By Caribbean News Global
CANADA / ST LUCIA – On October 25, the government of Saint Lucia announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cruise development with Global Ports Holding (GPH) Ltd, stating: “Through this agreement, Saint Lucia Air and Seaport Authority (SLASPA) anticipates a transformation of the island’s cruise product, more so, from the standpoint of the development of the port infrastructure.”
In a press release, SLASPA said:
“This initiative is aligned with the varied strategies of SLASPA and efforts to improve Saint Lucia’s maritime industry,” adding“ These plans aim to enhance maritime business, creating opportunities for local SMEs, the youth, and private sector entities, participating in the maritime industry.”
Notwithstanding many influences, there is much secrecy to transparency and accountability surrounding two common denominators that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), very recently campaigned – is dissimilar with the current government’s inaccessibility to public scrutiny of the MoU between the government of Saint Lucia and Global Ports Holding (GPH).
Tourism continues to suck out the natural resources of Saint Lucia – leasing prime real estate, and restricting access to the beach which will compromise the blue economy, to the detriment and exclusion of nationals.
The flight of foreign currency is a by-product of the tourism industry to which services are paid in advance to external portals. Nonetheless, “Through this agreement, SLASPA anticipates a transformation of the island’s cruise product, more so, from the standpoint of the development of the port infrastructure.”
The Facebook post on PMOSL, said:
“I look forward to the redevelopment and expansion of the Castries and Soufriere Waterfronts by Global Ports Holding in the months ahead. This USD 47 million project will not only enhance our tourism product but also provide greater opportunities to our vendors and hospitality workers.
“Upon completion of the project, Port Castries will have a boardwalk and will be able to accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships. Arcade vendors will gain access to new and improved facilities and Castries fishers will reap the benefits of a new fishing village and ferry facility in Bananes Bay and Pointe Seraphine. The reimagined Soufriere waterfront will feature enhanced docking facilities and new retail spaces for local vendors.”
This can also be juxtaposed with the government’s top ten achievements from October 10 – 16, 2022. #PuttingYouFirst
Restoring the real economy
Saint Lucia is laden with multiple socio-economic problems the least of which include making cogent policy, the direction to a sustainable future, laded with national insecurity (crime) and a parliament struggling with its mandate.
Saint Lucia has declined from a real economy that produced products. But in recent times the proliferation of guns, and ammunition, a self-proclaimed Bazooka speaker, a biblical Moses-speaking senator and a recently fired president, seem to rekindle a new age of productivity – the privileged circumstances and political influence to undermine political rivals and the rule of law.
Saint Lucia is drifting
Conversely, comedy is a staple, to which ‘Saint Lucia is drifting further away from the opportunity to create a robust, healthy and growing economy with the capability to confront extreme poverty and chronic depredation,’ noted the article published, on November 10, 2015, resonates today.
“In a system dominated by patronage and renewed support for unorthodox socialist investment and fiscal policies, fringe elements are impeding growth, raising taxes and laying the country open to increase social costs, the effects of which have reduced aggregate demand for goods and services, degraded average real income and worsened the scope for economic development.
“This reflects the misguided priorities of the Kenny Anthony administration that apparently does not understand economic development and, ignoring conventional wisdom, has deflected hopes, dreams and eroded security to the brink of lawlessness, resulting in a stuttering economy.
“By and large, economic and development policy has to assimilate into the needs of the community and society, with an ambitious plan to maintain the pace of innovation, science and technology, while providing expansionary products and services, and investment opportunities to deliver economic growth.
“More importantly, a strategy built on ethics, morals and values is far more appropriate to model a government of justice, national unity and economic development, in contrast to chasing after spectral policies with no real substance.”
Fast forward to today, in essence, the oracles of lawmakers are deviant with credibility to a productive economy, gasping to influence the rule of law, command and control of lawlessness.
In the context of Saint Lucia’s quadratic equation the variable is random, unpredictable and dynamic to conditions, consistent with the chaos theory, published on August 4, 2017, referenced:
“Chaos is everywhere, hunted by the goldilocks strategy, to expend economic and political influence with fronts intended to carry out “change” in “building a new Saint Lucia”.
“While this blended theory distinguishes the ineffable quality to expend political and economic life, citizens worry about personal security, food, housing, health care and education. What’s more, genuine national policy action and targeted investments for substantial economic impact are expected. Moreover, yes, it is the government’s role to present a clear transparent plan on the way forward.”
Standard of living
The standard of living in Saint Lucia has deteriorated. The prescription for economic decline continues to wither and disappear as the government lacks the gravitas and influence to provide, technical trade and manufacturing jobs and hubs, producing export products. Instead, the economy is pegged on tourism and a service economy, centred on the way of thinking of petty-bourgeois and political loyalists.
The result is that today, Saint Lucia is at the mercy of political loyalists, external conglomerates and pabloism. This is evident in the incapacity and know-how to reform the justice system and strengthen democratic institutions, transparency and the independence to promote accountability.
Dictate the emergence
The task ahead is fundamental to Saint Lucia, currently on edge and seeking its soul – 43 years as a young democracy.
Fifteen months into his new administration, prime minister Philip Pierre, currently on vacation, has the opportunity through the process of – clarity of mind, away from the drowning noise of competing parliamentarians and high agents of the government to retool and reload, moving forward.
This will require affirming a much-needed grip on the national security and governance of Saint Lucia – as well as explaining his economic policy, inflation reduction measures, his vision for Saint Lucia, healthcare, food security, economic growth and what are the challenges and options for the path ahead.
Training in research and product development is a necessity for product innovation and supplementing the labour pool for the next generation. The need exist to create new and better incentives for nationals to invest in Saint Lucia, supported by a purposeful tax plan for new entrepreneurs, new and existing manufacturing operations.
Unlike the service industry, innovative, production of goods with an export focus would create higher-wage jobs for thousands of Saint Lucians and a depleting treasury. Investments in new equipment, new buildings and our superstructure is the spin-off effect.
“Let you just close your eyes and visualize cruise passengers walking from Point Seraphine to Castries, along that boardwalk multitude of local entrepreneurs selling different products and different attractions will give more locals a chance to participate in the tourism industry to earn a livelihood; and to expose a different side of Saint Lucia.”¬ Ernest Hilaire.
The question we have to come to grips with is the seeming reunification of palls in more ways than one, and in recent memory, heavily scrutinized by the SLP, seems acceptable to advance fondness in the new jobs of the future.