CDF CEO COURTESY CALL ON TEPA DEEMED ENCOURAGING
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.