Tai­wan Makes Con­tri­bu­tion to Sec­ond Phase of Con­stituency De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

P rime Min­is­ter Hon­ourable Allen M. Chas­tanet has called for a broadening of Saint Lu­cia’s re­la­tion­ship with the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan). Speak­ing at a cheque han­dover cer­e­mony for the Con­stituency De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (CDP) on Mon­day April 10th 2017, Prime Min­is­ter Chas­tanet stated that Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia needed to form a deeper strate­gic re­la­tion­ship which will en­able both coun­tries to bet­ter com­pete on a global stage.

“I re­ally want to thank the Govern­ment and peo­ple of Tai­wan for what they have been do­ing to fa­cil­i­tate Saint Lu­cia and the part­ner­ship that we have for de­vel­op­ment,” stated Prime Min­is­ter Chas­tanet, call­ing for the two coun­tries to in­trin­si­cally tie them­selves to­gether when it comes to in­vest­ment. “Saint Lu­cia is on the other side of the world to Tai­wan and we are very much look­ing for­ward to be­ing a foothold for the pos­si­bil­ity of Tai­wanese man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies and hos­pi­tal­ity com­pa­nies. Let me thank you on be­half of the Govern­ment and peo­ple of Saint Lu­cia and we are look­ing for­ward to a re­la­tion­ship to the mu­tual ben­e­fit of both coun­tries.”

At the cer­e­mony, which was held in the Cabi­net Room at the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter as other Hon­ourable Min­is­ters and the me­dia looked on, Am­bas­sador of the Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan) to Saint Lu­cia, His Ex­cel­lency Dou­glas Shen, pre­sented a cheque for US$2,938,951.36 to the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia to­wards the sec­ond phase of the CDP.

“CDP is one of the most im­por­tant pro­grammes be­tween our two coun­tries since the year 2007,” said the Am­bas­sador. “Un­der this pro­gramme we have had more than 1,000 projects com­pleted, and cre­ated more than 10,000 jobs in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties all over Saint Lu­cia. It is my firm be­lief that through our joint ef­forts this mean­ing­ful CDP will be evenly dis­trib­uted to cre­ate jobs for all peo­ple and en­hance the safety of the en­vi­ron­ment for all res­i­dents and bring ben­e­fit to all com­mu­ni­ties.”

Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Hous­ing, Ur­ban Re­newal, Trans­port and Civil Avi­a­tion, Hon­ourable Guy Joseph, noted that the funds for the sec­ond phase had come at a crit­i­cal junc­ture as the govern­ment is about to com­mence a new fi­nan­cial year. “We have many out­stand­ing issues with CDP . . . The pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion had ex­pended much more than the al­lo­ca­tions that were avail­able to us. So I want to put things in per­spec­tive. I am very ap­pre­cia­tive of what Tai­wan is do­ing in help­ing us to re­solve all of the out­stand­ing issues with CDP which tran­spired prior to the elec­tions,” noted Min­is­ter Joseph.

“Some of these funds will be able to clear the back­log that we owe to the Saint Lu­cia De­vel­op­ment Bank who was used by the pre­vi­ous govern­ment as a fi­nancier for CDP projects which put the bank in a very dif­fi­cult fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. I am cer­tain that the man­age­ment of the bank would be happy to note that from the funds we are re­ceiv­ing we will be able to clear some of the back­log of monies owed to them over an ex­tended pe­riod of time be­cause they were used to pay the CDP projects.”

The Min­is­ter also spoke to the is­sue of con­trac­tors on var­i­ous CDP projects.

“These funds will also as­sist us in clear­ing the re­main­ing back­log of per­sons who had com­pleted projects and had not been paid for one rea­son or an­other. Ev­ery­one who has been cleared in terms of ver­i­fy­ing that their projects had been com­pleted we would be able to clear through this process. So this will help us go­ing through to the new fi­nan­cial year to start on a new page, a clean page, where CDP is go­ing to be han­dled in a man­ner where we are only go­ing to spend what is avail­able to us.”

The Min­is­ter ex­pressed his pro­found ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the Em­bassy and the Govern­ment of Tai­wan and he as­sured the Tai­wanese of the pru­dent man­age­ment of the CDP re­sources.

Also present at the event was Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Tracy Polius and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Ac­coun­tant Gen­eral’s De­part­ment Ms. Verne Aimable.

The Repub­lic of China (Tai­wan) this week pre­sented more funds to the govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia that will go to­wards the CDP.

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