The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture has written a congratulatory letter to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, seeking a meeting to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Asked about Chastanet’s declaration that his ruling party will eventually remove Value Added Tax (VAT), the Chamber’s Executive Director, Brian Louisy, said it was an “interesting” proposal.
“We would like to see the details and hear more about it,” Louisy stated.
According to him, the Chamber has always felt that there are some issues in the VAT as it exists, that the private sector body found “bothersome.”
“We have had an ongoing programme of engagement with the Ministry of Finance to look at addressing these issues and we certainly are interested in seeing and hearing how the government’s proposals will unfold,” he asserted.
The Chamber Executive Director said the private sector institution looks forward to working with the government and moving the country forward.
He said he did not see the chamber’s agenda changing, although the board has not met to discuss the situation.
Louisy noted that the organization will continue pushing for an improvement in the business environment.
He felt that that it was absolutely essential that some of the bottlenecks, administrative hurdles and constraints that affect the economy should be addressed.
Louisy observed that unemployment remains an extremely bothersome issue.
He disclosed that the Chamber of Commerce wants to work with the government to bring minds together to find ways to address the matter.
“We think it is a burning issue,” Louisy said.
He noted that another issue of concern related to the process of legislation being enacted, the consultative process and the process of engagement of interested parties.
“We would like to see the procedure of bills being published before, so there is time to view them, make comments and then move forward to the enactment stage,” Louisy observed.