January 4, 2017




Happy New Year to the readers of my column everywhere, especially those of the Caribbean Diaspora! The journey into the New Year – 2017   has just begun. We who live on this rock called Saint Lucia are very fortunate to have an extra day for the New Year holidays when we can indulge in some further reflections of the past year, sharpen our resolutions, set goals and have some fun. The two days are celebrated with the age old ASSOU Square which is usually held in Castries. However, in recent years the event is also held in Vieux Fort, as efforts continue to decentralise many social and cultural activities; in some cases hosting festivals in rural communities and towns. The ASSOU square two day event; after it was moved from the Columbus Square now Derek Walcott Square to the John Compton Highway for several years, returned this year to the Square.

The year 2016 will long be remembered for the new normal that has been brought about in politics and by extension, all aspects of life in the free world. There are similarities with what happened in Saint Lucia in June of 2016 and the United States of America in November of 2016. In both countries the head of State are products of the private sector, and as a result are expected to take a business approach to managing the affairs of State.

It is very clear that it will not be business as usual and the politicians who until now are accustomed to doing the same old things, expecting different results will have to adapt to a results oriented environment. As a person who after a short stint in the postal service has spent almost my entire life in the private sector, and has always lamented how slow the machinery of government works, I applaud the new direction that will come about with the new administration in Castries and Washington. Government must set the pace as facilitators designing programmes that will excite Entrepreneurs who are the principal drivers of the engine of growth. The private sector generates revenue for the government which provides the social services such as education, health care, infrastructural works, etc. The activities of government and the private sector are inextricably linked. As we go forward in this unique partnership, having persons who are knowledgeable about business at the helm should definitely be an advantage. I always looked forward to this day. Only time will tell how well we manage this glorious opportunity.

Coming out of 2016, the Citizen by Investment Programme (CIP) has been amended, making it very attractive to those persons seeking a second passport and Foreign Direct Investment opportunities. The amendment was necessary to accommodate the mega US $2.6 billion investment by Desert Star Holdings Limited. The debate continues into the merits and demerits of these two programmes and it should be possible for our citizens to get a clearer picture of the overall implications of these programmes within a few weeks. We, the electorate always find ourselves in the dilemma of wanting to be more involved in the decision making process of Government. However, this has not been the case and we are left with only one choice is to evaluate the performance of government during their five year term and either return the team to office or send them packing. That is the reality of life in a democratic country. It must be accepted that the party in government given a vote of confidence by the majority of voters is elected to lead.

The citizens of Saint Lucia, especially those in the South of the island   seem to be very upbeat as they welcome the New Year. The streets of Vieux Fort were as busy as the peak holiday shopping period on the first working day of the New Year. That is definitely a positive sign.

My website recommendation of the week is www.cipsaintlucia.com I invite you to visit this website and see how you can become involved in the CIP offerings. My recommendation is that we work together in every possible way, including forming investment companies to seize opportunities in the real estate market. Property values in a short time will rise substantially. Now is the time to jump in.

I wish my readers the very best for 2017 and that we will all make 2017 our best year ever!

Remember always to Keep the Faith, knowing that God is in Charge – Dream Big and Expect Miracles!

Edward Harris

Biblicist, Author/Publisher, Business Consultant, Real Estate Agent/Broker, Networker, CSR/Small Business Advocate & Motivational Speaker Email: jobfreelife72@yahoo.comWebsite: www.stluciasimplybeautiful.com Facebook Page:www.facebook.com/edharrisbiz


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