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French Authorities support major roads development programme for Saint Lucia

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - An additional agreement for a multi-million dollar tertiary roads development project has been signed between the governments of France and Saint Lucia, via the Agence Francaise de Developpment. The fourteen million Euro initiative, of which ten million Euro is coming from the French, will not only assist in the rehabilitation of tertiary roads across the country, but will also for the first time place emphasis on roads vital to the development of eco-tourism.

Signing on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony commended the French for assisting in what he described as an initiative that was hard to sell to other lending agencies. According to Dr. Anthony, “some institutions have said to us that the economic value of these roads is highly questionable because no serious economic activity takes place, for example the production and marketing of bananas.” He said, “a very different approach has been taken. The Agence Francaise de Developpment has understood that we have to diversify our tourism product and it is vital that we encourage eco-tourism. I know for a fact that French tourists do have a passion for eco-tourism. I want to emphasise therefore that this is no ordinary loan but one that’s intended to significantly push our efforts at eco-tourism and to enhance the product that we offer to tourists at large.”


Ambassador of France to Saint Lucia and the OECS His Excellency Henry Vidal noted that Monday’s signing further solidified the co-operation and friendship that exist between France and Saint Lucia, coming on the heels of the official opening of a Consulate Office in Martinique on Saturday, 8th February, 2003

“Apart from that it’ very important to see that this signing marks a great continuity in the commitment of the Agence Francaise de Developpment, which is a public financial institution depending on the French Government, exhibiting a continuity in its commitment towards Saint Lucia,” said Ambassador Vidal.

The French Government via its various lending agencies have pumped well over EC$125 million into Saint Lucia over the past ten years.

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