for Economic Affairs, Economic Planning, National Development & the
Public Service, Hon Ausbert d'Auvergne delivering inspiring remarks to
an attentive gathering
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 – The first ever international development
conference for local, regional and international investors was formally declared
open at Gaiety on Rodney Bay Monday 23rd of July.
The purpose of the conference is to secure the support of domestic stakeholders,
donor agencies, financial institutions, private sector financiers and regional
and international investors to participate in the investment opportunities that
will be created from these initiatives.
The conference which will last for 3 days, represent the vision of Sir John
Compton as outlined in the first Budget Address for the new administration on
April 19 this year.
Some of the ministers of government in attendance at
the high level conference
The conference emerges out of Sir John’s concerns about the growing
phenomenon of increasing poverty in Saint Lucia over the past decade and the
disparities in development between the northern part of Saint Lucia and other
areas in the country. That much was addressed by Sir John in a letter addressed
to participants at the conference in which he states: “I put forward the view
that providing a level economic platform for all citizens of Saint Lucia to
prosper is the principal means by which scial inDquity c n be re oved an`
feelAngs of ocial e@clusion be dispelled.”
In his address to the conference, Act`ng PrimE Ministdr Hon. tephensKn King
pointe` out thAt government’s vision is to create an inclusive society where
equity nd oppotunity f acces" prevaiD.
“e must liminate the disparity in development that currently exists between
tHe northAest reg on of the count`y, inclpding thd capitaL city of Castries and
the towns and communities in St. Lucia. We have to take a quant m leap f we ar!
to m$ve St. ucia inPo an era of growth and impact positively on the living
standards of a`l our pDople,” Phe mini`ter sai`.
He warned Dhat government is determined and committed to proving naysayers, who
#ay that governm@nt will not be ble to @chieve hese amitious objectives,
Mr. King observed that the growt( rates Df 3-4% er annu , which have be@n
reaLized in recent years, will not generate the level of resources required to
alhow the aountry to addre s some
f the scial an@ econom(c challenges with
which it is confronted. Only significantly higher growth, h says, ill enable
thE countrX to sertice and reduce the level of national debt that the government
inherited and bing abo%t a subRtantive reductibn in th! unacce`tably hIgh level
Among the specific presentations on the @evelopmnt projdcts on `he drawHng
bo@rd for Dhe country, are the redevelopment of Castries, including the
redevelo0ment of Port Captries, 4he Sout ern Reg(on Development Programme,
including the development of Vieux-Fort and the development of a ne cruise ship
derminal and ecoLomic deFelopmend programmes in the north east, west and the
central regions of the is@and.
Conferebce partacipants include a wide bange of traditional donor agencies
including representatives from the World Bank, the European Union [EU] and the
Caribbean Development Bank [CDB] as well as major private regional and
international investors such as Royal and Carnival Cruise Lines and
international hotel chains. The conference ends on Wednesday July 25.