The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Den­nery South Con­stituency Coun­cil has em­barked upon an ini­ati­tive to re­move the trou­ble­some Sar­gas­sum sea­weed from the Den­nery coast­line. The ex­er­cise in­cludes both the dis­posal and re­cy­cling of the sea­weed.

Chair­man of the Coun­cil, Mr. Jerome Gideon, said: “We started off by try­ing to re­move as much of the Sar­gas­sum as we could on the beach­front, es­pe­cially around the Seafood Fi­esta area. We uti­lized a back­hoe and ex­ca­va­tor, and we dug holes and scraped the sea­weed from the beach­front and buried it in the holes.

“We also had help from a gen­tle­man named Johannes Leonce who came in with a truck and col­lected truck­loads of the sea­weed to use as fer­til­izer.“Mr. Gideon says, how­ever, that the com­mu­nity and po­ten­tial part­ners that the coun­cil has tried to en­gage have been slow to show their sup­port with the ac­tiv­ity to rid the beach of the Sar­gus­sum.

Den­nery Res­i­dent, Joseph Charles, said: “The ac­cu­mu­la­tion of the sea­weed has caused a prob­lem whereby when it rains and wa­ter gets un­der there, it rots and the sea­weed stinks, and frankly the smell is un­bear­able. So what they are do­ing here is a mea­sure to al­le­vi­ate that.”

Mr. Gideon made spe­cial men­tion of Mr. Val­ton and Mr. Brian of the Den­nery South Con­stituency in recog­ni­tion of their pro-bono sup­port. He says the coun­cil in­tends to con­tinue this ac­tiv­ity on a weekly ba­sis to main­tain the strides achieved.

The Saint Lu­cia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA) has launched its Ex­port Hand­book, the de­fin­i­tive guide for Saint Lu­cian busi­nesses look­ing to ex­port their goods to a wider mar­ket, and has also launched its re­designed web­site.

TEPA un­veiled tools be­fore a gath­er­ing of man­u­fac­tur­ers and ser­vice sup­pli­ers as well as sis­ter agen­cies like the Saint Lu­cia Bureau of Stan­dards and the Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre (for­merly SEDU). The un­veil­ing took place on Wed­nes­day Septem­ber 30th at the Coco Palm Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, bring­ing the cur­tains down on Busi­ness Month 2015.

TEPA is charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity for co­or­di­nat­ing and spear­head­ing all ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to ex­port pro­mo­tion, in­clud­ing as­sist­ing ex­porters with the ex­port process. The Hand­book pro­vides an easy-tounder­stand step-by-step guide of the pro­ce­dures in­volved in ex­port­ing a prod­uct and ser­vices from Saint Lu­cia, and is a con­ve­nient tool as it pro­vides, all in one place, re­search that would have had to be con­ducted by busi­ness own­ers.

Small and Mi­cro En­ter­prises was named as a pri­or­ity group of fo­cus for the Min­istry by Hon. Emma Hip­polyte, Min­is­ter for Com­merce, Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, In­vest­ment and Con­sumer. In her re­marks, Min­is­ter Hip­polyte spoke of the op­por­tu­nity of tech­nol­ogy for do­ing busi­ness and the im­por­tance of po­si­tion­ing and equip­ping all cat­e­gories of busi­ness and en­ter­prise to grow and ex­pand.

“The Ex­port Hand­book was an ini­tia­tive that grew from a need that we saw to al­le­vi­ate the cum­ber­some process of meet­ing the re­quire­ments es­pe­cially for SMEs. In our quest to in­crease the ag­gre­gate vol­ume and value of ex­ports, we con­tinue to find ways to make ex­port-re­lated pro­cesses less bur­den­some”, the Min­is­ter said.

The web­site, www. tepa.org.lc is a multi-de­vice ac­ces­si­ble tool de­signed to as­sist users with mar­ket re­search and also to in­form the visi­tor on news in lo­cal re­gional and in­ter­na­tional trade. It is a ma­jor re­source for trade and ex­port in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing and shar­ing. This web­site fea­tures a se­ries of in­for­ma­tion prod­ucts de­signed to an­swer a myr­iad of ques­tions that users may have. It is also a por­tal which will give users ac­cess to TEPA’s staff, ex­port sta­tis­tics, and trade agree­ments onto which Saint Lu­cia has signed. It is in­tended to be a one-stop shop for in­for­ma­tion on Saint Lu­cia Ex­ports and in­ter­na­tional trade.

In his re­marks, TEPA’s Chair­man, Ron­ald Ram­jat­tan, de­scribed the cre­ation of the tools as ‘TEPA’s man­date in ac­tion’. “As the lead­ing agency charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­mote and ex­pand busi­ness in ex­port mar­kets around the world, it is im­per­a­tive to cre­ate av­enues for the pro­vi­sion of in­for­ma­tion and sup­port to lo­cal busi­nesses and buy­ers”, he con­cluded.

The Ex­port Hand­book will be avail­able in hard copy for in­ter­ested per­sons and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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