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Issue No. 71

Sept/Oct 2013

Catering for


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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



No. 71

BF Sept/Oct 2013



63. Catering for Your Event


04. Editor’s Focus 06. Business Briefs

Business Tech 08. Caribbean Needs More Digital Content Online 09. LIME Launches "MyLIME Mobile" 12. IXP Crucial to Build St. Lucia's Digital Economy 14. Blackberry Forms Committee to Explore Possible Sale Money Matters 16. Sagicor Records US$28.4m Income in Six Months 20. Jamaica National Expands in Caribbean and the Pacific 22. LIAT LIAT Signs US$65m Loan Agreement with CDB 24. Retirement – ‘Start Early, Contribute Less’ 26. ECFH Facilitating Growth of Small Business Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship 27. Book Reviews



Economy & Trade Focus 30. New Report from CARICOM: Integration a Boost for REGIONAL TRADE 32. FAO to Increase Assistance to Caribbean Countries 34. THE CARIBBEAN DIASPORA : A SOURCE FOR VENTURE INVESTMENTS 36. Saint Lucia and Taiwan Exploring a Multi Billion Dollar Yachting Partnership 40. Environmental Focus


42. Business Spotlight 46. In The Know 90. Tourism Focus 96. Health & Wealth 99. Events 2012 100. Major Moves 103. New Company Registrations

92 BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Celebration Time, But are you Ready? Christenings and birthdays, first communions and confirmations, weddings and anniversaries, funerals and memorials, conferences and annual general meetings, conventions and festivals – no matter which, you have to prepare. Everyone’ll be waiting for the date, but before that all the rest is with Lokesh Singh you: the host. Publisher/Managing Editor Like with everything else, how much your invited guests enjoy the event depends on your level of preparation. It you’re ready, they’ll all have a good time; if you’re not, let’s just say you’ll never be allowed to forget… So, by all means, if you want all to have the best or greatest time, you’ll put the best of both feet forward and start planning as long in advance as you can, just to ensure everyone leaves with pleasant and ineffaceable memories. So then, where to start? That’s always the big question. Will it be indoor or outdoor? Who to invite? How to word the invitation? How to set the dinner table? How to pair the food and wine? How about the décor? What’s the best stage setting? How about the music? How many chairs? Who’ll handle the bar? How many at the door? What about transportation and parking? How many ushers? Whatever your event, there are service providers for each and every aspect because we have here all you’ll need. St. Lucia has over the past two decades developed a veritable catering industry that can truly provide all your needs. Some large companies may still provide services unique only to them. But, by and large, most ancillary services for most events are provided by small and medium businesses that have developed niches and specialties in providing for events of all shapes and sizes, from a private wedding to a mass crowd event. Just take a look at the annual Jazz Festival, for starters – You buy a ticket and turn up at Pigeon Island and you find everything in place each and every year to ensure you get your money’s worth of a good time. But what most do not take a moment off to realise is that planning and preparation took months and weeks. The tents, the stages, sound systems, lighting, backstage management, seating, parking, catering, VIP settings, toilets, concessionaire sections, managing the intermissions, all-round security, fireworks – all had to be in place well in advance of your arrival at the gate. So yes, we’ve made event management an industry that continues to expand and grow. We have on this island everything you’ll need to make your event a success, whatever it is. In this issue, BF focuses on preparing you for hosting your event. We offer items and features that will show and tell all you’ll need to know every step of the way, so that after taking it all in, your next event will be that much better planned – and executed. And, of course, we again bring you all that we can in these limited pages about all the news and facts, trends and developments that have affected the business world at home and abroad, here, there and everywhere, especially in St. Lucia, the Caribbean and Latin America. Our usual sections will fill you in – as usual – on all the twists and turns, the news and views and reviews, the ups and downs, the goings on and the major moves from where to where. Here’s wishing you the best as you take in all the best we have to offer. ¤

Happy Reading!

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BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh Graphic Designer: Cecil Sylvester Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - Hudson Myers - Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Ashley Anzie | Cecil Sylvester | Stan Bishop First Citizens Investment Services 1st National Bank St Lucia Ltd. | Carib-Export Contributors: Earl Bousquet | Stan Bishop | Pilaiye Cenac Lokesh Singh | Fern Smith | Lyndell Halliday Dr Paul Alleyne | Dr Tanya Destang-Beaubrun Dr Minerva King | Ilya Pozin | ECFH Group Cave Hill School of Business | Carib-Export 1st National Bank St Lucia Ltd | Trinidad Express St Lucia Tourist Board | Trinidad Guardian Jamaica Observer | Antigua Observer | Caribbean360 First Citizens Investment Services Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email:, Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication.


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75 Graduate from SEDU Small Business Programme Government says it continues to support the growth of small businesses – pointing to the recent graduation of 75 persons from the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU). The 2013 SEDU graduation celebrated the achievements of 75 participants in entrepreneurial development courses under the theme “Creating Competitive Advantage through Innovation.” Director of SEDU Barbra InnocentCharles stated the accomplishments of graduates were commendable. Charles says SEDU plays a pivotal role within society. According to her, “SEDU’s mandate, which is to promote and develop the micro and small business sector, is a huge responsibility. The micro and small business sector is made up from 76% of the business in Saint Lucia, and it’s the largest, as you can see. And this sector is considered the pillar upon which the country, this country, stands.” According to the Director, micro enterprises around the globe contribute significantly to employment and the reduction of poverty. Innocent Charles adds the Ministry of Commerce – and by extension SEDU – have realised the need for adaptation in facilitating future development. She says, “We at the Ministry of Commerce, and by extension SEDU, who are providing the business support, realise that we too must change. And, leading by example, the Ministry, as a whole, is working toward international certification and is improving its services. SEDU continues to revisit its processes, procedures and programmes to provide timely and relevant interventions. Our vision is to develop a mindset in Saint Lucia where continuous improvement is the way of life.” The Director thanked the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) for their partnership and support in addition to the Ministry of Commerce and facilitators of the programme. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



St. Lucia Getting Ready to Turn on the PetroCaribe Pipeline St. Lucia is getting ready to turn on the PetroCaribe pipeline, with teams from the island having started a series of meetings with Venezuelan counterparts to access cheaper fuel on better terms. The Government issued a joint press release following the first meeting of the technical working group to activate the energy cooperation scheme between the two countries and which “ended with positive results.” The two teams met on July 30th and 31st in Castries. The Venezuela delegation was led by the Managing Director of PDVCaribe S.A., Engineer Luis Rivas, while the Saint Lucia delegation was headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Sylvester Clauzel. “During the two days,” the statement said, “the teams addressed various topics regarding clarifying and optimising the mechanism that leads to the concretion of the definitive energy supply agreement for Saint Lucia and the revision of the necessary roadmap to attain the proposed objective for both governments.” It said, “This technical working group is only the beginning in a series of necessary meetings and exchanges that must continue between the technical and political teams of each country, with a view to facilitating the mechanism that will make it possible for Saint Lucia to begin reaping the benefits of this Caribbean regional integration scheme…in the shortest possible time.” The working group meeting coincided with the 12th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in the city of Guayaquil, where St. Lucia joined ALBA. The summit meeting also agreed to the constitution of a very high level commission and direct representatives of the Heads of Government “to prepare a proposal for the creation of a Complementary Economic Zone amongst the countries of ALBA, Mercosur and Petrocaribe; in

favour of complementarity and solidarity as guidelines for economic integration, before competition amongst our countries, as the only way to strengthen the material foundation of the alternative project that ALBA represents and, in this way, ensure the continuity and the reinforcing of the successful social programmes that characterise the Alliance.” The Government has said its main initial interest in the PetroCaribe agreement is to access cheaper fuel for St. Lucia and to be able to reduce or remove the fuel surcharge that is legally appended to every customer’s electricity bill. Venezuela recently announced an increase in the interest rate to be charged for PetroCaribe oil and a decrease in the repayment time, which the political opposition pointed to as backing for the argument that this is a risky venture. However, sources close to government say even the revised rate – from 1% to 4% – remains more attractive than traditional or alternative sources at current world market prices. ¤

CBU Elects New Board at 44th General Assembly THE 44th Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), which commenced on August 19 in Guyana concluded with the re-election of Shida Bolai as President, and a new board. The new board members include Vice President, Gary Allen, Acting CEO of the National Communications Network (NCN) Michael Gordon, Pulita Olivieri from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Beulah Jonas from St. Maarten, Edwin Lightbourne from the Bahamas, a representative from STARCOM Network in Barbados, and representatives from Belize and Suriname. Speaking at a press briefing at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Bolai said that the CBU was able to accomplish a lot at this conference, including a two-day digital session and the establishment of a new board. She said

BUSINESS BRIEFS that going forward; the work of the CBU will include a comprehensive review of its membership and its bylaws to make them more relevant in light of technological changes. The CBU is calling on policymakers in the region and regulators to engage broadcasters meaningfully with a view to developing a workable plan within a certain timeframe to aid in the successful transition from analog to digital. Commencement for the switch from analogue to digital was June 17, 2006, and the deadline for completion is June 17, 2015, and thus far, only the United States and a few European countries have completed this process. Several Caribbean countries, including Guyana, are still to make this transition. Concern was also raised with regard to West Indies cricket. Broadcasters in the region have been complaining about a trend whereby some regional cricket properties are no longer available to broadcasters to carry live. In this regard, the CBU resolved to seek an audience with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to discuss possible solutions to this issue. The CBU was formed in 1970 with a view to stimulating the flow of broadcast material among the radio and television systems in the Caribbean Region. ¤

CARICOM Finance Ministers Tackle Growth and Development Finance Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reviewed a range of economic and financial issues at their recent 15th meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The Council paid particular attention to the state of regional economies and addressed implementation issues relating to the framework for growth and development, which had been the focus of attention at the recent meeting of the conference of heads of government.

Ministers agreed to recommend to the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government a process to carry the issues forward, including the appointment of a technical committee consisting of representatives of member states to assist the Council in monitoring the economic situation. The Council identified priority issues such as fiscal sustainability, resource mobilisation and unemployment on which there should be focus. Heads of government had assigned the Bureau the task of moving the issue of growth and development forward.

There was unanimous agreement that the level of integration and interrelatedness among CARICOM economies warranted a regional solution to the current economic difficulties which have the potential to affect even those economies which have performed well. Ministers approved the draft CARICOM financial services agreement and the draft amendment to the intra-CARICOM double taxation agreement for finalisation and signature by member states. The CARICOM Financial Services Agreement will establish a regional framework for the supervision and regulation of financial entities which operate cross-border in the regional economic space. The intraCARICOM Double-taxation Agreement was amended to incorporate provisions for the application of the global standard for the exchange of tax information among CARICOM tax administrations. The Council also reviewed the state of preparedness of member states for accommodating the reporting procedures resulting from the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). While the ministers understood the importance that the United States attached to the protection of its tax base, they stressed the serious implications of compliance by CARICOM states, given the highly integrated nature of the region’s financial sector. Ministers emphasised the importance of continuing their coordinated approach to negotiations with the United States and agreed to meet in mid-September to review the work of the CARICOM task force on FATCA. ¤

Saint Lucia Becomes 4th OECS Member to Join ALBA Saint Lucia is now a full member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the regional integration grouping of Latin American and Caribbean nations. The island joined the regional grouping during the 12th ALBA Presidential in Ecuador on July 30th, becoming the 4th OECS member-state so to do. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined ALBA long before St. Lucia’s Governor general Dame Pearlette Louisy announced in her 2013 Throne Speech the government’s intention to join the regional integration grouping. ALBA is an international cooperation organisation based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and St. Lucia’s membership is being hailed by several member-states, including Venezuela. Venezuelan Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Leiff Escalona, says full membership of Saint Lucia in ALBA “will strengthen the integration movement.” The ambassador also noted that teams from Venezuela and Saint Lucia have already held discussions to activate the PetroCaribe agreement in St. Lucia’s interest. As a full member of ALBA, Saint Lucia can now purchase oil on concessionary terms through the PetroCaribe arrangement. The Venezuelan Diplomat says the people of Saint Lucia will enjoy several benefits now that the island is a full member of ALBA. “By joining ALBA,” she explained, “the benefits for Saint Lucia will be determined for advancement in economic, cultural, social and in other areas, because it is possible to create joint projects that will work for the development of communities throughout Saint Lucia. She identified such projects as “the possible formation of musical collaborations and music scholarships in Venezuela and Saint Lucia.” ALBA was conceptualised by Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an attempt at regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Caribbean Needs More Digital Content Online Producing more local digital content remains one of the most effective means of increasing internet penetration in any market. Local content production can also create significant opportunities and positively impact both social and economic development. This was the view expressed by Rhea Yaw Ching, Corporate Vice President – Sales and Marketing at Columbus Communications in a recent address. “As the volume of local content increases, the Internet becomes more relevant and has a greater impact on improving the lives of local communities,” said Yaw Ching. “While people in the Caribbean consume a significant amount of content produced outside its borders, they also want to interact with their news, their music, their images, their accents and even their issues in cyberspace.” She described local digital content as any community’s locally generated, owned and adapted knowledge and experience, BusinessFocus Sept /Oct BusinessFocus Sept /Oct

