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Financial Planners Formulate a National Development Plan for St. Lucia

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - Financial planners at key agencies in government, have begun discussions leading to the formation of a National Development Plan for the country. The plan will essentially seek to chart the course of development - both economic and social - of St. Lucia, over a projected timeframe. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Trevor Braithwaite, says the plan will evolve into a medium term strategy and subsequently into a public sector investment programme.

“It’s essential for various reasons that the government be in a position to plan its activities. If we do not plan properly, it is likely that we are going to miss out on opportunities and perhaps not take cognisance of the threats that exist and see how we can develop a process of moving forward, based on some blueprint over time,” said Braithwaite.

The five-year National Development Plan being worked on in conjunction with the National Economic Council (NEC), is anticipated to streamline the processes leading to capital and social programmes for the country. Braithwaite says, the blueprint will in the end need Cabinet’s approval before implementation. “We anticipate that the process of engagement of the agencies will take another two months and hopefully we will be through by October. We will then present the plan to the Cabinet of Ministers for their approval and that will lead to some engagement with Cabinet members, because we would like to get their input as well.”

The exercise which took place at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Tuesday July 15, 2003, formed part of attempts at keeping abreast with changes in the national and international state of affairs.

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