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"Blue Coral Limited" - Breathing New Life Into The City

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Thursday, April 10, 2003 – The shoddy appearance of the centre of Castries, which has for some time now drawn concern from locals and visitors alike has prompted the government and other stakeholders to institute some changes that will encourage businesses in the centre of the city to redesign and refurbish their buildings. Government began the process by introducing a regime of duty free concessions on building materials. The regime which ends on December 31, 2003 has worked well and a new appearance within the city centre is already emerging.

The J.Q. Charles building cited as one of the most imposing buildings on Bridge Street has undertaken a number of modest changes over the past few weeks. In fact the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) and the Bank of Saint Lucia have now purchased the building and are creating a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which will give birth to a new company that is to be named “Blue Coral Limited.”

Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Anthony speaking during his 2003/2004 Budget address disclosed that as a result of the two third shareholding of the NIC in this special purpose vehicle, government has agreed to provide certain concessions towards the purchase and the refurbishment of the property. “It is expected that the refurbished building will enhance the city centre and at the same time provide additional top class office and commercial space for entrepreneurs desirous of participating in commercial activities, particularly, activities related to the tourism sector such as duty free shopping.”

This Dr. Anthony further explained will help the drive to transform Saint Lucia into the premiere shopping destination in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Saint Lucian public will soon be given an opportunity to share in the ownership of Blue Coral Limited. This will definitely be consistent with government’s policy of encouraging the development of a shareholder democracy in Saint Lucia.

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