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packaged and presented online. In the Caribbean, people are embracing the broadband revolution and using the Internet to connect socially and exchange knowledge in completely new and exciting ways. But relative to the amount of foreign content available, there remains a dearth of local content online. “As the cost of broadband falls and more people go online, deliberate steps have to be taken to ensure that they are presented with appropriate local content,” Yaw Ching said. Columbus has been on a programme to engage digital content developers across the region. The regional telecommunications provider recently partnered with BrightPath Foundation, an international technology education nonprofit organisation, as part of its thrust to help promote training and education in digital content creation. “We believe that by supporting training and education in the creation of digital content, more people will see the social

and economic value in shifting from content consumers to content producers.” However, the challenge facing the region is how to migrate the wealth of content from the offline to the online world. “If the Caribbean is to move online en masse, it needs to be provided with reasons to go there,” Yaw Ching stated. “This involves helping more people understand the business case as well as the social value of creating new digital outlets for their content.” She added that Columbus is actively collaborating with content providers across the region to find new ways to accelerate the process of publishing more local content online. “Whether in stories, pictures, online videos, local services or mobile apps, we can move from being a region of content consumers. We have the capacity and motivation to create content that gives our people more reason to get online and seize the opportunities of the Internet economy.” ¤

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Launches “MyLIME Mobile” Smartphones Just Got Smarter with LIME! LIME, the Caribbean's leading full-service telecommunications provider, has established yet another service innovation for its customers with the introduction of ‘MyLIME Mobile,’ a new smartphone widget that gives its mobile customers across the region more freedom to access services through LIME’s selfservice Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform. MyLIME Mobile is designed for use on mobile devices with Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry operating systems. You can also use it on devices with browsers that support HTML 5. The widget allows LIME postpaid and prepaid customers to access services via their mobile phones and other devices, and also via Facebook. Postpaid customers can use MyLIME Mobile to view their current bill balance, including charges since their last bill and last payment were made, as well as pay bills securely via credit card. Prepaid customers can use the new service to view their current balance including any bonus credits.

The launch of MyLIME Mobile follows the introduction in October last year of LIME’s enhanced IVR system designed to provide customers with additional self-service options, including bill payments, buying services and prepaid and postpaid balance information. LIME selected VoxGen, a global leader in self-service automation services, as its IVR system manager. LIME Saint Lucia General Manager, Chris Williams said, “We know that now, more than ever, customers are seeking greater performance and they want to have superfast speed in the palm of their hands, that is on par or supersedes their connections at home or at their place of work. They also want what they want and they want it right away. This is why we know that MyLIME Mobile will deliver that experience as it puts all that power in their hands. Convenience is a big part of delivering world-class customer service to our customers and our enhanced Interactive Voice Response is the perfect innovation to achieve this." ¤

XOX Targets

Fourth Quarter Release in Jamaica XOX, the new mobile brand that is a sponsor of Jamaica's CPL franchise, plans to launch its handsets and tablets on the island in the fourth quarter of 2013, says BARCLAY... XOX will offer a very distributor Facey compelling brand positioning Telecom. Facey Business Development Director Erick Barclay noted that the Jamaican launch of XOX will precede rollouts in other Caribbean markets, Central America, New Zealand and the Pacific during the first quarter of 2014. He said Facey Telecom and its partner in the Pacific region, Oceanic Communications Ltd, are the distributors of XOX products. "Facey has recognised the demand for affordable, yet stylish and high-tech handsets and tablet devices in the markets we serve. The XOX line of products meets this demand and we look forward to working with XOX as they bring their products to market," said Barclay. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



XOX has plans to set up a marketing office in Jamaica, along with full support service infrastructure, that includes reverse logistics and repairs, Barclay said, noting that the brand sees a lot of opportunities in the local market. "The Jamaican market is made up of sophisticated consumers who are up-to-date with the latest and greatest in mobile communication. It is with these people in mind that XOX was developed," Barclay said. "XOX smartphones are being produced as an addition to established tier-one brands. XOX stands for tier-one quality at more competitive prices," he continued. "Furthermore XOX will offer a very compelling brand positioning, details of which will be revealed over the coming months." XOX is the founding sponsor of the Jamaica Tallawahs cricket team in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the Twenty20 cricket tournament across the region. It hopes to use the sponsorship deal to boost its imminent roll-out in the Jamaican and other Caribbean markets. Facey is a major player in the distributive trade, operating in the telecom distribution, consumer distribution and technology distribution sectors with operations in over 30 countries in the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, and the Pacific. Its telecom distribution business has physical offices and warehouses in 23 countries, and they sell to another six countries where the company does not have a physical presence. Facey, in 2001, became the exclusive distributor of Digicel's mobile handsets, airtime, and all its related products. ¤



to Abolish Regional Roaming Charges Digicel has agreed to abolish roaming charges for users of the company’s networks when they travel in the region from October 1, according to a statement issued by Caribbean Telecommunications Union President Phillip Paulwell. Paulwell made the announcement recently at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Caribbean Ministerial Forum on ICT, which opened in Port-of-Spain. “After some negotiation, Digicel has agreed as of October 1, 2013, on the abolition of voice roaming on Digicel’s network in Caricom countries. Each travelling subscriber will be treated as if he is using his local/domestic Digicel network throughout the region and therefore will be billed accordingly,” said Paulwell, who is Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. Paulwell said negotiations would continue with Digicel for the abolition of roaming on data charges by year-end and for the removal of taxes on international calls in Jamaica and Haiti. Discussions with LIME, the region’s other major telecoms provider, on a plan for LIME to eliminate roaming charges were ongoing, said Paulwell. “The overall aim is to abolish roaming for both voice and data, and the objective is to achieve this by year end. Those charges hinder affordable communication between Caribbean people, and as we move toward greater regional unity, we must take every opportunity to remove the barrier that keep us apart,” said Paulwell. ¤

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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




IXP Crucial to Build

St. Lucia's Digital Economy By: B Wooding

An Internet Exchange Point (IXP) would play a crucial role in facilitating the growth of St. Lucia's emerging digital economy, an international technology expert has said. Bevil Wooding, an Internet strategist with US-based Packet Clearing House (PCH) says the island already has a wealth of human resource talent in the information and communications technology sector. "St Lucia can accelerate its national development agenda by focusing attention on human resource development and by locating critical Internet infrastructure, such as IXPs on island," Wooding says. His comments came at the launch of a digital content education agreement between the St Lucia National Youth Council and Bright Path Foundation, a non-profit organisation that provides technology education. Wooding was speaking on the role of IXPs in facilitating the development of local content. Christopher Roberts, Project Coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Infrastructure Project with the Government of St. Lucia, explained that an IXP works by keeping local Internet traffic routed locally and the avoiding the costs, inefficiencies and delays incurred when local Internet traffic has to traverse expensive international routes. Roberts says there is considerable demand for bandwidth intensive applications, cloud-based services and high-speed networks in St. Lucia, particularly among the youth." He says, “An internet exchange point will play an important role in underpinning our digital economy. “Our country already has a pool of creative young persons itching to take advantage of the opportunities the Internet BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



presents. But our long-standing infrastructure, bandwidth and cost access issues have been a major stumbling block," he says. He adds, "A domestic IXP can provide new opportunities for technology-based innovation by our youth and our entrepreneurs." According to Wooding, IXPs can also help lower the cost of delivering services to end-users, speed up transmissions, strengthen the resilience of local networks, and decrease international Internet connectivity costs. "Without the appropriate infrastructure, government, businesses and consumers will continue to be frustrated, and the promised benefits of the Internet age will continue to elude the country," he said. Packet Clearing House is a non-profit research organisation and the world's leading implementer of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). He indicated that PCH will be providing technical assistance and advice to the Government of St. Lucia for the local Internet Exchange Point. PCH, in conjunction with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, is currently assisting several other countries – including Barbados, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis in establishing local IXPs. At present only the British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Grenada, St. Maarten, Curacao and Dominica – have Internet Exchange Points. ¤ Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge officer of Congress WBN, a values-based, international non-profit organisation and an Internet strategist with US-based Packet Clearing House. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding or at: or contact via e-mail at

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Blackberry Forms Committee to Explore Possible Sale Blackberry says That "Now is the Right Time to Explore Strategic Alternatives" Smartphone maker Blackberry is exploring options for its business, which could see the company sold off. Timothy Dattels, a Blackberry board member, will head a new committee that will consider different business models, including partnerships. It wants to increase sales of its Blackberry 10 model, seen as crucial to the future of the company. "We believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives," said Mr Dattels. "During the past year, management and the board have been focused on launching the Blackberry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders." Prem Watsa, chairman of Blackberry's largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial, resigned from the board as the formation of the committee was announced. Mr Watsa said he wanted to avoid any potential conflict of interest. "I continue to be a strong supporter of the company, the board and management as they move forward through this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares," he said. The company has struggled in recent years to regain market share lost to Apple and users of Google's Android operating system. "It's quite surprising to see a statement like this made publically," said Francisco Jeronimo from the technology research firm IDC. "Everyone knows that they've been struggling and looking at their options. It's clear that they haven't been able to find anyone who wants to buy or form a partnership. Blackberry has very strong BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



assets and is one of the most recognised portfolios in the industry. The question now is how much they're asking and what's on offer." Shares in the company rose by more than 5% as the news of the committee formation emerged. The company dropped its Research in Motion name in January 2013 and rebranded as Blackberry, to coincide with the launch of the Blackberry 10 model. In its most recent quarter, Blackberry lost $84m (£54m) and expects to lose more money in the three months to the end of September. Meanwhile, analysts point out that Blackberry's problem isn't that its new smartphones are no good, but rather that it took so long to get them to market. When the firm announced it was buying QNX Software Systems back in April 2010, it made clear that the purchase was designed to help it update its operating system. By that point, Apple's iOS and Google's Android had already started to eat into its market share, but the Canadians still accounted for about one in five smartphones shipped. However, repeated delays meant it wasn't able to start selling BB10 handsets until the end of January this year. Although reviews praised the OS for its unified messaging hub and virtual keyboard, neither were seen as "killer features," and perhaps more crucially, its app marketplace is less well-stocked. The result is that Blackberry is able to offer devices that make appealing upgrades to its loyal followers, but consumers and firms who have already switched platforms and other purchasers might see little reason to pick the 'berry. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Records US$28.4m Income in Six Months By: Carla Bridglal

INSURANCE TALK: Sagicor’s President and CEO Dodridge Miller, second left, chats with Group Chief Operations Officer Richard Kellman, right, following a press conference to announce the corporation’s half-year financial results at Sagicor’s Headquarters Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Looking on are Robert Trestrail, left, and Jacinto Martinez. Photo: AYANNA KINSALE The Sagicor Group recorded net income from continuing operations of US$28.4 million for the first six months of 2013, an improvement of US$4.0 million over the comparative period in 2012. The company released its half-year financials during early August. Net income from continuing operations attributable to shareholders was US$19.3 million, an increase over the prior year result of $12.3 million. “Results from our continuing operations remain encouraging. Our businesses in the Caribbean and in the USA continued to perform well, with revenue from continuing operations amounting to US$498.7 million—an improvement of US$21.5 million over the corresponding period in 2012,” Chairman Stephen McNamara said in his report. On July 26, 2013, the company entered into an agreement with AmTrust Financial Services Inc for the sale of Sagicor Europe Ltd (SEL) and its subsidiaries, which includes Sagicor at Lloyd’s Ltd. The selling price was approximately US$85 million, which represented a premium of US$23 million over the net tangible asset value of SEL. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



The discontinued operation recorded a net loss of US$41.7 million for the six-month period. This comprises an operating loss of US$23.6 million, foreign exchange and finance costs of US$8.0 million and an impairment estimate of all future losses of US$10.1 million. “Overall, after including the results from the discontinued operation a net loss of US$22.4 million was attributable to shareholders for the current period, compared to US$11.8 million net income for the comparative period in 2012,” McNamara said. At a media briefing to further explain the company’s halfyear performance in Port of Spain, Trinidad recently, President and Chief Executive Dodridge Miller said the company had also acquired the 18,000 unit portfolio for British American Insurance Company (BAICO). BAICO was part of the CLICO conglomerate, then the largest insurer in the Caribbean, which collapsed in 2009, leading the company to seek financial aid from the Trinidad and Tobago government. ¤

Courtesy: Trinidad Express

Trinidad &Tobago Gets

Triple A Rating Trinidad & Tobago’s Finance Minister Larry Howai recently disclosed at a post-Cabinet news briefing at the Prime Minister’s office that the twin island Republic has experienced four consecutive quarters—one year—of economic growth. He also revealed that Trinidad and Tobago had received a triple A rating from CariCris, the Caribbean Credit Ratings Agency being the highest rating that CariCris gives. Real GDP has been growing on a continuous basis from July and over the last three quarters to the end of March, GDP grew. “We expect by the time the numbers come out for June we would have shown growth for four consecutive quarters of growth,” he said. Noting that Trinidad & Tobago has the largest GDP in the English-speaking Caribbean and is one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, he said CariCris indicated the rating reflected the country’s strong external position as reflected by a healthy foreign exchange position (which at the end of June was $9.4 billion) and the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (which at the start of July had US$5 billion). ¤ Trinidad & Tobago’s Finance Minister Larry Howai

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Group Goes Public

First Citizens Investment Services (FCIS) General Manager Jason Julien, right, addresses a group of investment brokers. Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE Investors will be guaranteed to be allocated at least 50 shares in State financial institution First Citizens, as the company officially launched its Initial Public Offer (IPO) in July of close to 48.5 million shares, equivalent to almost 20 per cent of the company’s asset base.

