To be entrusted with the Presidency of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is a heavy and humbling honor. To be elected by one’s peers to lead a national institution with 140 years of history to its credit, is to be called into service of both sector and state.
The Chamber, through its Executive and its members, must continue to provide sensible and selfless leadership as required of us for the balanced and sustainable growth of our country. It is therefore more than a privilege to serve. It is a challenge, and it is my expectation that working with our Board, Membership and Secretariat, we will faithfully succeed.
If the Private Sector is to progress within this economy, this country, this nation, sound leadership must be demanded, and delivered, not just by individuals in high office, but also by broad, balanced collectives such as ours, which fervently represent the needs of members, balanced always by the best long-term interest of Saint Lucia.
It is no accident that the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce has been designated as a Development Agency under the Development Agencies Act (No. 26 of 1999). This legislation enshrines for all time, the important partnership role this institution claimed for itself many years ago, as a private sector agency and as a social partner in the development of our country.
This wisdom is precisely reflected in our mission statement which mandates the Chamber, to foster the sustainable growth and development of members through strong leadership, advocacy, innovative service, and positive community impact.
I therefore congratulate and eagerly anticipate the support of our newly elected Executive, as we pursue this enduring mandate. As always, there is much work awaiting, particularly in this post-pandemic landscape.
In the coming months, our agenda will continue to be driven by volatile macro-economic environments abroad, and by the many pressing national economic priorities at home. This is unavoidable. However, we cannot merely be outing fires. We must put transformative structures, policies and practices in place to position our economy for significant growth.
The private sector must therefore be a driving force for sustainable business and community prosperity in St. Lucia. We cannot limit ourselves to easy short-term answers and convenient accommodations. We cannot shy away from productive, mutually respectful engagement with Government, as this is the only way to achieve the kind of policy and administrative cohesion needed to achieve our shared national objectives.
A truly progressive business environment expands employment, accelerates growth, deepens investment and reduces vulnerability and dependency within our island. These are national objectives. These are enduring values, and they require transformative collaborations between enlightened Business and enlightened Government as suggested in the Honorable Prime Minister’s first address to the Private Sector shortly after assuming office.
So, the seeds are sown. It is now for our business community, regardless of sector, to join hands in tending the fields, and bringing in the harvest which will always be the collective economic and social welfare of our people.
The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is located at Orange Park Commercial Building, 1st Floor, Bois D’Orange, Gros Islet.
Advocating on behalf of members with the public sector. Increased visibility and credibility. Business training and education information sharing and networking.
A chamber of commerce is an organization of business owners and entrepreneurs who promote the interests of their local business community. Chambers of commerce provide access to valuable resources, discounts, and relationships that help businesses save money and market their products.
Chambers of Commerce will act to promote public policies that are in the best interest of business, in general. Specific Chambers of Commerce may also attempt to promote policies that serve specific industries or geographic locations.