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Doing Business In St. Lucia

By Edward A. Harris
Freelance Journalist: Business & P. R. Consultant: Realtor:
President of the Guyana – St. Lucia Association

This is my 5th and final article in the Series of Doing Business in St. Lucia and as I remarked in my last article, I do hope you have been stimulated to take action to get involved in some form of entrepreneurial endeavour whether it is in St. Lucia or any other part of the world.

   Here in St. Lucia, the climate for doing business has never been better. Our Government understands its role as a facilitator and seeks to open up every opportunity to persons who wish to do business here, be it locals or foreigners. As a matter of fact, the tourism sector is being driven by direct foreign investment.

   It should be of interest to note two recent developments, 1.) American Airlines will be back with their direct flight from Miami in the Winter Season. They are celebrating their inaugural flight with the sponsorship of a Charity Concert to benefit Hurricane ravaged islands of Jamaica, Grenada and Bahamas on Pigeon Island, the Home of St. Lucia Jazz on November 6, 2004 featuring Kenny Rogers and Maxi Priest. The same day St. Lucia will be awarded a special hospitality services award as a tourism destination. Airlift is important to St. Lucia and with American back it shows confidence in the St. Lucia’s Tourism product. Grenada’s tourism plant will take some moths to be back up and running, that means increased traffic to St. Lucia. 2.) Hon. Gordon Butch Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International announced their fourth property in St. Lucia. This time it’s an addition to the Beaches Family Resort chain of hotels. It is a 300-room hotel, which will be built on 35 acres of land at Pigeon Point. The 5 star hotel during construction will employ 250 persons and when completed is expected to employ 600 persons.

   The Government of St. Lucia has recently increased its tax holiday to the tourism sector, from 15 to 20 years as a special incentive to investors wishing to capture the rise in demand that is expected during Cricket World Cup 2007 and beyond. This is no time to be sitting on the fence. 20 years Tax Holiday, Waiver of Customs Levies on import of building materials and equipment, Waiver of Land Holding Licence for properties with 10 rooms and over. This is an opportunity not to be missed by any serious investor.

   Cricket World Cup is not only about cricket, it is about St. Lucia as a destination, the visitors will be all over St. Lucia finding out more about our beautiful island. Ambush marketing will not prevent creative business people from making a living so I expect that there will be as much opportunity even if not more outside of the cricket ground that inside. What about buying out hotel accommodation for the cricket world cup season? Cash is tight now and many hotel operators should be willing to discuss and enter into this type of arrangement. What about booking nightclubs and entertainment centers? It is going to be big business. Business like we have never witnessed in this region before. The organizers are doing everything possible to present a product that will be beyond the expectations of our visitors. St. Lucia, a Unique Destination for Business and Pleasure, Simply Beautiful!!!!

   I began my series of articles by introducing my readers to opportunities within the real estate sector. Investment in this area can be relied upon to produce substantial profit on investment from the beginning. There are some opportunities in condominium purchases and a number of them are on the drawing board. You can profit from your investment at the completion stage once you got on board at the construction stage. However, I usually recommend to my clients whenever I feel that they can deal with the issues involved, to build their own dream rather than buying someone else’s. A profit of 33% on total cost is not unreasonable to expect immediately after construction. It can be substantially more depending on the location. In the South of the island there are excellent opportunities to acquire lands at reasonable prices. Millennium Investment and Consultants Brokerage can assist you in identifying prime properties. Contact Mrs. Myrna George-Harris at Tel; 758-454-7619, Fax: 758-454-7594

   Many reputable businesspersons in St. Lucia are seeking to collaborate with investors and individuals to invest in projects small and large in the real estate sector. Why not become a matchmaker for investments. You can become a Business Associate and earn up to 25% commission without any investment on your part, of the gross commission earned by the Broker. Let us do business together as you review my articles, you can conclude the time is now and the opportunities are endless, even a new idea to bar b que chicken could be a winner.

   This is the time to build alliances at the social, cultural and business levels. The more we know about each other and our countries and interact with each other the better it will be for all of us and most importantly, we will be able to develop trust on which long, lasting business and other relationships could be built.

   I am here to support your entry into doing business off and would be pleased to offer any assistance necessary in assisting you to fulfill your entrepreneurial dream. The world is looking for people. Let us together make this world a better place and that ideal takes $$$$$$$$$$$$. Welcome to doing Business in St. Lucia - Beautiful and Blessed! 

   I take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in my articles. I am committed to continue writing for this publication and from the next issue I will be at large, always keeping an eye out for investment opportunities that can be beneficial to my readers. Look out for Ed Harris at Large!!!

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