“There is no minimum or maximum limit once you have the funds to purchase,” First Citizens Investment Services (FCIS) Brokerage Manager Leslie St. Louis said. He spoke to reporters after a sensitisation meeting FCIS had with other brokerage firms at the organisation’s offices in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The price per unit of the shares is TT$22 or approximately US$3.50. He added that this was in keeping with the promise in the T & T National Budget 2011 to allow citizens the widest possible participation in ownership of the State enterprise. The IPO is on offer to nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, and companies incorporated locally under the Corporation Act. The only exception will be for First Citizens’ foreign staff in St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados and Costa Rica. The bank had to receive permission from the various regulatory boards in these territories to allow staff to purchase shares listed in Trinidad and Tobago. “Shares will be distributed pro rata (in proportion), so they will be proportional based on the amount you apply for, rather than be first come first served,” St. Louis said. The shares will be allocated for distribution, with individuals receiving 15 per cent; staff 15 per cent; corporations incorporated in Trinidad 10 per cent; the National Insurance Board 10 per cent, 25 per cent for credit unions, pension funds, other institutions; and 25 per cent for mutual funds including the Unit Trust Corporation. Recently international credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s maintained its BBB+/Stable/A-2 rating of the bank and in a recent report, S&P cited the bank’s strengths included its government ownership and very strong capitalisation levels. Its weaknesses were high client concentration in the loan portfolio and strong competition in the Caribbean. ¤

World Bank Commits US$11.8 Billion to Region The World Bank Group is a family of five international organisations that make leveraged loans to poor countries. The World Bank has committed US$11.8 billion in the 2013 fiscal year to support Latin America and the Caribbean resilience in the midst of global turmoil. The Washington-based financial institution said this includes resources from its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The World Bank said it maintained its strong support for the region approving US$5.2 billion in new loans in the fiscal year, nearly US$4.8 billion from IBRD and US$435 million from IDA, the bank’s fund for the poorest countries. “Support was aimed at generating opportunities for all through public and private sector projects that expand BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



public services, improve regional productivity, competitiveness and integration, create new quality jobs and assist those most in need,” it said, disclosing that Latin America and the Caribbean received the largest share of IBRD’s total global new lending at 32 per cent, and 16.5 per cent of total IBRD/IDA lending. IFC, which focuses on supporting the private sector, provided a record US$6.5 billion to 129 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean in FY13, the World Bank said. In the region, IFC clients support about two million women through jobs, education and entrepreneurial opportunities. It said one in eight people in the region benefit from infrastructure projects supported by IFC, adding that its financial sector clients provided 29 million loans valued at US$217 billion to micro, small and medium enterprises. The World Bank said supporting smaller economies continues to be a priority for IFC, with US$1 billion invested in Central America and the Caribbean. ¤

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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Money Transfer Expands in Caribbean and the Pacific Jamaica National Building Society’s offices in Half-Way-Tree

JN Money Services Limited (JNMS) has expanded its JN Money Transfer network to over 8000 locations, up from 350 agents and branches at the start of the year. In particular, the company has been able to extend its remittance services to Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Antigua in the Caribbean, and the Philippines in the Pacific as a result of partnerships with G-xchange in the Philippines and Laparkan Financial Services in Guyana. JN Money Transfer's network now stretches across eight countries in the Caribbean, including Jamaica. "We are a Jamaican company, a subsidiary of Jamaica National Building Society; and our customer base encompasses our Jamaicans at home, and those in the diaspora," said Leesa Kow, General Manager, JNMS. "The vast number of Caribbean people living outside of the region, as well as people who have migrated to the Atlantic region from other BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



parts of the world, and require remittance services that are quick, reliable and convenient." JNMS's expansion thrust picked up steam in 2010, when it acquired the assests of the Cayman-based remitter, QuikCash, to become the main remitter along the Cayman to Jamaica corridor Following that acquisition, JNMS also added new branches and Agent locations to its operations in the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom and solidified its Agent partnership in Ghana in 2011, increasing its JN Money Transfer network, at the time, to more than 350 agents and branches. Laparkan, a subsidiary of one of the Caribbean's leading freight handlers, has nine payout locations in Guyana, and, its post office outlets will soon be included to bring the number of remittance payout locations across the South American CARICOM member state to more than 50.

What's more, the company has a combined six locations in Trinidad, Antigua and Barbados. Kow added that the Philippines-based, GCASH REMIT partnership will be very important to the company's US and Canadian markets, as well as Cayman Islands operations. The US is home to about 3.4 million Filipinos, while over 400,000 live in Canada. In addition Filipinos are also the second largest group of migrants in the Cayman Islands. JNMS, which is based in Kingston, Jamaica, markets its services under the JN Money Transfer brand, in several other Caribbean countries, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica. The company also has an extensive and growing operations in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, and Ghana. ¤


Net Profit for The Republic Bank Group has recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of $857.6 million for the third quarter ended June 30, 2013. This represents an increase of 1.4 per cent over the comparable period last year. The bank’s total assets stand at $56.1 billion, an increase of 8.7 per cent over the year ended September 2012, the bank said in a recent statement. Republic Bank Chairman, Ronald Harford, in announcing the Group’s results said, “During this third quarter, the Group recorded on our investment in East Caribbean Financial Holding Ltd, the parent company of the Bank of St. Lucia, a loss of $75.7 million. This resulted from significant loan loss provisioning due to deterioration in the credit quality of its loan portfolio, as the St. Lucia tourism sector continues to be challenged.” “Despite this, the Group achieved a satisfactory performance for the period, bolstered by encouraging loan growth and improvements in non-interest income in Trinidad and Guyana. We are also pleased to advise that on June 17, 2013 we increased our stake in HFC Bank Ghana Limited to 32 per cent. This acquisition has much potential for the Group going forward,” he added. Harford said that the Group’s performance is expected to be on target for the financial year end. ¤

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LIAT Signs US$65m Loan Agreement with CDB

Confirms Full Funding to Purchase New Fleet of Aircraft The shareholder governments of the regional airline, LIAT, recently signed a US$65 million loan agreement with the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as the cash-strapped airline seeks to upgrade its ageing fleet. The loan represents 61 per cent of a US$100 million re-fleeting exercise being undertaken by the Antigua-based regional airline that is replacing its Canadian Dash 8 fleet with French-made ATRs. Barbados, LIAT’s largest shareholder, takes up the bulk of the loan--US$33.2 million–while Antigua and Barbuda put up US$21.9 million, St. Vincent and Grenadines US$7 million and Dominica US$2.4 million. But each shareholder will provide the funds to LIAT on the same terms it received from the CDB, with the airline responsible for repaying the loan over a 13-year period, following a two-year grace period. The signing ceremony comes against increased criticism of the airline by the travelling public in recent months with long delays, numerous cancellations and lost baggage being the order of the day. LIAT chairman Jean Holder apologised for the hiccups, assuring that positive change BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



is coming with the airline’s re-fleeting exercise. Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said his government had no problem coming to the table to assist LIAT, since it is not possible to contemplate a region without the airline, despite the frustration expressed by the travelling public. “Barbados has a vested interest in the easy movement of people in this region…because CARICOM is our third largest source market for tourism. So, we cannot contemplate a region without the services of an airline like LIAT. “I don’t know of any other airlines prepared to do in this region what LIAT has done since 1956, in one form or another. Therefore, the Government of Barbados, over which I preside, had no difficulty in lending its consent to the securing of this loan,” he stated. Stuart said that Barbados remains committed to LIAT’s cause. “That does not mean that from time to time we too may not have to comment in ways that might make LIAT uncomfortable. But, that is not to be interpreted as any reneging from our commitment to ensuring that this regional airline maximises its opportunities and

provides the kind of service to this region which they so richly deserve,” he added. President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith, stressed that reliable and efficient regional air transport is an indisposable undertaking of Caribbean development. He said LIAT’s contribution, according to figures, shows the airline’s direct impact is estimated in excess of US$320 million. Smith also reported that LIAT contributed an estimated US$63 million or 39 per cent of average long stay arrivals to the Caribbean. But he pointed to significant challenges facing the aviation sector and stressed the need for CARICOM leaders to revisit the issue of a regional air transport policy. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is also chairman of LIAT’s shareholders, anticipates the modernisation of aircraft together with improvements to the airline’s operations will lead to an overall improvement in the financial operations and efficiency of the airline. He said that LIAT has already set its sights on spreading its wings. ¤

Contractors to Benefit from Millions in Gros Islet Infrastructure Expenditure

Good news for local contractors: The St. Lucia Government has announced that millions of dollars will be spent in coming weeks to enhance road and drainage infrastructure in the island’s bustling northern town. MP and Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte says the Gros Islet District Enhancement Projects will be financed through the Constituency Development Programme (CDP) and will generate employment for many residents. She says the aim is to improve the livelihoods of Gros Islet residents. She told BF, “With the constituency development funds, we have constructed roads at

Bonaire, Beverly Hills in Riviere Mittan and Faustin Hill at Cas En Bas among others.” She added, “For this quarter we have an allocation of just about $2 million to be spent on drainage and road works and am happy to report that the communities of Monchy, Cletus City, Monier, Corinth, Bonne Terre and La Feuille among others will have comfort in seeing some of their roads receiving attention.” She pointed to “urban renewal improvements” in Gros Islet sidewalks funded under the NICE programme and said government also “intends to continue this pavement improvement programme through the town of Gros Islet, using a phased approach.” Gros Islet is known as the largest Electoral District and the infrastructural needs far exceed the budgetary allocations for this financial year, so Ms Hippolyte says the allocated funds will be prudently managed and prioritized to bring relief to residents.

However she notes the current fiscal constraints requires some patience and understanding as all domestic needs cannot be addressed immediately. According to the Minister, “We are aware that roads need attention and some residents experience flooding and have water problems that necessitate the construction of drains, while others need street lamps in the vicinity of their homes. “We have residents in La Borne, Monchy, Vieux Sucire and Upper Massade who up to today still do not have access to potable water from WASCO so I thank those residents for their patience throughout the years and remind them that their improvements will soon be addressed.” The Minister said the Gros Islet District Enhancement Projects to be funded by the Constituency Development Programme will be further supplemented by additional projects financed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Central Government. ¤

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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Retirement – ‘Start Early, Contribute Less’ Retirement is a decision that everyone will be faced with at some point in their lives. Based on the goals we set for ourselves, whether it's relaxing on a tropical beach, traveling around the world, or simply lounging around the house, we all have retirement dreams. In order to ensure that our goals and dreams are kept at retirement, in 10 years, 20 years or even 30 years, you will be required to have a plan as to how you will achieve your goals. If you start to plan early, you are will provide you with the opportunity to If you begin to plan early The sooner you realize that retirement is just an extension of living, the better equipped you will be to plan for this event. By definition, retirement planning involves setting aside enough money during one's working years to provide income during retirement. It is about more than investing and saving. It’s also about enjoying your life after you decide to retire from your career or job. Financial wealth is important when planning for your retirement but you should also plan for the free time you will have once you retire. Many people have no idea what life might be like once they have retired from active work life. It can be the most rewarding experience or the most disappointing time you’ve ever had. You need to think about the financial BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



side of retirement but the emotional and mental changes and readiness can be far more devastating than money issues. Imagine not having anything to do at retirement, not having to get up or go to bed at any set time. You can eat, sleep, watch TV, take a walk, or just do nothing any time you want. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Some people can enjoy this lifestyle indefinitely but most will be bored within a few weeks. If you’re retired, this could be your lifestyle for the rest of your life unless you make other plans. The rest of your retirement life could be 30 or 40+ years; can you do nothing for that long? Think about it seriously. Develop a plan by making a list of your interests and your goals. Prioritize this list with what is most important first. You might want to come up with a list of about 1000 things you want to do before you die. Remember, with today’s life expectancy you will probably be retired as long as or longer than you were working. So, you would need to estimate roughly how much money you'll need to live on in retirement. A ballpark figure is a good starting place, and you can use a good online retirement calculator to get an estimate. Evaluating the adequacy of your retirement income requires one to carry out the following steps:

