October 18, 2006



St. Lucia is really buzzing. The challenges of business are more complex than they ever were, and then there are the demands on the time of Executives to be spent away from their offices attending meetings and conferences.

Today’s Business Executives have to be up long hours, when not at their desks, networking at conferences, luncheons, dinners and cocktails. The average Executive works 16 hours a day while awake and the subconscious mind, the other 8 making a full 24 hours a day. With such hectic lifestyle, I hasten to caution Executives and generally leaders in society to pay attention to their health and pamper themselves. Today, there are choices of medical services and all types of therapists. Regular medical check ups and frequent massages to help with the stress conditions under which Executives operate are very necessary. The fast pace is not helping many Executives as they fail to take care of themselves claiming to be too busy to stop and smell the roses.

What about that long promised holiday with family and I believe going on holidays with close friends add to the enjoyment, especially on a cruise. Going abroad on a holiday is a sure way to take you away from the business demands and it also gives Executives an opportunity to see how efficient their middle management is.

During the past week there has been some interesting programmes, it began last Thursday with the four day CMEx Conference which engaged media practitioners of the Caricom region, USA, Canada and England. With every passing year this conference is increasing in value. Every year participants get an opportunity to hear from the youth of the region and influential Business Executives and Professionals. This year while the emphasis continued on providing media professionals with information they can use to sensitise their communities, Business Executives got a first hand look at developments in media technology and other aspects of business.

The idea of Speed Networking was discussed and the need to freely establish contact with other persons is vital to broadening business relations. Village Tourism was widely discussed and programmes are well advanced for the Rodney Bay Village to take off. Mr. Kondo Norihiko, President of Kaiho Sangyo Co. Ltd a Japanese Company involved in recycling of motor vehicles and the sales of parts and used vehicles made a presentation in which he noted that only 5% of a vehicle goes to waste and that he is seeking to establish a recycling plant in the region. Information on this operation is available at

I believe the time has come for the CMEx conference to be expanded to include observers from the private and public sectors. The more persons exposed to the debate the better. You can catch up on the various presentations at The conference was a success and it will definitely expand with sponsors like Mr. Allen Chastanet who will be making available one of their properties – Coco Creole to host 30 youths whenever the Conference is held in St. Lucia. He said the offer is good for as long as CMEx continues.

The St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA) in collaboration with Caribbean Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (CASME) hosted a Workshop on October 16 & 17 at the Cara Suites Hotel on “Export Preparedness”. A holistic approach to doing business in the 21 century was presented by the Facilitator, Hon. Senator, Sandra Husbands, President of CASME which is headquartered in Barbados. The Workshop was well attended and small businesspersons have benefited tremendously from the experiences shared by their Barbadian counterparts.

A Representative of Hilton Grand Vacations Company spent a few days in St. Lucia and kicked off his visit with a Cocktail Reception at the Bay Gardens Conference Centre on October 16, 2006. The programme is all about buying vacations in advance, prepaid vacations that are transferable to family members. You can purchase a 30 year plan affording you one week per annum in a two bedroom accommodation at any of their properties or any of the eight other options. The purchase is by Deed and with a deposit of 25%, flexible payment terms of the remainder over a period of 5 years could be arranged. The proposition is very attractive and those persons who look forward to annual vacation could be in for a deal. Check it out at or Email

The business class in St. Lucia is leaving no stone unturned as Government seeks to conclude negotiations on the Labour Code prior to general elections which is expected before the end of 2006. The Chamber held a Luncheon at the Sandals Grande on 18/10/06 and the business community turned out in their numbers to listen to the Consultant engaged by the St. Lucia Private Sector Council and ask questions about the effects of the Labour Code on their businesses. It is generally felt that Government will not implement a Labour Code that will hinder the economy. However, it is very clear that there is a lot of negotiating to be done as it appears that special attention would have to be given to the tourism sector, especially as it relates to hours of work and the split shift system. Other areas of concern included the cost of implementation at the firm level and the penalties.

There is never a dull moment in the life of an Entrepreneur. As you take risks, enjoy the rewards.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge!


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