The 25 ‘small island’ Commonwealth recipients will include St Lucia and is aimed geared to help the maritime economy including both tourism, shipping and fishing, Downing Street has confirmed.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta last Friday, David Cameron confirmed that he wanted to help ‘make the most of natural maritime advantages’ and the Prime Minister unveiled these funds as part of a £26million (XCD$105m) regional package.
John Kennedy, President of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Saint Lucia welcomed the announcement and said; “Our role as a chamber is to highlight the need to support a strong bi-lateral bond between the United Kingdom and Saint Lucia, both through this kind of support and through commerce, investment and enterprise. But for commerce to succeed there needs to be business development and a business base – people need to have something to sell to create wealth.
“This initiative is in the spirit of the Proverb give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime; of course Saint Lucians already know how to fish, what will be really useful is some capital to help develop that sector and to open new markets.
“I know, from my own Company’s experience, based near Canaries, that there is untapped potential in this industry and Canaries is one of the poorest communities on the Island. Capital input wisely deployed will bring new opportunities that can be life-changing for that community.
“The British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Saint Lucia will continue to lobby for other initiatives as part of its general campaign to get new capital steams into the Saint Lucian economy.”