BRITISH CARRIBEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SAINT LUCIA - PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION CONCLUDES WEEK OF EVENTS MARKING LAUNCH
Aweek of meetings and events to mark the official launch of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Saint Lucia was concluded with a cocktail party hosted in Cap Estate by Chamber President, John Kennedy, attended by Her Excellency the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister The Honourable Dr Kenny Anthony, former prime ministers Stephenson King and Dr Vaughn Lewis, members of the Opposition, including Allen Chastanet and Dr Gail Rigobert as well as other distinguished ministers, parliamentarians and leaders of the business community of Saint Lucia.
In remarks made to the invited guests, Chamber President John Kennedy expressed his gratitude to those attending for their enthusiastic support and confidence in the decision to establish the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and noted that Saint Lucia was the second state in the region to have such an organisation and it was a mark of confidence in the potential for trading links between the UK and Saint Lucia that had led to this decision.
The guests were told that the Chamber’s role would be to immediately add support and value to current business activity in Saint Lucia and between British and Saint Lucian businesses, further deepening the relationship between our two countries going forward.
The establishment of the Chamber was described as a win-win for both British and St Lucian companies seeking to do business - for the benefit of both countries and through collaboration and partnerships with each other. Tribute and recognition was made to Saint Lucia’s own Chamber of Commerce Industry & Agriculture founded in 1884, the oldest organization of its kind in St Lucia and a particular welcome was extended to its members present.
The President of the Chamber, Mr John Kennedy took the opportunity to formally announce the appointment of a new Country Manager for Saint Lucia, Mr Randy Cato, who recently retired as the OECS’s Senior Director of Economic Affairs and gave special acknowledgement to the British High Commission, Andy Pryce and Debra Worrell in particular and Dr Ian Kelly.
TCommunity Empowerment in collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) hosted the second Council of Ministers Meeting for Human and Social Development on March 23-24, 2015.
The meeting’s agenda centered on the protection of children and vulnerable families in the OECS region. A delegation from sister territory Martinique sat in on the discussions, giving positive feedback on the opportunity to forge development partnerships in advancing the cause of the youth and the less fortunate.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules asserted that “our challenge in the OECS is to move from protective measures to the proactive, strategic actions. There is no question about the necessity of acting now to protect the most vulnerable, but there is also no doubt of the longterm imperative of eradicating vulnerability. If economic growth and prosperity matter, they must mean something for the poorest. This meeting comes at a time when we are shaping a growth and development agenda in the OECS, and so its deliberations will be an invaluable contribution to the finalization of this strategy.”
The council conducted a review of the terms of reference for the launch of a technical body-the OECS Social Protection Technical Committee- as a standing working group to the Ministerial Council to facilitate increased harmonization of social initiatives within member states.
Saint Lucia’s Minister for Social Transformation, and chair of the meeting, the Honourable Harold Dalsan remarked: “It is a primary responsibility of governments to make the necessary investment in, and ensure the protection of all its citizens. It is our responsibility to provide an enabling environment that facilitates a broad range of social protection actions and programmes within society to address the challenges of inequality.”
UNICEF Representative Ms. Khin-Sandi Lwin noted “as UNICEF’s primary role in partnering with the OECS Commission and with all 12 countries and territories of our multi-country programme is to help build robust institutions that will prioritize and systematically address children’s issues- we count on this institution being sustained by the member states beyond the initial start-up support that we have provided.”
Participants at this week’s meeting.
British Chamber President, John Kennedy with Her Excellency the Governor General of
Saint Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy.