Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Bradly Felix, has expressed great optimism for the future of the annual Saint Lucia–Taiwan Partnership Trade Show.
The trade show reached its ten-year milestone this year.
The three-day event, which concluded in Saint Lucia on Nov. 26, brought together Saint Lucia small and medium enterprises and their Taiwanese counterparts to showcase an array of goods and services.
According to Minister Felix, the tradeshow reflects a certain degree of commitment to, and an understanding of the private sector as the engine of growth in a free-market economy. He added that it further signals an acceptance by the governments of both countries of their critical role in providing an enabling environment for businesses to flourish.
“The Partnership Trade Exhibition which has spanned different political administrations bears testimony that Saint Lucia is a young but maturing democracy; that differing political persuasions accept that the state must provide support to private enterprise; and that Saint Lucia is a good place for investors and their investments, as the role of the private sector is respected and understood in our economy,” Minister Felix said. “We are already noticing the presence of regional buyers at this event seeking possible goods for importing into their country. This trade is therefore fast becoming a platform for accessing export markets.”
The commerce minister said the Government of Saint Lucia was extremely grateful to the Government of Taiwan for its pivotal role in the trade show. He said over the last ten years, attempts have been made to broaden the scope of the event with the addition of the “Business to Business Mixer” which provides an opportunity for businesses from the two countries to network.
“We therefore anticipate that by next year, the exhibition should have on display goods produced in Saint Lucia from a joint venture between persons from Saint Lucia and Taiwan,” he said. “We are therefore excited about the prospects of the development of business in Saint Lucia. We know in Taiwan we have found a true friend and partner who understands where we as a people are in terms of the development of our private sector and economy. We know that we can count on them in the years ahead as we journey together.
“The next decade must therefore focus on broadening the scope of this event. We must see this event as not only a producer forum but increasingly as an opportunity to build exports by purposely inviting regional and international buyers. It must serve as a platform for attracting new investment from both the domestic and foreign sectors.”
The commerce minister has challenged local investors to see the importance of innovation and creativity to business success.