The Government of St Lucia has launched the island’s five-year National Export Strategy (NES) which, it says, provides a road map to the growth and development of the export sector.
“The NES provides a unique window of opportunity for Saint Lucia to modernise and start a new cycle of export growth. The strategy advocates a multifaceted approach that incorporates the thoughts of relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector and builds on consensus from the entire export community about what is needed to boost the country’s export performance,” St Lucia’s Commerce Minister Bradley Felix explained.
NES is a collaborative effort of the St Lucia Government, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Development Fund.
According to ITC director and chief economist Marion Jansen, her agency is delighted to have assisted St Lucia in setting “an ambitious road map to improve its business environment and transform its export industry by fostering the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises”.
National Export Council Chairperson Marguerite Desir has described the 2020-24 strategy as “a road map to the growth and development of St Lucia’s export portfolio” and had been developed over a two-year period involving more than 250 stakeholders from the private and public sectors.
“The NES provides a unique window of opportunity for Saint Lucia to modernise and start a new cycle of export growth.”— Bradley Felix, commerce minister, St Lucia
The NES highlights industries in which St Lucia potentially has comparative and competitive advantages and provides meaningful development strategies aimed at propelling these industries into international markets.
A government statement indicated that the strategy’s vision, titled “Uniquely St Lucian with global appeal”, expresses the expected outcome of the many actions and interventions to be undertaken by the government offices, affiliates and statutory boards, under the guidance of the implementing agency, Export Saint Lucia.
“The NES — with recommendations on how to foster innovation, investment and seize market opportunities — is designed to position small and medium-sized enterprises and trade issues at the forefront of the country’s policy agenda,” it added.
Export St Lucia Chief Executive Officer Sunita Daniel said the “NES is an invaluable tool which will lead the way to the continued elevation of St. Lucia as an export leader in the region.
“Every sector, planned intervention, policy to be debated and activity to be coordinated was penned through a meticulously inclusive process that took the nation, the exporters, the buyers, the environment, and all other factors affecting trade into consideration.”
The St Lucia Government first established the NES in 2004 with a focus on the capacity of the country to produce and offer to its many export partners, the commodities and services that were in demand at that time.
The government statement noted that global preferences changing, demand versus supply, and the requirement to meet customer demands, there was a need to reassess and redesign the process, leading to the development of 2020 strategy.