PRO­DUC­TIV­ITY FUND TO HELP CO-FI­NANCE PRI­VATE SEC­TOR IN­NO­VA­TION

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Through the work of the NCPC, the Gov­ern­ment of St. Lu­cia is in the process of es­tab­lish­ing a Pro­duc­tiv­ity and Com­petive­ness Fund. The fund (grant-based), which will be ac­ces­si­ble by Septem­ber 2015, is poised to be a cat­a­lyst that specif­i­cally co-fi­nances the pri­vate sec­tor to im­ple­ment so­lu­tions or ini­tia­tives that en­hance pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness within the Saint Lu­cian econ­omy.

Dur­ing the 2014/ 2015 bud­get ad­dress the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia com­mit­ted EC$500,000 to­wards this fund. Since then the NCPC, Com­pete Caribbean along with the Gov­ern­ment have col­lab­o­rated on the de­sign of the fund. As part of the process, con­sul­ta­tions were held with the pri­vate and public sec­tors on the ar­eas that the fund should tar­get. It was agreed, gen­er­ally, that projects fo­cussed on the fol­low­ing will be con­sid­ered: • Re-en­gi­neer­ing work pro­cesses to cre­ate more value for the en­ter­prise. • Di­rect­ing of ef­forts to in­no­vate prod­ucts, ser­vices, busi­ness pro­cesses etc. • In­creas­ing ac­cess to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. • En­ter­prises with green tech­nol­ogy up­grades that lead to pro­duc­tion and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. • En­ter­prises for in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to busi­ness chal­lenges which en­able them to be more ef­fi­cient and cost ef­fec­tive. • The pro­mo­tion of cost sav­ings and rev­enue gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Guide­lines on which the fund will op­er­ate in­clude: • Reg­is­tered St. Lu­cian pri­vate sec­tor com­pany, (a Saint Lu­cian hav­ing 65% vot­ing rights in the com­pany). • The pro­posed fund will specif­i­cally deploy an in­di­rect trans­mis­sion mech­a­nism, co-fi­nanc­ing ser­vice providers. • The fund will pro­vide co-fi­nanc­ing of EC$100,000 or less. • The fund will fund cap­i­tal goods and as­sets of up to 40% of the project cost, and • The fund has a hy­brid grant dis­burse­ment mech­a­nism mix­ing up front dis­burse­ment and re­sults­based pay­ments.

To ac­cess the fund ap­pli­cants will need to demon­strate a level of com­mit­ment whether in cash or in kind. Cap­i­tal ac­cessed via the fund can be used for ac­tiv­i­ties and items such as staff time costs, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, and cap­i­tal goods re­quired to de­sign, pi­lot or im­ple­ment a new ser­vice. The fund, how­ever, can­not be used as work­ing cap­i­tal, as an in­vest­ment on equip­ment not di­rectly re­lated or crit­i­cal to the project, or the pur­chase of real es­tate.

The estab­lish­ment of the NCPC Pro­duc­tiv­ity Fund is a large un­der­tak­ing with the ob­jec­tive of en­hanc­ing both pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness in St. Lu­cia. The fund is one that will back pos­i­tive ideas and in­no­va­tion within the pri­vate sec­tor, bring­ing with it a much needed pro­duc­tive im­pact on the coun­try’s com­pet­i­tive­ness cli­mate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.