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Prime Minister Salutes Local Manufacturers for Improving Balance of Trade

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- PM Says Government 'S Incentives Are Yielding Fruit

Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Monday, April 8, 2002 - Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has welcomed the role of local manufacturers in increasing the island's exports while reducing imports. This is in response to revelations by the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association (SLMA) that the island's balance of trade is undergoing a positive change.

Late last month, Vice President of the SLMA Mr. Keith Smith, indicated that imports to St. Lucia had dropped significantly from $195.6 million in the year 2000 to $151.2 million in the first nine months (January to September) of 2001. Similarly, exports had more than tripled from $26.1 million in 2000 to a whopping $82.1 million in the first nine months of last year - that is, prior to the September 11 attacks in the USA.

Mr. Smith told fellow local manufacturers the government's measures to support the manufacturing sector over the years were beginning to yield positive results. He said such measures were aimed, not only to help stimulate growth and help local manufacturers to continue to produce and export, but also sought to assist small manufacturers to become medium-sized businesses and graduate to become exporters.

He said while such changes would take time, the SLMA was encouraged by the increase in exports from St. Lucia.

The Prime Minister said his government was pleased that local manufacturers were making use of government's incentives, which were now yielding the desired results by way of improvements in St. Lucia's balance of trade with Caricom and the rest of the world.


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