November 30, 2006



Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, verses 1 – 8 are very instructive at this time. Verse 3 states that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. At this time in our country’s history, St. Lucians are called upon to make a choice of Government that will demand that we assess carefully where we have come from, where we are today and where we are headed.

There is no doubt that St. Lucia has attained a favourable position among small island states not only in the region but in the world. At the core of all the favourable reports is our standing as a destination for ease of doing business. This week, I witnessed the presentation of a World Bank Report on Doing Business 2007 which surveyed six member States of the OECS, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Doing Business 2007 Report was undertaken in 175 economies with 10 topic areas: 1. Starting a business 2. Dealing with licences 3. Employing workers 4. Registering property 5. Enforcing contracts 6. Getting credit 7. Trading across borders 8. Protecting Investors 9. Paying taxes 10. Closing a business

The results of the ranking are as follows: 1. St. Lucia 27, 2. Antigua and Barbuda 33, 3. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 44, 4. Dominica 72, 5. Grenada 73, St. Kitts-Nevis 85. When all 6 States are grouped together, they are ranked at 14. This definitely makes the case for OECS Unity, at least for an Economic Union. While St. Lucia has scored highest among the 6 States at #27, within the 10 categories, St. Vincent and the Grenadines scored #1 among the 175 countries surveyed in the category of Licencing of construction projects.

It was very clear from the findings of the survey that there is a lot to be done to get the States of our region to the position of being really attractive to international investors in relation to the ease of doing business in the OECS. The meeting was well attended by representatives of the contributing institutions and Officials of the private and public sectors. A passionate plea was made to donor countries to expand the study to include tourism and for funding to help to implement changes that will bring the countries up to the point where their ranking will be improved. This is the first time such a project has been undertaken in the OECS. You can check out the full details of the report at

This report is a document that governments should take serious note of and move swiftly to implement procedures that will remove existing hassles and make the region one that is welcoming to investors. In the meantime, we can celebrate the fact that St. Lucia is a World Class destination for doing business in the Caribbean. When tourism is added, my theme “St. Lucia, a unique destination for business and pleasure in the Caribbean” would have been realized. Visit:

In recent times, St. Lucia has received very favourable rankings from international institutions and the country has benefited as a result. Today, St. Lucia enjoys favoured nation status, not in the supply of goods to the USA but rather in areas of its economic performance.

This week Discovery at Marigot Bay, a world class property was officially opened and the Marigot Bay area has been energized. The Verity family, owners of the property have brought a new management style to St. Lucia and have firmly established the fact that investors can transform communities by being excellent corporate citizens.

The National Association of Realtors (St. Lucia) Ltd will host its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 7th December, 2006 at the Bay Gardens Hotel – Conference Room, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet at 5.30pm. Presentations will be made by Officials of the Ministry of Commerce, Tourism, Investment & Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing. All Real Estate Agents and persons involved in related areas of activities are invited. A Board of Directors will be elected at the AGM.

The season for electing a Government is at hand and so is the season of heightened business activities. However, while everyone is talking about politics, business is as usual. It is interesting to note that nothing has slowed down as in many other countries in the region at election time, businesspersons adopt a wait and see attitude but here in St. Lucia, it is full speed ahead.

Plan to have your say on Election Day, vote early!

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge


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