Government of Saint Luca

Go to Homepage


[Site Map]

[Contact Us]

Search this Site

P.M. Anthony speaks on EU proposed Sugar Regime

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
St. Lucia Ambassadors
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases

Saint Lucia 25th Independence Celebrations

About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help
Subscribe to NEMO News
Updates to Hurricane Frances

Weather Information Service Number

(758) 454-3452

Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - The holding of region’s economy ransom by international agreements which care little for the constraints of small size, lack of economic diversity and vulnerability to external economic shocks has once again been underscored. Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony made the statement Monday August 1st in his weekly radio address ‘Conversation with the Nation’.

Reiterating his government’s firm commitment and support for the banana industry, Prime Minister Anthony said the decline in the sector was due largely to global forces of over which regional governments have little control. Those very forces he said are now affecting the region’s sugar industry with severe contractions and major economic and social displacements set to occur in Guyana, Jamaica, Belize, Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Based on the latest proposed European Union (EU) Commission regime on the sale of white sugar, effective 2006 guaranteed prices will be cut by 39% over a four year period. The proposed cuts according to Dr. Anthony will reduce earnings of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar producers by US$400 million annually. ACP states Dr. Anthony said were not opposed to reforms in the industry but like what happened with Windward Island bananas he said the proposed cuts in prices on the part of the EU “are too deep, too soon and too short.”

OECS sister state St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Anthony said was the first causality from the assault on sugar, with the sugar industry there leaving a debt of over $350 million. “Could you have imagine what would have happened in Saint Lucia if this government had allowed the debt of the old Saint Lucia Banana Growers Association (SLBGA) to go above the EC$45 million which it inherited in 1997.” He said in light of moves toward globalization, preferential arrangements represented an economic lifeline for ACP states. He said as in the case of bananas, aid from the EU designed to cushion the effects of the new trading arrangements provided little or no relief. A 40 million Euro or EC$120 million aid-package has been described as grossly inadequate by ACP sugar producers.

According to Dr. Anthony, “To begin with, the proposed aid programme is simply too small. Imagine the sum of US$48.3 million to be divided among 18 ACP states. It’s obvious that when this amount is shared between the respective countries it will be wholly inadequate to compensate for the loss of earnings resulting from the proposed cuts.”

Dr. Anthony said the unfortunate lessons currently being learnt by way of the region’s sugar industry in more ways than one, flies in the face of critics who say government is responsible for the demise of the banana industry.

Home ] Up ] [Site Help]

© 2005 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.