1. Estimate the retirement income needed, using the future value of their current expenses. Financial Planners have estimated you will need income to cover between 70% and 90% of your current expenses to maintain the same standard of living after retirement. 2. Once you have an idea of how much you'll need for retirement, calculate what will be available from sources other than your savings. 3. Determine whether there is a retirement income gap between projected monthly income requirement and sources of income at retirement. 4. Set goals for reaching the amount you'll need to make up the difference between Social Security, pensions, and any other retirement funds you already have. It may be difficult to consider that kind of long-term planning for retirement when you're trying to meet college bills, your mortgage, and other obligations, but it's worth peace of mind to start preparing for it as early as possible. In fact, compounding of earnings is so powerful that those who start saving for retirement in their 20s can amass large nest eggs with relatively little effort, as long as they invest regularly. If you take a realistic look at your finances and learn where you are and what you need to do to develop a very specific plan against your lifestyle goals, you can have a successful retirement. ¤

Marks Eighth Anniversary First Citizens Investment Services in Saint Lucia marked its eighth anniversary with a Masquerade themed cocktail event. Specially invited guests included clients of First Citizens Investment Services, government officials and other financial partners. Held on Thursday July 11th at Piano Piano Restaurant at Cotton Bay Village, the evening was truly a celebration of almost a decade of service to Saint Lucia. The event was addressed by Regional Manager Carole EleuthereJnMarie, who thanked and welcomed all those who contributed to the success of First Citizens over the years. First Citizens Investment Services officially marked its 8th anniversary of operations in Saint Lucia on July 7. ¤

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Facilitating Growth of Small Business & Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship

In the context of the St. Lucian economy – Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the foundation as well as an essential source of employment, growth and innovation in a wide and diverse range of sectors. These sectors span retail, construction, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism – generating significant domestic and export earnings. SMEs are vital to both social and economic stability and are characterized by three factors: presence, growth potential and risk. Private sector involvement is necessary for providing greater access to finance and microfinance to support a number of activities including acquiring new technology, improving infrastructure and upgrading communication channels. Financial institutions recognize the presence and potential of SMEs, and continue to position themselves to better serve the sector while simultaneously implementing measures to safeguard against these risks. Bank of Saint Lucia has taken a lead role as financial provider and partner to St. Lucia’s SME community. BOSL’s SME Unit provides improved credit assessment procedures and credit policies tailored to the unique product and service needs of SMEs. In order to support the future growth of SMEs and the overall economy - the BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



role of financial institutions must extend beyond the function of merely providing finance opportunities. To put into context – the development and growth of SMEs are linked to the level of entrepreneurship. A number of young entrepreneurs have come to the fore experiencing success over the years. Many bring innovation and a renewed sense of vibrancy to a number of competitive sectors. Youth entrepreneurship is therefore a key factor for the growth of SMEs and for driving sustainable economic growth. In order to ensure the promotion of entrepreneurship among our people, support systems must be put in place to provide the necessary guidance and direction to SMEs. This requires the support of government and private sector entities in a number of key areas including improved access to finance; the availability of training and development opportunities; the provision of subsidies on inputs; the creation of an enabling environment for SME development; and the support of programmes and initiatives aimed at fostering a greater entrepreneurial culture particularly among the youth. It is important to note that all support programmes & strategies must be embedded in a broader national development strategy. In recent years, there are many examples of global

economies which have shifted from development strategies targeting mainly large scale businesses to more reformed strategies inclusive of initiatives aimed at promoting and bolstering domestic SMEs. The St. Lucian Government and other private sector agencies currently have a number of support programs and initiatives in place to assist with entrepreneurial ventures, for example the Youth Enterprise Equity Fund, Enterprise St. Lucia and the Saint Lucia Youth Business Trust. The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development Investment and Consumer Affairs under the auspices of the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) has continued to do yeoman’s work to promote SMEs and provide young entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed. Financial institutions on the other hand, must support initiatives which promote entrepreneurship, foster innovation and build capacity. BOSL remains a committed development partner and continues to support a number of initiatives – both internally with its SME unit and externally – including its continued support of programmes which support and enable youth entrepreneurship such as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). The GEW aims to expose people to the benefits of entrepreneurship through different

activities and to motivate them to explore their own entrepreneurial ideas. SMEs contribute to income generation, employment and export revenues. The private sector agencies, including financial institutions and government must continue to support efforts at promoting entrepreneurship particularly at the youth level as the first step in the growth of SMEs locally. The next likely step is the support of programmes aimed at assisting SMEs to achieve greater levels of competitiveness through innovation and capacity strengthening. Bank of Saint Lucia and parent company ECFH remain committed to making meaningful contributions to the economic and social development of St. Lucia and views the promotion of youth entrepreneurship as an integral step in that regard. This support allows the ECFH Group to honour its overall mission - to be a catalyst for development. ¤ About: Bank of Saint Lucia’s SME Unit is located in the Financial Centre on Bridge Street in Castries, however SME Client services can be accessed at all Bank of Saint Lucia branches island wide. For more information, log on to

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Leading through Adversity Volume 4

by Lyndell Halliday

As St Lucia remains mired in a severe recession, and as leaders at every level bear the battle scars of the adverse economic circumstances, we are reminded that adversity is one of the sternest tests of leadership. This edition of Business Focus Must Reads follows in the paths of two modern leaders who turned to the pages of history for inspiration when they faced their own dire circumstances. Set in the early 20th century, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (Basic Books, 1999), has been cited as one of the favourite stories of Amazon. com founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. He drew encouragement from its pages as he defied the odds on his way to building the world’s most successful ecommerce company, while many other internet companies were failing. Similarity, when first elected in 2008 in the midst of the global malaise of the 2007 Great Recession, US President Barak Obama drew counsel and inspiration from the nineteen century narrative of Abraham Lincoln as told in Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, 2006). We examine these two books in this edition of Must Reads.

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing Endurance: Shackleon’s Incredible Voyage is a true story of the remarkable human spirit. In 1914, Captain Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail on board the Endurance on an ambitious journey to the South Pole in a bid to become only the second groups of humans to cross the Antarctic continent. On the way, the Endurance was shipwrecked and smashed to pieces by the cruel southern climate. In an age when there were no modern communication devices, isolated from the world, in the harshest of environments, the circumstances seemed hopeless. Trapped on ice, in sub-freezing temperatures, far

from land, with no shelter, and with little food and water Shackleton and his crew of 28 faced what seemed like certain death. Indeed on several occasions they came perilously close to that certain death. Through tenaciousness, resourcefulness and relentless grit they survived for five months on their own and all 28 eventually made it out alive. Throughout it Shackleton displayed extraordinary leadership skills in keeping the morale of the crew up, and keeping their hope alive. Alfred Lansing is a masterful story teller. He uses rich language and vivid detail to bring alive this unique adventure. This is an astonishing saga of leadership, teamwork, courage and persistence. Read it and you will come away inspired and empowered whatever the circumstances you face in life or business.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin Over 15,000 books have been written about Abraham Lincoln who is almost universally regarded as the greatest US president of all time. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 944 page book has been widely acclaimed as one of the best. Goodwin’s laboriously researched tome is meticulous and detailed. The reading is occasionally tedious, but Doris’ elegant writing so

effectively draws the reader into the characters and the high stakes drama, that it becomes hard to put this book down. Goodwin’s writing is centred primarily on Lincoln, but she also writes substantially about the four major rivals who ran against him for the 1860 Republican nomination. Initially, none of the four rivals respected Lincoln, but after securing victory, Lincoln took the unprecedented step of inviting the four to be part of his cabinet. With a cabinet of such strong personalities and vain egos, internal conflict was inevitable. But Lincoln believed the immense challenges faced by nation demanded that he surround himself with the best. Slowly, they came to appreciate his distinctive strengths and exceptional leadership qualities. Lincoln faced a tumultuous crisis when he came into office. The debate about slavery had fractured the young nation resulting in formation of the breakaway Confederate States of America and the nation was on the brink of civil war. Underestimated and sometimes scorned from the beginning, Lincoln’s ascent to the presidency had taken many by surprise and there were widespread doubts as to whether he was up to the task. Yet Lincoln’s confidence was unshakable, his resolve never wavered and his optimism never faltered. Tasked with fighting a bloody civil war, while keeping the remainder of the nation together, many of Lincoln’s decisions seemed hard to understand at first. He was criticized for many of his decisions and often accused of being weak or dithering. Yet, in time, the wisdom is his decisions became clear. This book is a superb biography and a college level course on leadership. Read this book and you will understand why Lincoln is so widely studied and so highly regarded. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




New Report from CARICOM:

Integration a Boost for REGIONAL TRADE

A new report from the CARICOM Secretariat shows that intraregional trade has increased over the decades of the integration movement and despite a dip in 2009, the increase in trade in 2011 was approximately 30 times the amount of US$0.1B in 1973. T&T has been the region’s dominant exporter. The story of trade in CARICOM was told when the Regional Statistics Programme, in collaboration with the Guyana Bureau of Statistics, held a seminar on the grouping’s trade performance. The seminar was one of the activities to mark International Year of Statistics. The expansion of intra-regional trade and trade with third states is one of the objectives of CARICOM, which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. CARICOM recorded mixed fortunes in trade with upswings that were manifestations of effective regional policies and downturns that were generally reflective of external shocks and the state of the global economy. Changes in the global environment that occurred during the past 40 years impacted on the performance of the integration movement including in trade performance. Some of those changes included the removal of the preferential arrangements for the region’s sugar and bananas exports with the European Union (EU); the advent of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its impact on the setting of the prices of oil and related minerals; the debt crisis of the 1980s, and more recently, the global financial and economic crisis, and specifically, its impact in the EU and the United States of America (USA), two of the region’s largest trading partners. Since 1973, trade among CARICOM member states tallied 17.2 per cent of total exports. The USA has been CARICOM’s most significant market for exports, accounting for 44.2 per cent of total exports. The USA is also the main source of CARICOM’s imports accounting on average for 40.5 per cent of the region’s total extra-regional imports from 1973 to now, and for 37 per cent since the CSM. The region’s imports from the USA stood at US$0.4 billion in 1973, US$5.8 billion in 2006 and US$7.3 billion in 2011. Exports to the EU accounted for 15.1 per cent of total export, BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



with the EU being the second major source of imports with 15.1 per cent. At the seminar, participants learnt that growth in trade was significant in the early years of the integration movement. Between 1973, when CARICOM was birthed, to 1981, there was a significant increase of intra-regional exports which expanded at an average annual growth rate of 22.8 per cent. The proportion of intra-regional exports to total exports averaged nine per cent. The impact of the debt crisis of the 1980s was felt heavily in the region. The period 2002 to 2008 also saw phenomenal increase in intra-regional trade with an average annual rate of growth of 24.8 per cent. Fundamentally, the region sought to deepen its integration process through the agreement to establish the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as a mechanism for the small countries of the group to stimulate growth and development amidst external and internal challenges. With the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) in 2006, total exports expanded from US$17.8 billion in 2006 to US$18.8 billion in 2011 at an average growth rate of one per cent. That growth rate, however, declined in the wake of the most recent global economic and financial crisis. Total imports also increased with the launch of the CSM, from US$18.0 billion in 2006 to US$ 24.3 billion in 2011 at an average annual growth rate of 6.2 per cent. The period 1973 to 2005 saw an annual average growth rate in imports of 7.9 per cent. Similarly, the effect of the global financial and economic crisis was reflected in an average annual growth rate for imports from 2008 to 2009 of negative 25.9 per cent. European Union Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM, Robert Kopecky, representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Statistics Bureau of Guyana, as well as members of the media, participated in the interactive event that was led by Dr. Philomen Harrison, Project Director, Regional Statistics, Nigel Lewis and Deoram Persaud of the Regional Statistics Programme. ¤

Barbados Economy

Continues to


The Barbados economy contracted during the first six months of the year with the main foreign exchange sectors also suffering a decline, according to figures released by the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB). The CBB said that the local economy grew by just 0.6 per cent and among the priorities for the future will be to reduce spending “in the economy so as to balance the inflows and outflows of foreign exchange” and also “to revive economic growth led by tourism, international business, agro processing and alternative energy.” The CBB said that the first half of 2013 saw a contraction in the main foreign exchange earners, namely tourism and international business and financial services. “At the same time, private foreign capital inflows were less than a quarter of the figure recorded in the same period last year, the CBB said, adding “foreign exchange levels were relatively unchanged for most of the first three months, but weakened considerably during the second quarter”. The CBB said as a result, the foreign reserve cover fell from 19 weeks of imports as at March to 16 weeks at the end of June. “Overall economic growth is estimated to have contracted by 0.6 per cent in the first half, inflation rate is estimated at 2.7 per cent to June and the rate of unemployment was 11.5 per cent at endMarch,” the CBB added. It said that long stay visitors decreased by seven per cent for the first six months of the year with earnings also declining by three per cent. The Central Bank said the island recorded declines in all markets including the United kingdom, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




FAO to Increase Assistance to Caribbean Countries

FAO Director General, Dr. Jose Graziano da Silva, at a meeting of agriculture stakeholders in Jamaica on the final day of his mission to the region. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is transforming the way it works in the Caribbean to ensure a greater and more effective contribution to national and regional development. This was the main message delivered by the organisation’s Director General, Dr. Jose Graziano da Silva, on a recent 12-day mission which saw him meet with government, civil society, the private sector and partner agencies in several countries of the region.

