November 10, 2006



Are the St. Lucian consumers ready for what is going on in the market place? Consumers have to be ready to take advantage of offerings as they become available and there is only one way to ensure that every opportunity will be taken of advantage of is to PLAN. Planning is the instrument to ensure that you take advantage of the opportunities wisely. The opposite of planning is to take impulsive action which will result in chaos and financial embarrassment. I am preoccupied with what happens after the storm?

Last Saturday, November 6, 2006 is a day to be remembered when Bank of St. Lucia Ltd. and EC Global Insurance Co. Ltd. in collaboration with the New Vehicle Dealers staged AutoMax 2006, a vehicle loan sale for one day where the Dealers were offering currently available and 2007 models, the latter in some cases to be available in 2007. What an offer, all in one package, 100% financed – Tout Bagay – vehicle, accessories, insurance and all. It was an unbeatable offer for those who can truly afford.

Some young Executives are making their presence felt in the market place and their innovative approach to doing business is what will make or break businesses in the future. We just have to do things differently. Those who refuse to be a part of the change will have the door to the future slammed in their faces and be cut off from moving forward. The initiative was taken by institutions within the financial services sector and a Win – Win – Win situation for the institutions, the new vehicle dealers and the consumers resulted. All parties to this innovative and successful project must be complimented. It would be interesting to see much more of this type of collaboration in the future. It was a powerful promotional medium for the participating companies with immediate and specific outcome – SALES!!!

Some time ago, I called for Industry Exhibitions whereby rather than bringing all industries together, just promote Industry Exhibitions for the various sub sectors such as Garments, Furniture, Chemicals, Beverages, Frozen Foods, etc., etc… This type of targeted promotion will boost sales and further foster the Buy Local Spirit. A further challenge would be to encourage imported products to be included in the exhibition which will afford consumers and manufacturers to truly assess the competition and how well local products measure up to it. The Food and Rum Festival provided a very good example when St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. products had to stand up to the competition from around the region. They stood tall!!!

I feel the time has come for a permanent exhibition hall, with exhibitions all year round. We have to stop doing things half way and go the distance. If we had doubts about our ability to fully engage the attention of our local consumers and tourists, recent events have proven that our people are supportive of new ideas. We now have to keep them engaged. There is urgent need for the dissemination of information that will equip citizens with the type of knowledge to get ahead with the emerging lifestyles that impact on all aspect of existence. This can be done in a more general manner through lectures and meetings which will sensitise our people about what is happening in their midst. A combination of events, all targeting the citizens with the full support of the media is necessary. Exciting times are ahead and I am so happy to be alive when so much is happening.

What are we doing about the great technology frontier – the Internet??? We need to get the people with the knowledge of what makes money on the Internet and those who are technology savvy to come together and shake the money trees of the world where it is not so much about selling products but information which is putting millions into the pockets of ordinary people who come together with an idea to take the world by storm providing the type of information the world needs. Why can’t we do the same? Check this out We need to use technology to produce information that will generate financial returns.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge.

Edward Harris – Email:

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