WASHINGTON (August 5, 2009)
- St. Lucia is looking to deepen its economic development links with public and
private sector players in the Washington DC area.
Passing through the US capital last week en route to St. Lucia from Taiwan,
Prime Minister Hon. Stephenson King met with Washington DC Council member
At-Large Kwame Brown at the Headquarters of Black Entertainment Television (BET)
before travelling to Maryland to discuss investment opportunities with African
American entrepreneur and BET founder Robert Johnson, now CEO of RLJ Development
- one of the fastest growing hotel investment companies in the United States -
and Chairman of the RLJ Companies.
The meetings were arranged by BET executive Paxton Baker, who has been doing
business with St. Lucia for the past 17 years.
Prime Minister King thanked Baker and BET for their long association and support
of the famous St. Lucia Jazz festival, which along with the Pitons twin-peaks, a
UNESCO World Heritage Site, has placed St. Lucia on the international map.
"We have been able to showcase the country ... as a result of the jazz
festival," said Prime Minister King who recognised the festival had transformed
a slow tourism month into a buoyant period of activity for the tourism industry,
as well as allowing locals the opportunity to celebrate an historic art form
and, for some of them, to sharpen their event production skills. "The long term
returns are enormous and cannot be quantified," said Prime Minister King who
pledged his commitment to continue integrating tourism with the cultural
industries of St. Lucia.
Council member At-Large Kwame Brown, who is Chairperson of the Committee on
Economic Development, said the opportunity to link DC area businesses with St.
Lucia and vice versa was natural and synergistic. "I think it is a win-win
situation," said Brown, who was personally impressed with the Prime Minister's
commitment to working with Washingtonians as well as American businesses across
several US cities.
Participants at the meetings endorsed the fact that there was tremendous value
in St. Lucia's top government leader connecting with local government
representative Kwame Brown who presides over major economic development issues
affecting the District in the Council of the District of Columbia. It was felt
that these links to local government will help bring to fruition projects aimed
at sustaining economic development, promoting trade and enriching communities in
Contact: Bevan Springer | P.O. Box 354 | Sea Cliff | NY | 11579