FAO Director General, Dr Jose Graziano da Silva, at a meeting of agriculture stakeholders in Jamaica on the final day of his mission to the region. Discussions focused on the future of the Caribbean food and agriculture sector, the challenges facing it, and how FAO can reengineer its assistance to better equip the region to establish more efficient and sustainable food systems. Dr. Graziano spoke about reforms that are underway at FAO, which are making it more responsive and effective, as well as its new strategic objectives and renewed focus on the eradication of hunger around the world. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Dr. Graziano began the mission by attending the opening ceremony of the Caricom Heads of Government meeting in T&T where he met with President of Guyana and Lead Head of Government for Agriculture, Donald Ramotar and other regional leaders. He also held discussions with President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith, about how the two agencies can better co-operate to serve the region. While in T&T he also met with the Minister of Agriculture and Planning and visited the new Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, which is seeking to grow as a centre of research and innovation in the sector. The delegation travelled on to the Eastern Caribbean, stopping in Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and Antigua & Barbuda where Dr. Graziano met with local agriculture officials. He discussed the region’s food insecurity caused by the decline of income from bananas—the main livelihood and their ongoing vulnerability to natural disasters. FAO has already offered its assistance in the management of Black Sigatoka Disease which has severely impacted bananas, as well as in the exploration of alternative crops and the development of value chains in an effort to diversify the base of rural livelihoods. Dr. Graziano reiterated plans to create closer ties with the Eastern Caribbean Member States of FAO. In Antigua and Barbuda, the delegation visited community projects which form part of the FAO-led Zero Hunger Challenge pilot initiative in the Caribbean. The project is currently focusing on strengthening the National School Meals Programme and developing backyard gardens and small farmer enterprises in the most vulnerable communities. Other initiatives will target expansion and diversification of agriculture, improved nutrition, pro-poor employment, income opportunities and improved governance. FAO is in the process of expanding its Zero Hunger work across the region. ¤


Equality Needed for Change in Region

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says equality is the “guiding principle” for a paradigm change in the Caribbean and Latin America. In addressing the social summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, presented the document, “Structural Perspectives on the Inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean” which further explores the case ECLAC puts forward in “Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails.” According to ECLAC, the new document emphasises equality as the guiding principle that “involves disseminating the development of capacities, labour opportunities and access to social protection networks and benefits throughout the social fabric, as well as the participation of the widest range of stakeholders in making this possible.” Bárcena underscored that inequality “manifests itself in many social dimensions, such as income distribution, social protection coverage and the quality of education or the labour market.” She said the region currently has “significant gaps” in education, in terms of both access and quality. She said productivity gaps involve disparities in employment quality, adding that these, in turn, lead to segregated access to social protection. “Placing equality at the heart of the matter is a break with the economic paradigm that has prevailed in the region for at least three decades,” Bárcena said. She said this break places the political dimension at the centre, stating that there is a need for social covenants that “ensure willingness and sustainability for this development option”. The ECLAC Chief said “persistently high levels of inequality” in the region “go hand in hand with a deep mistrust of institutions and strongly perceived injustice.” According to the document, it is vital to link political institutions, public agencies, business agents, workers and other civil society actors. For Bárcena, “there is a two-way relationship between structural change, equality and political legitimacy.” ECLAC said Bárcena’s presentation “underscored the importance of growth for equality, and of equality for growth, using macroeconomic policies to encourage investment, industrial policies that strengthen sectors, and environmental sustainability to change production and consumption patterns.” The document also states that the favourable historical situation currently being experienced by many Latin American and Caribbean countries is “in step with this paradigm change.” ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct





World Bank Study Indicates Social Instability and Weak Legal Frameworks Major Deterrents Social instability and weak legal frameworks in the Caribbean region are scaring away even Caribbeanborn overseas-based nationals from making significant investments in their homeland. That’s according to the findings of a new study on Diaspora Investments in the Caribbean presented by the infoDev section of the World Bank. The study, authored by Qahir Dhanani and Mina J. Lee surveyed 850 self-identified members of the Caribbean Diaspora in London, New York, Toronto and Miami from March to June 2013. The study titled ‘The Caribbean Diaspora: A source for venture investment?’ was part of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean, (EPIC) and found that 32 percent of Caribbean nationals overseas cited social instability, including crime in the region, as the largest barriers to increased engagement with the region. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Thirty percent also said weak legal framework enforcement prevents them from being more involved in the Caribbean. Of those surveyed, 80 percent held a bachelor’s degree or higher while over 65 were currently employed in the

Attendees at the 2013 Invest Caribbean Now forum in New York City. private sector and almost 40 percent owned their own business. A quarter of them were found to be affluent with either net investable wealth or annual incomes in excess of USD 100,000 held primarily in cash savings, real estate holdings, or public equity. A small proportion of respondents (8 percent) identified themselves as “accredited investors,” namely having either an annual

income of over USD 200,000 during the past two years or at least USD 1 million in investible assets. The report’s authors, however, concluded that despite the two main barriers to investment, the Caribbean region was still viewed as a destination with a great sense of opportunity and hope among the Diaspora community, which is sizeable, well educated, affluent and largely interested in engaging even more in “back home.” Most surveyed favoured opportunities to not only “touch and feel” the investments being made, but to have an active role – preferring to give directly to family and friends, alma maters, and organisations whom they know and trust personally. “This is a remarkable finding as it provides clear evidence that Diaspora dollars are already flowing to new ventures in the region and that these come from relatively sophisticated investors. This willingness and ability to engage represents a significant untapped potential for Caribbean nations through reducing the barriers to and improving the avenues for engagement,” stated the report. “The Diaspora can indeed play an important role in the Caribbean region’s development story – but it will require leadership to lower barriers to engagement, facilitate structured opportunities and increase information transparency.” ¤ Courtesy: News Americas

Saint Lucia Trade and Export Forum Held in New York On August 23, Emma Hippolyte, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, headlined the Saint Lucia Trade and Export Forum held at the Saint Lucia House in Brooklyn, New York. The Forum was organized by the Office of Consulate General in New York in collaboration with the Office of Private Sector Relations (OSPR), Saint Lucia’s primary Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA). The event provided Saint Lucians in the Diaspora and other interested parties the opportunity to discuss trade and export possibilities, trade policies, import and export procedures, and other pertinent topics related to the development of Saint Lucia.

The Forum was a major highlight of the OPSR/TEPA’s Export Reconnaissance Mission for the tri-state region—i.e., New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut—held August 19-29, 2013. “Saint Lucians in the Diaspora need to be more involved in the economic development activities of both the country that gave them birth and their adopted homelands,” said Julian Dubois, Saint Lucia’s Consul General in New York. “This activity aimed to create awareness and arouse curiosity to effectively utilize available opportunities and programs, as well as to make meaningful contributions in the business sectors.” Consul General Dubois served as the Forum’s moderator. Mrs. Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood, OSPR/TEPA Director, also noted that “the important role of the Diaspora in supporting Saint Lucia’s export development” was one of the key discussion points.

“This Forum was a great opportunity for TEPA to explore the potential for increasing exports from Saint Lucia to the tri-state area. We elucidated Saint Lucia’s trade policies and the National Export Development Strategy, highlighting the importance of both the goods and services sectors.” Brooklyn’s Brian Figeroux, Founder and CEO of the New American Chamber of Commerce, Saint Lucia Tourist Board Regional Marketing Manager for U.S North East coast region, Mrs. Lorine Charles-St Jules, and a representative of the New York City Business Department of Small Business Services, were also featured at the Forum. Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Menissa Rambally also attended. A similar forum was also held on August 27, 2013 at the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut. ¤










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Saint Lucia and Taiwan Exploring a Multi Billion Dollar Yachting Partnership

The opportunity for a billion-dollar yachting sector partnership is being explored by the Governments of Saint Lucia and Taiwan. During the recent state visit here by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, Saint Lucia`s Minister for Tourism Lorne Theophilus encouraged the Taiwanese to use Saint Lucia as a hub to market yachts built in Taiwan – the world`s fourth largest producer of mega yachts. In his speech at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Taiwanese President to discuss tourism related issues, Theophilus disclosed that the Government of Saint Lucia will offer incentives for the registration and berthing of yachts manufactured in Taiwan. He said, “As part of our tourism product, Saint Lucia is quickly becoming prominent as a haven for mega yachts and yacht related activities as we host a minimum of four internationally recognised yachting events and are poised to increase this number to include a Mega Yacht Regatta in 2014.” According to the Minister, “Taiwan is world renowned as a yacht building nation amongst other things and we believe that while we can learn from them, in terms of their yacht building and maintenance techniques which are vital for the provision of the ancillary services related to the ever-growing yachting sector. “Taiwan can also benefit from our increased presence in the world market as a yacht haven and use Saint Lucia as a hub to market yachts built in Taiwan.” The minister proposed further, “that we can offer an incentive registration and berthing of yachts purchased from Taiwan, amongst a variety of other initiatives which include joint marketing that will result in fiscal benefits for both of us.” In preparation to maximize the potential benefits from the billion-dollar yachting sector partnership, the Government of Saint Lucia has moved to legislate the set-up of a Yachting Registration Desk. Steps are also afoot for the establishment of Maritime training programmes at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. For its part, the Taiwanese Government has favourably welcomed the proposed collaboration and pledged its support to ensure mutual benefit for both countries. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




their business practices. They will receive support from Caribbean Export.

Q: Are there monies and support available for businesses in different stages of development, both established and burgeoning?

Business Focus Q&A with Colin Murdoch, Chairman of the

A: Yes, definitely. There is a process of application and companies can receive technical assistance and funding in the form of grants. The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, which Caribbean Export runs, gives grants and money to companies. You can receive a small grant that is 5,000 euros, which is between 15 and 20 thousand EC dollars, or you can have a grant going up to 30 thousand euros, which is close to 100,000 EC dollars. The business would apply and that application would be assessed, along with all the other applications from member companies. It is very possible for your company to receive a grant of 100,000 EC dollars to assist with your business operations. Q: An important part of the Agency’s mission deals with promoting the Caribbean region as a prime destination for intra and extra-regional investment. What are the main channels used in order to promote this destination and to attract foreign direct investment?

Ambassador Colin Murdoch Chairman of the Caribbean Exoprt Development Agency

If you know anything about Colin Murdoch, you know he eats, sleeps and breathes all matters related to trade in the region. With thirty years of foreign relations and trade experience, which include his current appointments as Permanent Secretary to the Department of Trade Industry & Commerce and Ambassador-at-large to Antigua & Barbuda, one thing is clear; Murdoch knows his trade. Now, in his capacity as Chairman of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Murdoch is more determined than ever to see products labelled “Made in the Caribbean” on store shelves throughout the world. In his third and final year as the Agency’s chair, the trade specialist is resolute in his thrust to put the OECS and CARIFORUM countries on a whole, on the map ushering in a new era, perspective and model for the region, led by Caribbean Export.

The Interview… Q: Could you give a brief introduction

to the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the organisation’s mission in the Caribbean?

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



A: Caribbean Export is the only CARIFORUM-wide regional organisation that is assisting governments and companies with being ready for the new economy. It is an intergovernmental organisation whose main mission is to promote innovation, competiveness and new business in member countries. Many donors support its undertakings, chiefly the European Union through the European Development Fund. In fact, right now Caribbean Export has a Regional Private Sector Development Project, which is funded by the European Union to the tune of approximately 38 million euros. That is over 100 million EC dollars available to support the development of the private sector in the member countries of the Caribbean.

A: That is part of our mission and Caribbean Export operates largely through CAIPA, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies. CAIPA puts on a number of activities and operates mainly like any investment promotion agency would operate, but at a regional level. They have mounted tradeshows and have piggybacked on numerous events. For instance, during the London Olympics a mission went to London and interacted with several large investors, promoting Caribbean companies that are exporting into that very market. The delegation exposed new companies with business ideas to the investors that came to our forum. Caribbean Export has been very active in promoting investment into the region through CAIPA.

Q: Are there particular business types or sectors that Caribbean Export supports?

Q: What message do you have for business owners seriously contemplating exporting into new markets?

A: We are interested in companies that are exporting or gearing up for export, because it has been determined that export led growth is the way of the future for the economies of the region, and, in fact, world wide. Caribbean Export is trying to promote businesses and companies to export more and also to be innovative in

A: The message should be that there is help available from Caribbean Export for businesses in OECS. If you are a businessman or woman and you are looking to develop your business, if you are looking to export or are exporting already, Caribbean Export can offer

technical assistance and also money. We can assist you in your operations by helping you become export ready or to further penetrate markets you already export to.

Q: Do you think Caribbean Export’s message is adequately getting across to the people of the nation, the fact that there is support available? A: I would like the message to get out more. I have seen, during my time on the (Caribbean Export) Board, an upswing from OECS countries. My concern was that a lot of the money was going to companies in Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, who are already better geared up to present applications and access these funds than smaller companies in the OECS. Part of my objective was to raise the number of Antiguan and OECS companies that apply for and get those grants. And we have seen that, but I want to see the needle moving even more, with more companies being able to access these funds and services.

means exporting. And if you are gearing up for export, Caribbean Export can help you. The Agency can help with technical assistance, marketing, labelling and market analysis—almost anything relating to the export business. The criteria for accessing funds from the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme is that you are exporting or gearing up for export, two years financial statements and your business plan.

