Saint Lucia, Taiwan convene investor forum

GIS:-Government Eyes Potential Employment Through Taiwanese Investors.

During a consultative forum with potential Taiwanese investors in Saint Lucia last week, the minister in the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Hon Bradley Felix, spoke on the positive impact such ventures could have on the island’s unemployment rates.

“Our intention at the Ministry of Commerce is to create as many small businesses as possible because every business we create, whether it is one or two people that they take on, provides a dent in the unemployment situation. So with the advent of this what we expect to happen is that there will be an increase in capacity, people will be able to expand their businesses, and in doing so hopefully [they] will take more people on board.”

The minister also spoke on improving the island’s “Ease of Doing Business” World Bank rating, so as to better facilitate potential investors.

“As to the ease of doing business, one of the things that we have done in the Ministry is to create a tri-partite body consisting of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Planning, the Minister of Tourism, myself being the chair of that, [and] obviously we’ve invited the Minister in the Ministry of Finance to be part of that contingent, because one of the things which has been happening is that while there is an ease of doing business task force, we felt that as ministers to have a direct intervention we would know first- hand what are the issues so they don’t have to take it to us. So with our quarterly meetings we will be able to address some of the issues that they have.”

His Excellency Douglas Shen Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) spoke of the opportunities that the forum presented for both countries.

“My government tries to create opportunities to encourage the two countries participants to exchange views and share experiences. As you may see, Taiwan is very proud of its small and medium enterprises and I think that this is very good for Saint Lucia because most of the business here belong to small to medium size enterprises. So we would like to take this opportunity to create opportunities for both countries and businessmen to know each other well and hopefully in the future that we can strengthen the trade relationships between the two countries.”

The forum took place on Aug. 9, and was organized by the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs.

It was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel where a Taiwanese contingent comprising investors involved in consumer electronics, food processing, and textiles, interfaced with small business owners and potential investors.

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