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OPSR Approaches the $5M Mark

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, May 23, 2002 - Funding amounting to EC$5 million has to date been approved by the Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) for the development and enhancement of St. Lucia’s private sector. Established in 1998 and housed within the Office of the Prime Minister, the OPSR serves as a link between the private sector and government.

Programme Manager Erstein Edwards says the project grants have been used to improve the capacity of private sector organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel and Tourism Association, the Employers Federation, the Industrial and Small Business Association, the National Research and Development Foundation and the Coconut Growers Association among others. The overall objective, he indicates, is to upgrade the service delivery capacity of these bodies to their various clients and members.

Edwards added that “ At the same time the funding has also been directed towards assisting a number of small private sector businesses in their efforts to produce and export more. Some of those firms include Baron Foods, Eden Herbs, Informatics 2000, FROOTSY Confectionery, NATMED, Simeon’s Seamoss, Wee-folk and Carib Pasta. In essence what OPSR is endeavouring to achieve is the continuing execution of that public sector /private sector partnership for national development and for the enhancing and promotion of competitiveness, regionally and internationally with respect to St. Lucia.”

The funds, which originate from the Government of St. Lucia and the European Union (EU), have been indispensable to quasi-government agencies such as the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards in its work with local manufacturers, exporters and importers. Additionally the OPSR has established a$1.5 million National Information Technology Training Fund that makes financing available to businesses wishing to train staff in information technology.

The work of the OPSR has resulted in the creation of over 600 jobs and the training of close to 500 St. Lucians.


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