Q: What are the challenges CARIFORUM countries face when they endeavour to export products internationally?

Q: How can the small businessman with a big idea take his growing company to the next level?

A: Our challenge, especially in the OECS, is we have very small companies and some of them operate with just a few people. We need to amalgamate. We need to join in partnerships of different kinds so that we can get the benefits of economies of scale. We need not be afraid or reticent to go out into foreign markets and to penetrate and sell our products there. We need to convert our business model from the small family-owned one and two people companies and join up with other businesses, taking advantage of whatever funds are available. We must participate in the new economy.

A: The way he can make that idea big is by selling it to a larger market and that

Q: With that being said; do you believe the region is going in the right direction

in efforts to penetrate the world export market in a meaningful way?

A: The Caribbean on a whole is going in the right direction when it comes to penetrating the world export market. We are, but too slowly. We need to modernize almost everything that we are doing to participate fully and reap the advantages of the world economy, as it is now. Especially in CARIFORUM, I think there is some drift. I am very energized by the OECS Economic Union and I think we should implement that at full pace and strengthen the individual economies of our region. Q: As your tenure comes to an end at the close of the year; how would you like to see the Agency develop into the future? A: All of these small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of our economy. I would like to see the Agency reach out to these Caribbean enterprises and assist them in converting to a new business model. One that does not take exports for granted and does not limit itself to the 80 or 100 thousand people in their local market, but, in fact, sees the entire world as its market. That is the way you are going to expand. That is the way you are going to develop, by selling your products to other people, everywhere. ¤

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Caribbean Can Go Greener and Cleaner With Geothermal Energy By D. Markie Spring

Considering the region’s geography, it should be a model for geothermal energy generation! When one thinks about renewable energy potential for the Caribbean, perhaps the first thing that comes to one’s mind is solar and wind energy sources. Interestingly, the Caribbean is home to significant volume of geothermal energy resources – embedded within the volcanic island arch stretching from the tri-island state of Grenada in the south to the Virgin Islands in the north – and has enormous potential to produce clean geothermal energy. Unlike Trinidad and Tobago (TNT), most Caribbean countries are net energy importers. However, Guadeloupe has the only operational power plants: the 4.5 megawatts of electricity (MWe) dual flash plant and the 11.7 MWe flash plant at Bouillante. According to TIME – Science and Space, Nevis, if estimates are correct, has huge volumes of geothermal reservoir – a phenomenon that can cement and secure a place for the twin island paradise on the map. Nevis, a volcanic island and home to active hot springs, has the potential to produce enough energy; positioning itself in an ideal spot to become the world’s first nation near self-sufficiency from renewable energy sources. Henceforth, regional reports indicate that Dominica’s first exploration wells, with support and finance from European nations, have been a proven success. Similarly, St. Lucia’s government has signed an agreement with US-based Qualibou Energy for the installation of a geothermal plant – henceforth, if this plan is successful it could generate 12 MWe and an additional 108 MWe of capacity will be in operation by 2015. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



What is intriguing about this project, is if successful, St Lucia will become an energy exporter to Martinique through a 30 miles sea cable, which can potentially export approximately 80 MWe by 2015. Meanwhile, these successes have influenced and prompted Montserrat to release results from a tender held to commence initial exploration on the volcanic stricken island. But Montserrat is not the only nation influenced by the potential successes of these projects. St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) recently announced it will pursue geothermal energy technology. SVG will utilise the geothermal reservoir located deep within the La Soufriere volcano and harnessing of geothermal energy will be incorporated with reputable companies, which include the Clinton Global Initiative to provide technical support relative to geothermal power. Nonetheless, to save cost, the operation would most likely be installed from the North Leeward end and foreign investors will have to play a role in this development. If successful, SVG could potentially, in the near future, be exporting geothermal energy to Barbados through a 100 miles sea cable. Meanwhile, Emera Inc., a $2.1 billion Nova Scotia based energy company,

recently acquired from American private equity fund manager – the Caribbean Basin Power Fund (CBPF) – a 19% interest in St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (Lucelec) in 2007. The company has since acquired a 38% stake in Light and Power Holdings in Barbados. Hence, Emera Inc. could play a significant role, if not the leading role, in harnessing geothermal energy in SVG. Emera has been successful in undertaking challenges of sustainable development and environmentally responsible growth. More so, this company has made safety its priority and is working tirelessly to add more energy from greener and cleaner sources, while simultaneously installing new technology to reduce the astronomical volume of carbon emission into the atmosphere. With these economic and environmental incentives, SVG is steamed up and ready to go greener and cleaner! ¤ D. Markie Spring: The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada.


Caribbean Could Cover all Electricity Needs Using Renewable

Wind Energy


Latin America and the Caribbean’s renewable energy endowment is large enough to cover its projected 2050 electricity needs 22 times over, according to a new report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The report, ‘Rethinking our Energy Future’, argues that lower prices and new technologies are making renewables a viable alternative. Solar, geothermal, wave, wind and biomass sources in this region could produce up to 80 petawatt-hour of electricity. One petawatt-hour is equivalent to 1 trillion kilowatt-hour, roughly three times the amount of electricity Mexico consumes in one year. At present, Latin America generates 1.3 petawatt-hour. By 2050, demand is expected to grow to between 2.5 to 3.5 petawatt- hour. The report addresses a series of myths surrounding renewable energies, noting that several of these alternative technologies have become price competitive with conventional technologies, offer good investment opportunities and should be taken into consideration by policymakers aiming to diversify their national energy matrixes, reduce fuel supply vulnerabilities and cut greenhouse gas emissions. “Though Latin America uses more renewable energy than any other region in the world, it faces difficult choices as it seeks to generate the electricity it needs to grow without harming the environment,” said IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno, adding that “Renewables are becoming a viable and attractive option that needs to be explored.” The report was presented in Bogotá, Colombia at the Global Green Growth Forum Latin America and the Caribbean (3GF LAC) to leaders from government, business, finance, civil society and international organisations, who were gathered at the invitation of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and Moreno. “With this study we seek to promote concrete action and public-private partnerships, by putting into perspective the magnitude of available renewable sources, outlining their broad benefits and illustrating policy options,” said Walter Vergara, head of the IDB’s Climate Change Division and lead author of the report. In 2012, global investments in alternative renewable technologies (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, small-scale hydropower and advanced bio-energy) and traditional hydropower amounted to $244 billion, of which Latin America represented a modest 5.4 percent. To tap into its vast potential, the region must modernise its policy and regulatory frameworks and scale up investments. While investments in renewable energy have been limited so far, the study argues that major new developments are underway in Latin America. Wind is the fastest growing non-traditional renewable source in the region. Mexico is the fifth largest producer of geothermal energy in the world and Colombia, Panama and Ecuador are exploring their own resources. Biomass, solar and wind are increasingly being used in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina and Chile. The study concludes that, regardless how each country may shape its energy policy, increasing the penetration and use of non-traditional renewables makes sense for Latin America and the Caribbean. ¤

Solar Energy

Geothermal Energy

Wave Energy

Bio Gas BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Micro-Lending @ Its Best

By Stan Bishop

Other requirements that the applicant must meet before accessing a FastCash loan are as follows: • Applicant’s company must agree to facilitate salary deductions from the applicant’s paycheck. • Applicants must produce 2 forms of identification, 2 most recent pay slips, a job letter and proof of address.

For the nine years it has been in business, FastCash has certainly made a huge difference in the lives of the people it serves. The distinguished service the company has been able to deliver to thousands of customers all these years has also served to establish FastCash as a household name. FastCash began operations in Dominica in 2004 as the brainchild of prominent insurance broker and businessman, Robert Tonge. The aim of the company was simple: to provide small cash advances to people who need quick access to funds to meet immediate needs. Two years later, the company expanded to Antigua. FastCash’s micro-lending efficiency was soon going places: offices in Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia opened up in 2007. And just two years ago, its newest office opened in Saint Kitts. According to Candace Samuel-Delmar, Country Manager – Saint Lucia, FastCash serves a critical role by providing easy-toaccess loans to people whose income levels prohibit them from being able to meet all their financial commitments, especially unforeseen expenses. “There’s a need for micro-financing because we found that due to the global economic crisis people’s income have become stagnant,” Samuel-Delmar tells Business Focus Magazine. “FastCash is there to leverage their monthly earnings through the cash advances we give. We’re there to fill the financial gap, so to speak. We facilitate emergencies such as medical, educational, travel, home renovation, and so on.” The lending facility is available to individuals who are currently employed with at least one year on the job. The applicant’s place of employment must also be registered with FastCash and the organization must be in business for at least two years. SamuelDelmar says most Saint Lucian businesses have already registered with FastCash, recognizing the need for such a vital service for their employees. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



FastCash is a non-collateralized business, which means that borrowers do not need to put up anything as collateral. The company offers short-term loans from as low as $100 to as high as $10,000 up to one year at 4 %. The first deduction/repayment is made a month after the loan has been granted and deductions are made every month after that. However, if the borrower repays the full value of the loan within 30 days of the issue date, he/she gets a rebate. In that case, he/she pays interest for one month plus the principal. FastCash has three strategic locations in Saint Lucia: Castries, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. These three locations are staffed with a total of fourteen service professionals who listen to your financial needs and find ways to solve them. And with its fast turnaround for loan processing, the company ensures that you don’t have to wade through the lengthy waiting periods and bureaucratic red tape that conventional lenders put you through. FastCash also

gives customers the choice of refinancing an existing loan where necessary providing that certain basic conditions are met. Samuel-Delmar says the response from Saint Lucian customers have been phenomenal since FastCash set up shop here six years ago. “Our customers love us. Not just because of our exceptional customer service. We really go the distance to cater to their needs in an efficient manner. They find our service very convenient, too. FastCash has also been instrumental in playing its corporate social responsibility part as well. We sponsor various sporting activities, school graduations, nurses’ conferences, and make several charitable donations to various organizations. I think that our professional service, as well as our sense of community, has been our biggest strengths,” Samuel-Delmar said. Looking for a quick, low-interest loan to pay off that expense? Then call FastCash today and let them work something out with you, including an affordable repayment plan. Call today! ¤

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Caribbean Ltd

Looking Out For You! By Stan Bishop

Joseph Adjodha

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Finding peace of mind is not easy these days. However, when one finds a company that makes that search easier, there’s just no word to describe that kind of satisfaction. Onwatch Caribbean Ltd. is that company and they make looking out for you top priority. The parent company, Video Surveillance, was formed some years ago in the United Kingdom by Joseph Adjodha. After much success there, Adjodha brought the business to Saint Lucia in 1993. Within a short period, the company became a leader in the Saint Lucian security industry where there were virtually no standards in place. The company was also a pioneer in getting security equipment into Saint Lucia duty-free. Video Surveillance later expanded throughout the region, serving territories as far north as Antigua to far south as Suriname. That expansion realized much success, evidenced by the company’s ability to attract clientele that included commercial banks and embassies. However, when the global recession hit, the company decided to merge with Onwatch, a UK-based company. Today, Onwatch Caribbean Ltd. is based in Saint Lucia but its services are not limited to Saint Lucia. “What distinguishes Onwatch Caribbean Ltd. from other security companies is that our emphasis is on video monitoring on a 24/7 basis,” Onwatch Caribbean Ltd’s sales manager, James Adjodha, tells Business Focus Magazine. “Other security companies throughout the region usually offer alarm monitoring. Basically, what they offer is a simple service which would indicate that an alarm has gone off in a particular zone. What Onwatch Caribbean Ltd. has been able to do with our state-of-the-art control rooms in key strategic locations is to monitor the perimeter of each of the properties that fall within our portfolio. So once someone crosses the restricted perimeter, we are able to see them via the high-resolution cameras and communicate with them via the audio equipment installed onsite.” Adjodha tells Business Focus Magazine that over 90% of the time the perpetrator or trespasser usually runs off. But the state-ofthe-art equipment is not limited to scaring of a potential perp. In the event that a perpetrator is bold enough to disregard the warning,

