RODNEY BAY, St Lucia -- Three government ministers are down to address an upcoming forum aimed at attracting Brazilian business to Saint Lucia and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The Brazilian parliamentarian and entrepreneurial mission arrived in Saint Lucia this weekend to start the multifaceted November 11-17 island tour that will involve meetings with local counterparts and leading business organizations.
It will also include practical ‘How to Do Business’ sessions with Saint Lucian and OECS investment and government entitles, while the parliamentarian accompanying the Brazilian investors will also meet their Saint Lucian counterparts.
The government of Saint Lucia is giving top priority to the mission’s visit and Prime Minister Allan Chastanet has appointed three Cabinet ministers to attend and participate in the proceedings.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for commerce, industry, investment, enterprise, development and consumer affairs, Bradley Felix; minister in the ministry of finance, Senator Ubaldus Raymond; and minister in the ministry of external affairs, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, will be among top speakers at a November 14 seminar to introduce the Brazilian entrepreneurs to ‘Doing Business in Saint Lucia’.
The three ministers will tell the visiting parliamentarians and entrepreneurs – and local counterparts – what the Saint Lucia government’s present strategies are for the island’s development and how they can be part of such plans.
The ministers in the ministries of finance and external affairs will deliver opening remarks at the business seminar, while Felix, an ex-banker who oversees the day-to-day administration of the government’s business affairs, will speak on ‘Strategies for Saint Lucia’s Development’.
Along with others from the OECS Commission and the island’s top investment agency Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), Felix will outline the government’s various development strategies, while other well-placed speakers will identify the legal mechanisms involved and sources of financing.
The seminar on ‘Doing Business in Saint Lucia’ will also be addressed by ISL CEO McHale Andrew, who will speak on ‘The Legal Framework for Doing Business in Saint Lucia’ and ‘Sources for Financing Investments in Saint Lucia’.
But it will not all be only about the Brazilians investing in Saint Lucia.
They are also interested in investing in the other OECS member states, especially Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
To this end, Dr Brian Francis, OECS regional director for economic affairs and regional integration will address the seminar on ‘Investing in the OECS’.
The Brazilian delegation will be in Saint Lucia for a full week and will be meeting local business counterparts already identified.
The Brazilian Embassy said arrangements are in place and the entrepreneurs will be coming from five of Brazil’s large federal states: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Goiás and Pará -- and their interests range from tourism and construction to alternative energy, water harvesting and desalination, as well as services.
Brazilian ambassador to Saint Lucia, Sergio Couri, said, “There’s much and growing local interest in the seminar and the opportunities it will bring through building of the bridges for investment between Brazil and Saint Lucia and the wider OECS region.”
He added, “It is also significant that the Brazilian mission of entrepreneurs and business-related parliamentarians is visiting Saint Lucia in the middle of the island’s official observance of Business Month in November.”
While here, the Brazilian business and parliamentary delegation will also meet with representatives of the island’s business sector, including the Chamber of Commerce, St Lucia Hotels & Tourism Association and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
Representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) have also been invited to the seminar. (The Diplomatic Courier