The Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) of Saint Lucia and the International Trade Centre (ITC) agreed on 10th February, 2016 to step up collaboration to boost the export capacities of the country’s enterprises. The agreement was signed by TEPA Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Emmanuel Flood and ITC Executive Director Arancha González who is on her first official visit to Saint Lucia and the Caribbean region.
This new agreement between the two organizations will allow for a review and update of Saint Lucia’s 2004 National Export Strategy (NES) which was developed by the Government with the guidance of ITC. The update of the NES – which will be led by TEPA – aims to reflect a changed economic climate and different export priorities, allowing Saint Lucia to grab a greater share of regional and global trade.
As part of the collaboration, ITC will provide technical support and advisory services to strengthen the institutional capacities of TEPA, to provide better services to its enterprise clients. A main goal of this renewed partnership will be to increase the number of Saint Lucian enterprises participating in regional and global trade. This capacity building will also be extended to other organizations and enterprises across the country, both public and private.
In addition, ITC will build on its expertise to provide support to ‘Tastes of St Lucia’, an ongoing initiative to brand products made in Saint Lucia including from the food and beverage sector to the services industry. Ms. Emmanuel Flood said: “This is not the first time ITC is providing support to TEPA. ITC has worked closely with us before and was integral in the development of our Trade Information System. We are elated and very grateful for ITC’s support. We look forward to this new arrangement and continue to push towards growth and excellence through our National Export Strategy.”
Ms. González said: “Saint Lucia has great potential to expand and diversify its export base. It is an island which has much to offer in terms of agro-processing and the skills of its people and the continued collaboration between TEPA and ITC will leverage this to create exports which can compete on the global stage.” During her visit to Saint Lucia Ms. González also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ms. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment, and Consumer Affairs. This Memorandum, which was signed on 9 February, sets out to strengthen the cooperation between the Government and ITC on trade development and export promotion.