Onwatch Caribbean Ltd.’s network of security personnel springs into action. The response team includes members of the police force who are immediately notified and proceed to the location in question. Nevertheless, back-up plans are always in place to ensure the safety of property. Onwatch Caribbean Ltd currently caters to principally the corporate sector. However, a deeper penetration of the residential market is in the works. Onwatch Caribbean Ltd’s clientele includes Saint Lucia (Scotiabank branches, Prestige Auto Holdings Ltd, Goddard Catering Group Ltd, General Post Office, R.J. Clarke Ltd, and Financial Investment & Consultancy Services (FICS) Ltd, among others) and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (all branches of Bank of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). For now, though, Onwatch Caribbean Ltd. monitors properties in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. However, they have done considerable work in other territories where their security features have been implemented. These territories include Antigua, St. Kitts, Jamaica, Montserrat, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Guyana, and Curacao. According to Adjodha, having Onwatch Caribbean Ltd on their side is one of the best feelings any property owner can have. Onwatch is an ISO 9001-certified company, so quality assurance is of an international standard and paramount importance. Pricing varies according to specific needs. “No one would ever wish for a situation whereby a security alarm goes off and it’s too late. Peace of mind is the state of knowing that no danger infiltrates your property. And that’s where Onwatch Caribbean Ltd comes in. Our systems keep you and your property safe by preventing unsavoury incidents from happening. Basically, if you really want to ensure that your property is secure, then be sure to go the Onwatch Caribbean Ltd way. Our systems have been tested and proven.” Adjodha says going the Onwatch way is not only safer but easier. The process of getting you covered is simple: You give the Onwatch team a call, they in turn give you a FREE site visit, a FREE estimate, and a FREE quotation, and they take it from there. So why sacrifice your peace of mind by not going the Onwatch way? Give the Onwatch team a call today and let them secure your tomorrows. ¤






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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct





Accountability and Trust Fundamental to What Accountants do

Corporate governance, business standards and trust were key future concerns identified by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) global forums at its third symposium held in London recently. ACCA’s ten global forums gathered to discuss the most pressing challenges facing accountants, to articulate a vision for the future for the profession, and to debate thinking about the forum’s forthcoming direction. The symposium’s discussions are presented in a new report called “A Changing World,” which also reviews recent activity by the ten global forums. At a panel discussion about corporate governance and accountability, Adrian Berendt, Executive Director of independent clearing house LCH Clearnet and Chair of ACCA’s global forum for governance, risk and performance, reflected on the steady increase of guidance and regulation in the area of corporate governance. Commenting about governance guides and codes, Berendt said: “We want to encourage the right kind of behaviours rather than writing complex rules.” A fellow panelist, Peter Bonisch, Managing Director of risk adviser Paradigm Risk, argued that more attention must be paid to the issue of risk when trying to understand the link between governance and performance. Bonisch said: “The banking crisis has had an extended impact on other sectors, but that does not mean that there is uniformly a crisis of corporate governance. If there is a generalised problem, it is that concerns about BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



governance are preventing companies from taking on risk and managing it properly.” Speaking about governance from the public sector perspective, Gillian Fawcett, Head of Public Sector at ACCA, said that when it comes to corporate governance, accountability is one of the key issues, saying: “The public sector is developing in all sorts of ways in terms of new partnership models, shared services and the increasing provision of public services by the private sector. And all this blurs the accountability lines.” The symposium concluded with a session on accountancy and the trust agenda, with a presentation from Laurence Evans, President of Edelman Berland, which publishes an annual trust barometer, now in its 13th year. He said at the meeting that addressing the issue of trust is vitally important to the value that accountants bring to society. John Davies, Head of Technical at ACCA, concluded: “The business environment is changing ever more quickly and the technical demands made of accountants in business, practice and the public sector are increasing all the time. But despite the pace of change, the big issues discussed at the symposium – Accountability and Trust – remain fundamental to what professional accountants do. ACCA and its global forums will continue to promote the case for the public value that accountants can create for individuals, businesses and public sector bodies.” ¤

Awards Scholarships for Bank Employees

The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. (CAB) has awarded two UWI scholarships in BSc. Banking and Finance to bank employees in the region. As part of its strategic purpose to strengthen the Caribbean’s financial services sector, the CAB launched its Banking Scholarship Programme to the employees of its members at its 39th AGM & Conference in Jamaica last November.

The 2013 scholarships, each valued at US$10,000 have been awarded to Dane Rampersad, Customer Account Rep (Operations) at First Citizens Bank, T&T and Deriece Barnes, Consumer Lending Customer Assistant at Antigua Commercial Bank, to undertake the Banking and Finance degree at the UWI Open Campus. Barnes said: “This degree will allow me to bridge the gap between my current experience and the theoretical, as well as develop my full potential as a banker. I will utilise the knowledge gained to develop my skills, which should lead to upward mobility within the regional financial services sector with a view towards creating a positive impact on my bank and the country’s banking industry as a whole. I strongly urge individuals who are apprehensive about pursuing a degree or professional certification while employed, to be proactive and grab every available opportunity." Rampersad said he was thrilled to be granted the scholarship and added: “The grant will allow me to take advantage of opportunities to enhance my career by exploring different avenues in banking. It solidifies my decision to make banking my chosen career path.” ¤

Trinidad &Tobago Ranked for Enabling Female Entrepreneurs Jamaica and T&T are the only Caribbean Community (Caricom) states ranked among 20 Latin America and Caribbean countries that provide the best environments for female entrepreneurs. The Women’s Entrepreneurial VentureScope (WEVentureScope) index was released by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In its debut edition, the WEVentureScope analyses the factors that promote or hinder the success of women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It is the first comprehensive and standardised assessment of the region’s enabling environment for women seeking to start and grow businesses. According to the survey, Jamaica is ranked 12 while T&T is placed at number 18. The survey found that Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay provide the best environments for female entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct





Caribbean Businesses Lose Confidence Caribbean finance professionals have less confidence in the future prospects of their businesses than earlier in the year, despite a rise in access to growth capital, according to new findings from the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). GECS, the largest quarterly economic survey of accountants in the world, gauges the views of ACCA and IMA finance professionals working at the coal face of businesses. The Q2 2013 edition showed that just 24 per cent of respondents in the Caribbean reported increased confidence in the prospects of their organisations— up marginally from 23 per cent in the first quarter of 2013; while 45 per cent reported a loss of confidence, up 14 per cent from the first quarter of the year. On a global scale, the GECS found that both business confidence and optimism about the economy continued to rise during the second quarter of the year. Nearly half of the GECS sample—47 per cent—felt that the state of the economy was improving or about to do so, up from 43 per cent in early 2013, while just under 50 per cent were pessimistic, predicting BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



deterioration or stagnation, down from 54 per cent in the first quarter. This is the highest level of optimism about the national and global economies in two years, and the strongest year-on-year improvement in three years. The survey showed there was improved availability of growth capital on a global scale in the second quarter of 2013, which was driving confidence upwards. Emmanouil Schizas, ACCA senior economic analyst and editor of the GECS, said: “While there has been a drop in the Caribbean’s confidence levels, across the globe the survey shows the highest level of optimism about the national and global economies in two years, and the strongest year-on-year improvement in three years. Business confidence has inched upwards, following an overly-bullish first quarter, and is now in line with the fundamentals of the business environment. “What is encouraging is that the marginal improvement in global business dynamism in early 2013 has now accelerated across all measures of investment, orders and employment. Employment in particular is recovering quickly and is now stronger than at any point in the last two years.”

Brenda Lee Tang, head of ACCA Caribbean, added: “Although access to growth capital in the Caribbean improved in the second quarter of 2013 and appears to be on a generally upward trend, the improved trading environment isn’t leading directly to a rise in investment in the region. “Less demand and tightening cash-flow conditions, added to the rise in inflation may be making Caribbean businesses cautious about making longterm commitments. Despite that caution, the Caribbean’s finance professionals are reporting that businesses are hopeful about the wider economic recovery, with 52 per cent optimistic about seeing economic conditions improve, up from 45 per cent earlier in the year, which may bode well looking to the rest of the year.” Across the world, fewer respondents reported falling revenues and declining orders. There has been little change in the share of respondents worried about customers or suppliers failing, despite the tightening of cash-flow conditions. The second quarter also saw businesses reporting more investment and business opportunities being available particularly through investment in new markets, niche offerings, and high quality standards. ¤

Guardian Holdings Ltd Renamed

The Guardian Group

UNVEILING: Jeffrey Mack, Group Chief Executive of the Guardian Group, formerly Guardian Holdings, unveils the new corporate look and logo for the company at its Westmoorings, Trinidad headquarters recently. At right is Group President for Life, Health and Pensions Ravi Tewarie. Surrounding the sign, holding balloons in the new corporate colours are employees of the company. — Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

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The Caribbean’s largest insurance and financial services group has a new look—and an easier name – The Guardian Group. The Guardian Group, formerly individually identified as Guardian Holdings Ltd, Guardian Life, Guardian Asset Management, and several other insurance and financial services companies throughout the Caribbean, launched its new corporate logo and look recently at the Guardian Centre, Westmoorings, Trinidad. “I am thrilled to announce that we, our group, have a new logo—a logo that represents all of the member companies of the group. It represents our clients, where they live, where we operate and the financial peace of mind we provide them,” Group Chief Executive Jeffrey Mack said. The Guardian Group operates in St. Lucia and includes 22 territories along the Caribbean archipelago, from the Dutch West Indies to Jamaica. The company is publicly listed on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange. ¤

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New Chair of Regional Fisheries Ministerial Council Urges Implementation of Castries Declaration

Dr. David Estwick The recently-appointed chairman of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource management, Dr. David Estwick, has urged fellow Caribbean ministers to place special emphasis on the implementation of policies and recommendations coming out of the 7th Ministerial Council of the CRFM. “An area where focus is definitely needed is the implementation of policies and recommendations in a much-more timely manner. We have seen tardiness to this end in the implementation of policy decisions from the Ministerial Council. “One such policy that readily comes to mind is the Castries Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated [IUU] Fishing and the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy,” said Estwick. He went on to emphasise that effort must be placed on implementation if sustainable development – and the conservation and management of fisheries resources are to be achieved. “Implementation will definitely encourage change – even though change may be unsettling to some,” Estwick, the chair of the CRFM Ministerial Council, said. The Ministerial Council charts the policies of the CRFM. It is also responsible for providing leadership to the organisation BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



in the areas of research, fisheries management and conservation, approval of strategic plans, policy positions, work plans and budgets, fisheries cooperative agreements and donor projects. The meeting approved an unprecedented number of regional policy documents aimed at improving conservation, protection and sustainable use of the region’s fisheries. The ministers also endorsed the CRFM’s second strategic plan (2012-2013), which was prepared after extensive consultations with stakeholders and member states. The new plan follows a comprehensive review of the CRFM by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) experts – and it’s the first such review undertaken since the CRFM’s inception in 2002. The ministers have also endorsed a regional strategy and action plan to address climate change and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture. CRFM’s executive director, Milton Haughton, noted that, “The negative effects of climate change and climate variability on marine ecosystems and fisher-folk in coastal communities are already evident; and according to the experts, the situation will probably only get worse in the coming years.” “The experts say that the past decade

has been the warmest on record and the cost of damage caused by extreme weather events is rising,” Haughton said, cautioning that the region will become more vulnerable in the future. “Our fishers, our fish farmers and our fishing communities, particularly those in the coastal areas, are particularly vulnerable to disasters arising from numerous natural and man-made threats, including the recurrent tropical storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season,” he added. Haughton said that the CRFM was able to secure technical assistance from the FAO for the development of a regional strategy and action plan and a project proposal for disaster risk adaptation, which the Ministerial Council also endorsed. In addition to endorsing these initiatives, the Ministerial Council also put its stamp of approval on the regional Lionfish Strategy. “We’ve begun the discussion to ensure that the Lionfish, which is said to be an invasive species, becomes a part of our delicacy – our cuisine; and so I am told that those who have eaten it already find it very pleasant on the palate. And I think we’ve got to change the paradigm to ensure that instead of us trying to kill them out, we eat them out. And if we can do that as a region, perhaps it might not be such a bad thing after all.” ¤


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Should Couples Go Into Business Together? By Saira Syed, Business Reporter, BBC, Singapore

Most of the Gohs' apartment is filled with merchandise It was not a decision Yvonne Goh took lightly – to turn her home into her office, and go into business with her boyfriend. "I was afraid, because when you work together in business there will be a lot of conflicts," she says. But Yvonne's boyfriend Vincent, now her husband, persuaded her with some emotive reasoning. He says: "I told her, 'There are so many more things to come – planning for a house, planning for a family, so many major decisions we have to make together. So if we can't work on a business, and make business decisions, how can we co-operate together as a couple in the future?'" And so in 2009 the couple launched fashion e-commerce website Ministry of Retail from their apartment in Singapore. This convergence of personal and professional goals to some seems like asking for trouble, but for others it can be a perfect convenience. So how do corporate couples make life and business work for them? Marriage counselor Speaking to me in their bedroom, Yvonne has only days before given birth to their second child. Outside, one of their employees types away at a laptop on the dining table, while family members do chores in the kitchen and look after the baby. Packages of clothes and accessories fill an entire room and spill over into almost every part of the house, waiting to be delivered or picked up. But Yvonne's fears were not unfounded. Since both husband and wife joined the BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



business full-time in 2009, they have suffered their fair share of setbacks. "At one point of time, we even thought of seeing a marriage counselor – that was how bad it got," says Yvonne, recalling a time of intense disagreements over differences in visions for the business. "It felt like, how come it came to this that we can't even talk to each other properly?" And then, Vincent was diagnosed with lymphoma. "That was a wake-up call for both of us," he says. "In the past we had been quite focused on growing the business but when [we found out] I had cancer it was really life-changing," says Vincent. "Because of that episode we decided that we should always place priority on family first." The fashion duo seem to defy all the rules experts spout about having a clear separation between when you are "at work" and when you are "at home." But they say this set-up allows them freedom to spend more time together and with their family. They attribute a lot of their success to a decision they made early on to have very clearly defined and separate roles for each of them. Vincent handles the technical side of the business while Yvonne uses her penchant for fashion to determine what merchandise customers will find appealing. Such an approach is something Violet and Jamie Lim from Lunch Actually swear by as well. They run a matchmaking service, setting up professional singles on lunch dates.

