Government of Saint Lucia

Go to Homepage


[Site Map]

[Contact Us]

Search this Site

Joint French trade mission to Saint Lucia successful

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
Overseas Missions
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network
Watch NTN Live

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases
About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help

Contact: John Emmanuel


Friday,  June 19, 2009 –  The National Development Corporation in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs was pleased to host a Joint French Mission to St. Lucia comprising delegates from the Chambers of Commerce of Martinique and Guadeloupe and the Regional Directorate for Foreign Trade which took place from 8th to 11th June 2009. 


The Joint French Trade Mission to St. Lucia presented an invaluable opportunity for the business communities of the respective participants to benefit from potential trading and networking opportunities. The initiative brought together 25 French companies from Martinique and Guadeloupe and over 26 local companies to learn more about doing business in their territories and develop a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances of each island.


The initiative reflected the understanding by all parties involved that conducting research is always an important first step in investigating the potential of new markets. In relation to the formation of business partnerships, it highlighted the fact that there is no substitute for travelling to the chosen overseas market for that crucial face-to-face contact. The initiative provided the French counterparts with the benefit of gaining first-hand experience of target markets and a chance to assess business potential on the island.  


As aptly noted by Mr. Timothy Greene, Acting General Manager of the National Development Corporation, at first blush, a trade mission seeking new business opportunities and industry trends may appear overly optimistic cognizant of the financial turbulence taking place in the global economy.  However, he further noted, the high level of participation from the local private sector  reflected the sector’s  innovative nature in understanding that business opportunities abound at every juncture, their  entrepreneurial spirit in recognizing that downturns in business cycles  provide the opportunity for the birthing of new industry trends as old arrangements for doing business lose their profitability and efficiency  and the sector’s determination in seeking  a proactive approach in meeting the challenge and mitigating the negative effects of the current dampening of the demand for goods and services both local and abroad through the development and strengthening of  business relations beyond their own borders.


The Business to Business meetings scheduled for 9th June 2009 were well attended with mutual areas of commercial interest identified in the Information Technology and Agro-processing sectors. 


Site visits to the south of the island kindly hosted by the Windward and Leeward Brewery and Baron Foods Limited sought to promote St. Lucia’s strength as an investment destination and highlight the high level of technical expertise available on the island in the areas of manufacturing and agro-processing to the French delegation.  Many of the delegates expressed their surprise at the many industrial estates located on the island as well as the number of export ready manufacturers who had attained international certification in sanitary and phytosanitary measures  and whose processes were certified by international standards such as ISO 9000.


The French territories continue to be a target for regional tourism and the day ended fittingly with a tour of the Sandals Regency at La Toc, showcasing the unique tourism product that is St. Lucia.


Whilst the mission successfully laid the platform for the further deepening of trading relations between the respective private sector companies, key issues such as the need to improve the ease of business travel to the respective French territories were identified. The need for institutionalized contract frameworks for engaging St. Lucian business counterparts was also identified by representatives of the French delegation as another challenge which would need to be addressed by the respective authorities.


The National Development Corporation as part of its commitment to local private sector development is providing the necessary research and networking support services in order to facilitate the development of joint ventures and other commercial relationships between St. Lucian firms and their French counterparts.


Special thanks must be expressed to the management and membership of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association, the St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA) and the St. Lucia Coalition of Services Industries for their participation and invaluable support in making this event a success. The National Development Corporation will continue to seek to collaborate with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs as well as local business support organizations in future initiatives.



John Emmanuel - Communications/Special Events Officer, National Development Corporation

Home ] Up ] [Site Help]

© 2009 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.