The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

For the Saint Lucia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA), a cour­tesy call last week dur­ing a Saint Lucia mis­sion by Mr. Ro­d­i­nald Soomer, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) of the CARICOM De­vel­op­ment Fund (CDF), was an en­cour­ag­ing sign for its con­tin­ued re­la­tions with CDF. The es­tab­lish­ment of TEPA is a tan­gi­ble ex­am­ple of CDF’s man­date. The agency is the CARICOM mech­a­nism man­dated to ad­dress the dis­par­i­ties among the Mem­ber States that may arise with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Caribbean Sin­gle Mar­ket and Econ­omy (CSME). This man­date is pur­sued through the pro­vi­sion of fi­nan­cial or tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to dis­ad­van­taged coun­tries, re­gions and sec­tors. The pur­pose of the visit was to fa­mil­iar­ize TEPA per­son­nel of the pri­or­i­ties of CDF’s new fund­ing cy­cle in the con­text of its man­date which must fa­cil­i­tate the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the smaller economies of CARICOM. Mr. Soomer de­scribed the TEPA agency as a ‘log­i­cal part­ner’ for CDF on two fronts. “Firstly, be­cause TEPA’s man­date fits squarely into what CDF is pro­mot­ing in en­sur­ing that CDF’s net ben­e­fi­ciary Mem­ber States de­rive op­ti­mal ben­e­fits from the CSME and TEPA is into the busi­ness of ex­ports pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

A sec­ond rea­son was what he re­ferred to as TEPA’s record of suc­cess in a short space of time from its in­cep­tion in 2013. “TEPA was cited as a shin­ing ex­am­ple of the suc­cess of the Saint Lucia pro­gramme. We share in your suc­cess and we show­case your suc­cess when we speak to other part­ners and to demon­strate what we have been able to do well in our first cy­cle.”

The TEPA del­e­ga­tion in at­ten­dance com­prised ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers closely in­volved in im­ple­ment­ing TEPA’s ini­tial three year pro­gramme cy­cle funded un­der the CDF, namely CEO Jacqueline Em­manuel Flood, Se­nior Pro­gramme Of­fi­cer Vin­cent Peter and Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Ce­cil Bertin. Mrs. Flood gave the as­sur­ance that for TEPA, the CDF re­la­tion­ship is one which TEPA would like to con­tinue “to main­tain the mo­men­tum of what we have been able to ac­com­plish to date, and also to pro­mote CDF and its pro­grammes in Saint Lucia.”

TEPA is the Saint Lu­cian Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Trade Ex­port and Pro­mo­tion Agency, and is the lead agency man­dated to spear­head the is­land’s Na­tional Ex­port De­vel­op­ment Ef­fort. The over­all ob­jec­tive is to in­crease ag­gre­gate vol­ume and value of ex­ports from Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia TEPA works to pro­mote and ex­pand busi­ness in ex­port mar­kets around the world, and as­pires to in­crease lo­cal ex­ports, as­sist lo­cal busi­nesses im­prove prof­itabil­ity and long term sus­tain­abil­ity, thus making a direct and valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the Saint Lu­cian econ­omy.

Meet­ing of the minds: heads of CDF and TEPA in dis­cus­sion.

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