression to the ISL brand.