Enhancing the business climate
Wednesday, August 9, 2017


The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) in collaboration with Compete Caribbean recently hosted a business forum.

The forum titled “Dialogue for Private Sector Development and Economic Growth” analyzed what sectors, policies, and regulations could spur Saint Lucia’s competitiveness and drive inclusive long-term economic growth.

Minister for Finance, Sen. Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, noted the timeliness of the initiative. He lamented that Saint Lucia is no longer ranked first in the region in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ indicators—a situation that is further compounded by and a lag in innovation and a lack of competitiveness. He added that to stimulate economic growth, the government is in the process of developing a Private Sector Development Strategy and a National Export Strategy.

“The government is committed to leading the process by creating an enabling environment that will support private sector-led growth. This support will be channeled through the NCPC and other agencies of government in collaboration with our development partners such as Compete Caribbean,” he said.

NCPC Executive Director, Fiona Hinkson, detailed the successes of the NCPC in advancing the island’s competitiveness, and noted the organization’s readiness to facilitate dialogue.

“We actively research on factors and principles of productivity and competitiveness in order to inform policy, project design, and dissemination of key indicators,” she said.

Dr. Sylvia Dohnert, the Executive Director of Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility said the private sector development program has agreed to fund three projects that will lead to meaningful reform, or the institutional strengthening needed for business growth in Saint Lucia.

“The first [call for proposals] is at the national level in each country and is about a policy or regulatory reform, or institutional strengthening projects that Saint Lucia wants Compete Caribbean to fund.”

The second call for proposals targets clusters or groups of firms with bias towards job creation. “In the first phase of Compete Caribbean we found them to be very powerful, over 5000 jobs were created through the eight clusters that we supported,” Dr. Dohnert said.

The Compete Caribbean Program was launched in 2011, with a view to increasing productivity and stimulating private sector development in region. Building upon the successes of Phase 1 and Phase II (2017-2020), funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Caribbean Development Bank intend to further facilitate private sector development and economic growth in the region.

Similar offers are being made to other OECS states. The forum was held on July 27, at the Finance Administrative Centre.

Proposals should be submitted by Aug. 31. Proposals for clusters can be submitted directly to Compete Caribbean ( Proposals for policy or regulatory reform and institutional strengthening should be forwarded to the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council, and addressed to:

The Executive Director,

National Competitiveness and Productivity Council,

Fourth Floor, Finance Administrative Centre

Pointe Seraphine, Castries, Saint Lucia

Further details can be obtained: by downloading the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility Call for Proposals; or from the NCPC via; or telephone 758.468-1587.

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