Monday, March 17, 2003 – An appeal has gone out to members of the private
sector to play a more visible role in the operations of the Chamber. Speaking at
the Chamber’s first quarterly general meeting, Thursday, Chairman of the Saint
Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Guy Mayers, explained the need for members of the
private sector to develop a collaborative approach towards the operation of the
organisation in an effort to assist the Chamber to maintain its influence on the
Saint Lucian economy.
Mayers believe that there is need for a strong private sector organisation to
help address the many issues facing the country and to assist in promoting and
sustaining the local micro-economic environment.
“Government needs a strong private sector with the capacity and ability to
engage them in economy policy debate and make substantive contributions to
national development. Our goals and objectives as we all realise are the same.
We want to promote and sustain a healthy, political, economic and social
environment in which free enterprise and ethical business practice can flourish
in harmony with the development of the entire Saint Lucian community,” Mayers
The Forum also provided its members the opportunity to dialogue with Prime
Minister and Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Honourable Dr. Kenny
In his address to the members, Dr Anthony reminded them of the global economic
conditions, which he says are very worrying considering the possibility of a war
in Iraq and the world economy slipping deeper in recession.
“I have not hidden the fact. I have said so repeatedly, that we have been under
tremendous fiscal pressure because of the significant drop in revenue to
maintain government services. And you will understand that if your tourism
suffers, if you continue to lose export income from your bananas, despite the
growth that you have experienced, if you experienced a down turn and you cannot
collect the same amount of consumption taxes or taxes on international trade,
then obviously you are going to suffer on the fiscal front” Dr. Anthony said.
The Prime Minister said that the country is faced with immense risks and the
possibility of war in Iraq is causing the government to lose several millions of
dollars, due to subsidized fuel. This he explained may mean that in the next few
days, adjustments will have to be made to deal with the existing situation.