The Government of Saint Lucia through its Agency Export Saint Lucia, facilitated a Trade Mission from March 9th to 13th 2020 to Grenada and St. Vincent with some Saint Lucian manufacturers and service providers. This mission was the result of market intelligence, which showed export opportunities for a number of Saint Lucian goods and services in our sister islands. The Trade Mission was also an effort to create employment, increase foreign exchange and Saint Lucia’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
The participating businesses were very satisfied with preliminary results, since many of them had generated strong leads and positive feedback from their meetings. There was also a high level of networking and in some instances, services were contracted even before returning to Saint Lucia.
In the case of one household brand, Tolyn Manufacturers Ltd, Managing Director, Mr. Mark Charles, elatedly informed us that this upcoming week, he was preparing to ship a 40-foot container of his products to Saint Vincent. Mr. Charles said, “This is the best Trade Mission I have been on and the proof is this shipment going out on Tuesday. Export Saint Lucia with support from the Government of Saint Lucia made this happen and I am happy for this kind of support for our businesses. Thanks guys!”
Export Saint Lucia CEO Sunita Daniel lauded the team and the exporters on the Mission for the execution of the biggest trade mission in the Agency’s history. Ms. Daniel said that, “As CEO, I am quite happy with the execution of the Mission and even more so with the success and quick turnaround. Sometimes you have to wait years to see the fruit of such an endeavor and it happened for us in less than two months. We will continue to prod the other leads from this Mission, even though some have slowed down because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on trade.”
The Minister of Commerce, Hon Bradley Felix, for his part stated that the Mission was timely because had it been pushed back by one week it may not have happened. Minister Felix said that “Tolyn is a Saint Lucian household name and with this intervention, we hope it will be a household name in Saint Vincent, with other Caribbean island to follow. I have challenged Export Saint Lucia to be creative in their continued quest to grow our export portfolio and the international reach of our world-class products and services. The Government of Saint Lucia through Export Saint Lucia keeps investing in Saint Lucian businesses to boost and stimulate the economy, whilst also focusing on bringing in additional investment.”
Twelve companies escorted by Export Saint Lucia personnel participated in the mission, during which, each was matched with prospective buyers. Export Saint Lucia CEO also spoke highly of and thanked sister Agency Invest SVG and a private consultant in Grenada, who greatly assisted in the overall coordination of the Mission.
In the midst of the COVID 19 crisis, this continued support from the Government of Saint Lucia has surely remained a blessing to our local manufacturers.