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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - The local private sector this week held trade talks with their counterparts from Martinique and Guadeloupe.  The four-day meeting is designed to foster closer partnerships between Saint Lucian businesses and those in neighbouring French Departments.


Minister for Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs Senator the Hon. Tessa Mangal said the recent signing of the CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), provides an excellent opportunity for Saint Lucian and French businesses to formalise and deepen trading arrangements.


“This mission must be seen not merely as an opportunity for trade between the islands, but as the initial step to allow Saint Lucian producers to access the European Market. Investors from Martinique and Guadeloupe have a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the incentives offered for attracting investment to Saint Lucia to export goods and services to the European Market,” she said.


Senator Mangal also noted that historical ties have formed the basis for long-standing trading partnerships between Saint Lucia and the French Departments.  She said it’s important that Saint Lucian and French businesses create synergies, particularly in the areas of rules of origin and market access, and says government will provide the enabling environment.


“I wish to reaffirm the government of Saint Lucia's commitment to growth and development of the private sector and in that regard, we will do all in our power to facilitate the business community in taking


advantage of the opportunities that arise from this mission,” said the Minister for Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs Senator the Hon. Tessa Mangal.


The French Trade and Investment Mission to Saint Lucia comprises over twenty two companies ranging from Food Processing, Civil Works, ICT, Renewable Energy and the Environment.


The business initiative is being facilitated by the National Development Corporation (NDC) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs.

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