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Private sector optimistic about the benefits of CSME

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Thursday, January 13, 2005 - Representatives of three key partners in Saint Lucia's implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), have all spoken optimistically on the benefits they anticipate will be reaped from the new economic system.

Director of Commerce Mr. Titus Preville, Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce Mr. Brian Louisy and the General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Teachers Union Mr. Wayne Cumberbatch, recently aired their perspectives on the CSME via the National Television Network's Live Discussion programme “Feedback”, which was broadcast on the night of Tuesday, January 11th.

Mr. Preville said the economic rationale for the CSME facilitates the growth and expansion of business entities currently engaged in intra - regional trade: "The CSME in terms of the economic rationale, really and truly lies in the understanding that the global environment, the whole environment was becoming more liberalised, more competitive and you had to have in place a mechanism within the CARICOM countries that could respond with a equal or adequate response, being one of competitiveness, to take advantage of the reality."

For his part, Mr. Louisy said that the members of the Chamber were now poised to view the market in its broadest context: “So you could now see the firms in Saint Lucia seeing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy as their market rather than Saint Lucia. You find that they would remove restrictions preventing businesses from trading between each island; and that would allow companies to grow. Companies will now be able to take on the international market more competitively.”

General Secretary of the Saint Lucia Teachers Union Wayne Cumberbatch said he believed that workers should view the CSME as a plus, aiding to the expansion of the workforce via the creation of more job opportunity. He said there would also be more scope for union bargaining and the negotiating process.

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