The Saint Lu­cia-Tai­wan Part­ner­ship Trade Show main­tains its pop­u­lar­ity amongst busi­ness own­ers

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

An­other suc­cess­ful Saint Lu­cia-Tai­wan trade show was hosted Novem­ber 23–25, this time at the Golden Palm Events Cen­tre in Rod­ney Heights, Gros Islet. It was the 11th an­niver­sary of the ex­hi­bi­tion, now one of Busi­ness Month’s most an­tic­i­pated events. This year forty-four lo­cal and six Tai­wanese en­trepreneurs par­tic­i­pated. Saint Lu­cian busi­ness own­ers ex­hib­ited a range of prod­ucts, from hand­bags and liquor to ev­ery­thing in be­tween. Isa­iah Charles, who pro­duces and sells can­dles, soaps and an ar­ray of can­dies, told the “The trade show does help put your busi­ness out there.”

His com­pany, Saint Lu­cia Nov­elty Can­dles and Soaps, is over ten years old and came about while he was study­ing abroad. “Some­times it feels like Saint Lu­cians don’t ap­pre­ci­ate craft mak­ers and lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts,” he lamented, “but that is grad­u­ally chang­ing.”

HYRead ebook, a Tai­wan­based com­pany, came to Saint Lu­cia for the first time to par­tic­i­pate in the trade show. Like many of the Tai­wanese com­pa­nies that un­der­take the nearly 30 hours of fly­ing to get here, HYRead ebook is not all about sales. The group also pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for Saint Lu­cians. In the telling of se­nior man­ager Yi-Hsin Ma: “We’ve part­nered with al­most four hun­dred Saint Lu­cian writ­ers. Their ebooks will now be part of our global data­base where they can sell in­ter­na­tion­ally.”

Tai­wanese Am­bas­sador to Saint Lu­cia, Dou­glas C.T Shen of­fered this re­view of the ex­hi­bi­tion: “I think the trade show has be­come the show­case of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cian busi­nesses. Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet al­ways en­cour­ages trade in­vest­ment in Saint Lu­cia and I think the busi­ness peo­ple from Tai­wan are not only bring­ing prod­ucts, they’re also look­ing for busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Saint Lu­cia. Two years ago we had a trade show part­ner: OECC (Overseas En­gi­neer­ing & Con­struc­tion Corp.). This com­pany is now go­ing to be re­spon­si­ble for ter­mi­nal con­struc­tion at the He­wanorra Air­port. They are also ac­cept­ing in­vi­ta­tions by the Saint Lu­cian gov­ern­ment to do the is­land-wide road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.”

Am­bas­sador Shen ex­plained that be­fore Tai­wanese com­pa­nies are ap­proved to take part in the trade show, of­fi­cials from the Saint Lu­cia­based Tai­wanese Em­bassy will re­lay to spe­cial­ists in Tai­wan the needs of Saint Lu­cia. “We will let Taipei know what the peo­ple need here in Saint Lu­cia. For ex­am­ple, on this is­land we need ICT (In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy) prod­ucts. So Taipei will take the ad­vice and choose the right busi­nesses and then send them to Saint Lu­cia to join the trade show.”

Shen added: “For my em­bassy this trade show is very mean­ing­ful, hav­ing pre­pared for it along­side the Min­istry of Com­merce for the last few years. They try to let Saint Lu­cians know we have a very good re­la­tion­ship and show them the best prod­ucts from Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia.”

Both gov­ern­ments and their com­merce sec­tors are al­ready look­ing for­ward to next year’s trade show as they con­sider ideas on how they can grow and re­de­fine the event. To be in­cluded, lo­cal busi­ness own­ers should regis­ter with the Min­istry of Com­merce, In­dus­try, En­ter­prise Devel­op­ment and Con­sumer Af­fairs. --- Keryn Nel­son

When John Comp­ton led Saint Lu­cia to In­de­pen­dence in 1979 the coun­try was filled with op­ti­mism but now one man is cry­ing foul.

Or­gan­is­ers say the trade show is a sym­bol of busi­ness and trade re­la­tion­ship be­tween Saint Lu­cia and Tai­wan.

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