SAINT LUCIA’S investment climate remains buoyant despite the domestic and global challenges that the island is currently faced with. So says CEO of Invest St Lucia McHale Andrew.
Appearing on the live radio talk show 90 Minutes on Radio Saint Lucia, Andrew pointed to the fact that a number of new and ongoing investments are expected to reach their full implementation stage by the first half of 2015.
“While we remain cautiously optimistic about the investment prospects, there are a quite a few projects that we can tout as having gone through the various stages of the investment process and are either at implementation stage or near completion,” he explained.
“Freedom Bay,” he cited,” is one of two examples of hotel projects currently under construction in Soufriere. The newly opened Dive Saint Lucia has already begun construction works on the proposed 115-room hotel with completion expected by mid-2016.”
Capella at Marigot Bay as well as Blue Diamond’s acquisition of Smugglers were also worthy of mention as projects that were successfully implemented in 2014.
Some other pipeline projects include the Marine Adventure Park in Canaries, Antilia Brewing Company in Rodney Bay, the marina development in Vieux-Fort as well as two projects related to medical tourism.
Joining him in the discussion was Minister responsible for Investments, Emma Hippolyte who urged local investors with sitting capital to follow the examples set by Duboulay’s Bottling and a number of others to reinvest in their businesses and even create new avenues in which to make a return on their investment.
She also noted that one of the major challenges experienced with attracting and retaining investments is the fact that all related agencies are not necessarily on the same page.
“Our competition is the world,” she emphasized. “How do you get Customs and Immigration officers for example to get to the point where we’re all on the same page?
“How do we get all the agencies on board to provide Invest Saint Lucia with timely and reliable information for investors? These are some of the challenges that we hope to overcome in the near future so that we all see and work towards the big picture,” said the Minister.
Invest Saint Lucia’s approach to targeting investments includes matching investors with Saint Lucia’s value proposition and streamlining propositions to determine where Saint Lucia has a comparative advantage and where we can build a competitive advantage using those attributes, Andrew said.
He promised the listening audience that once those other projects gain traction, a more official proclamation will be made by Invest Saint Lucia.