With two children and offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, they say the trick is, knowing when you are arguing for the sake of your ego. "We can usually take a step back if we are fighting, and think whose idea is best for the business," says Violet. "If his idea is better, I'll accept it, and I won't let my ego get in the way. We won't just keep pushing it because we want to win." It's something sociologist Paulin Straughan says is the most common reason for ventures started by couples to run into trouble. "The worst-case scenario is competition [between the couple]. That is the one thing that divides us. In a workspace of happy employees the minute you inject competition it cuts into solidarity," says Ms Straughan, from the National University of Singapore. "Competition drives people apart." The danger of such competition is a lesson Ben (who did not want to give his real name) says he learned the hard way – spelling the end of his corporate coupledom. He started a mobile app business with his then girlfriend and two other friends. Ben says he and his girlfriend didn't see eye to eye on many decisions, and eventually parted ways both as business and romantic partners. "It's good for relationships to be tested to a certain extent – you need to know it will last and survive," he says. "But that doesn't mean you purposefully put it through things to tests its endurance." Ben says he would not be likely to enter into another business venture with someone he is in a relationship with. But when it works, it seems, there can be no better outcome. Violet and Jamie swear that being a corporate couple has not only not been a strain, but actually a convenience, because their interests are aligned. Vincent from Ministry of Retail says he would recommend starting a business to any couple pondering the prospect. "If you really want your relationship to strengthen you need challenges and obstacles that mould you into a lasting relationship – so if everything is smooth sailing you won't grow as a person or as a couple." As in business, they complement each other, as Yvonne chimes in with some cold, hard truth to balance the optimism – don't for one second think it will be easy. ¤

Marigot Hooks the Lionfish for a Hideaway Menu – and MORE!

The Caribbean Students’ Environmental Alliance (Caribbean SEA) has got together with the fishermen and vendors of Marigot and with St Lucian top model, Shala Monroque, to set up a Lionfish Fêt on Marigot’s Labas Beach. There has been plenty of media coverage in the local newspapers, on radio and on TV about the lionfish invasion and its implications for the environment -- wiping out local species and depleting reefs and making swimming and snorkeling hazardous for both St Lucians and tourists. Human beings are the lionfish’s only local predator (since there are no big grouper left on the island’s reefs), but so far there has been a lot of talk and very little action and watchers are not seeing enough lionfish in the fishing boats, markets, food stands, cafés and restaurants.

On a recent Friday, the Marigot children, all enthusiastic members of the Caribbean SEA Kids4Coral Club, helped set up tables, barbeques and cooking utensils on the beach and the local fishermen brought in their first lionfish, mostly caught in pots and with spearguns. Many reefs in islands to the north of St. Lucia have been stripped of their native fish, but some St Lucians are still skeptical. They will see the truth for themselves when their fish pots contain nothing but lionfish because the lionfish ate everything else that was in there! Even lobsters have been found in the stomachs of these fish! Nevertheless, fishermen, vendors and chefs all over the island are also a little nervous of handling a sea creature that is apparently covered in venomous spines, which is why a live demo by Nadia Cazaubon was so popular! Nadia Cazaubon, the Caribbean SEA Programme Director, showed how simple it is to handle lionfish safely, remove their spines (easy when you know how!) and produce boneless fillets of this delicious, delicate white fish.

Everybody who tried it (especially pan fried with a coconut crust) loved it. And local vendors who handled it and cooked it for the first time were enthusiastic about putting more of it on their barbeques. One of the fishermen said ‘I was fed up with reading about this thing eating all our snapper but I thought it was too dangerous to mess with. Now I see Nadia handle it and she is not afraid. If the restaurants will buy it, I will start bringing it in.’ Lionfish is already a popular item on the menu at Rainforest Hideaway in Marigot and the other restaurants and vendors in the bay will soon be selling it too. And Lionfish Friday was fun as well as informative; the children’s sandcastle competition, diplomatically judged by Shala, was a big hit with everybody winning a prize. And now that every child on the beach can recognize a lionfish, they know that instead of touching the fish themselves, they need to call the nearest adult with a fishing line! ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




The Difference Between




It's time to face the music as a manager: You don’t always have all of the right answers. Your “it’s my way or the highway” approach to management isn’t going to encourage anyone to help you in your problem solving endeavors. Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. It’s easy to see that leadership and management aren’t the same thing, but a manager who lacks effective leadership traits will drive a business into the ground faster than you can count to 10. Change doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to transforming managers into leaders. It takes time and energy to improve the way you manage and utilise more leadership characteristics on a daily basis. Here are some tips to help you make the necessary improvements: 1. Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed – it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy. 2. Managers criticize mistakes, leaders call attention to mistakes indirectly. It may seem more efficient to point out your employees’ mistakes directly, but this will only leave them feeling embarrassed and frustrated. You should really be giving them the chance to BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



learn and grow through your critiques. So instead, give your employees the chance to address their mistakes. For example, say a project was sent to a client and you receive back a disgruntled message. Calmly ask your employee about the clients concern and whether they feel what was provided was on par. This will give them a chance to provide their input, while also improving for the future. 3. Managers forget to praise, leaders reward even the smallest improvement. Praise pays off when it comes to increasing the overall success of your company. Finding time to recognise your employees for even the smallest accomplishment will only increase their interest in what they do. If you’re interested in ensuring your employees take pride in all that they do, regular feedback and recognition is certain to do the trick. Everyone wants to be genuinely appreciated for their efforts. 4. Managers focus on the bad, leaders emphasise the good. This really comes down to seeing the cup half empty or half full. If you’re only willing to point out the flaws of a project or an employee, you’re not giving them much interest in learning or improving. Instead, create a sandwich effect. Start with some form of praise, follow with the criticism, and end with praise. 5. Managers want credit, leaders credit their teams. Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective leaders understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins. This pays off in the long run for creating a workplace with a more positive company culture and employees who are driven toward more successes as a team. Management shouldn’t be approached through force, but rather through influence. Put these techniques in place to improve the way your employees perform. What do you think? Do you ask questions instead of giving answers? ¤ Ilya Pozin: Founder of Ciplex. Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn. Gadget lover, investor, mentor, husband, father, and '30 Under 30' entrepreneur. Follow Ilya below to stay upto-date with his articles and updates!

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BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




CHOOSING THE RIGHT SECURITY ALARM PROVIDER Written by Dr Paul Alleyne – Amalgamated Security Services Limited This article deals with the definite benefits of hiring a security company that will provide a monitored alarm service for your home or business while giving some pointers on what to look for when selecting your security alarm provider. Statistics show that if a burglar suspects an alarm will go off when he enters your premises, he is less likely to attempt to break in. While there are many experienced, reputable and reliable companies operating in the Caribbean there are inevitably some people who are out to take advantage of the concerned home owner. So you must be aware of the "easy money operator" and be sure that what appears to be a bargain doesn’t turn out to be a costly mistake in the long run. The percentage of homes and businesses in the Caribbean with alarm systems is rapidly growing due to efforts to combat crime, the industry efforts in increasing customers’ security awareness and the affordability of the service being presented by various security providers across the region. Individuals today are steadily becoming more willing to pay for the cost of an alarm system and the monthly monitoring charge for protection against crimes being perpetrated against their residences. To encourage individuals to acquire alarm systems some companies have been offering alarm systems on a lease rather than requiring the customer to make an outright purchase. Buying your equipment BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



rather than leasing however could save you money in the long run. Under lease programs offered by some security companies, the customer pays a minimal installation fee but then has a three- to five-year lease payment in addition to monthly fees for monitoring services. If you buy the equipment instead, the initial investment will be higher but the equipment will belong to you, thus making it easier and more affordable to change service companies later if you have to do so.

One of the factors that should be taken into consideration when making the seemingly “right” decision to equip your premised with an alarm system is the creditability and proven track record of the security company which you choose to engage. The security market is being flooded with security alarm providers whose claim to fame is the ability to provide you with superior service at a low price. Typical working class citizens tend to lean towards these providers based

on the perception of being able to save a dollar. However, before making a decision purely based on the lowest cost factor, I would suggest you carefully consider the track record of the company that is offering to install the alarm system. When an emergency occurs that is the wrong time to find out that the alarm system was not properly installed or did not provide complete coverage and so failed to detect an intruder. Apart from the ability of the contracted security company to competently install your system and ensure that it works properly in the event of an attempted intrusion, one of your other concerns should be whether the individuals employed by this company can be trusted in your homes amongst your loved ones and valuable possessions. Remember that whoever you allow into your home could potentially use any knowledge gained there to your disadvantage and so the biggest threat to your home and the security of your loved ones’ may be the people who you have chosen and entrusted to provide you with the service of protection. It is a fact that in today’s society, it is important to protect your loved ones and assets from criminal activities and to have the added peace of mind of knowing that when you are away from your home either at work or on vacation or away from your business that there is a company who you can trust and rely on, watching your back. I would like to suggest some simple guidelines when choosing your provider

to ensure that you get the maximum value for your money and Total Protection for your family:

Your Security Company of Choice Should: • Be recognized as a reputable Private Security Company • Have been established in the Electronic Security and Alarm Monitoring business for several years • Be certified by a board such as IQ (Installation Quality) which gives consumers a way to identify alarm companies that are committed to providing high-quality security and life safety systems. • Employ a team of certified alarm technicians and not be dependent on subcontractors • Have alternative first response service available • Have full insurance coverage meeting industry standards • Include a Backup power supply as part of the alarm system • Take the time to sit down and understand your needs and lifestyle and then designs a system to suit you In addition to the above guidelines you should also narrow your choices by

getting recommendations from friends or neighbors, an insurance agent or business/trade association. When you have narrowed your choices to 3 or 4 companies, arrange an appointment with each company when all members of your household will be present. Be sure to ask for the name of the person who will be calling on you, and verify his or her identification upon arrival. When the representative from the company comes to your premises ask about all the features of the alarm system and then have them do an inspection, and then prepare a written quotation for you plus provide references. Carefully study each quotation that you receive and also have them provide the written contract covering the monitoring service so that you know exactly what you are getting.

Conclusion Security firms provide a highly sensitive service for a relatively low cost. Select a well-established company with a record of successful operation behind it. The failure rate among companies entering the security field is high and you don’t want to be left with a system that requires service with no one to provide the servicing. ¤

About the Author Dr. Paul Alleyne is the Head of Electronic Security & Integrated Systems at Amalgamated Security Services Limited ( He has over 15 years experience in electrical & electronic systems design and implementation and holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a B.Sc. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering & a Masters of Engineering in Engineering Management. Amalgamated Security is the parent company of Alternative Security Services St. Lucia Limited and operates in Grenada, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Selling is Serving By: Fern Smith

experience entails a friendly disposition and personality, knowledge about the product or service, knowledge about your market, customer or organization, a caring attitude. This can help to inspire loyalty and boost sales for years to come. Don’t be the salesperson who neglects his or her customers and expects them to be gracious when another sale is needed. Customers can sense and see through insincerity and that will cost you business in the future. Word will also spread that you or your organization cannot be trusted. Below are a few suggestions as to how customers can be served.

Salespersons Serve their Customers when: • They are prepared and have their answers ready upon presenting to customers.

By: Fern Smith

Sales is About Creating and Building a Positive Customer Relationship In a nutshell, selling is really about serving the needs of others, whether it is people or organizations. Salespeople ought to remember this if they are going to succeed in the marketplace. How well are your salespeople serving your customers? In volatile economies, there is considerable pressure to push products and services that consumers do not really want or need in order to meet a myriad of company goals. Salespeople often voice that they need to meet sales targets, quotas, acquire commissions and the list can go on. One of the reasons that an organization engages in business, is to serve the customer. Therefore, your business and salespeople need to see to it that you are reliable, flexible, that you provide on time deliveries and competitive pricing to name a few. Organizations and their salespeople have to be concerned about building relationships for the present and the future. These relationships, if nurtured, will serve them for the long term and contribute to sales. To build these relationships requires the salespeople to not just sell, but to serve the customer as well. A salesperson should not just show up to a customer because it’s their job to do so, but also, to be able to represent the standard that their company stands for. A salesperson or organization serves their customers by finding solutions to their problems, selling the benefits of BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



their product or service, providing aftersales service to name a few. I’m sure many of us have encountered the salesperson who relentlessly pursued us to purchase a product or service, only to disappear once they had money in hand. And of course, they are nowhere to be found if a problem arises. That probably gets you all riled up. Be assured that customers will voice their displeasure and this might result in a bad reputation for the salesperson and organization. With the explosion of social media, it is all too easy to spread their dissatisfaction. Many consumers today expect salespeople and organizations to create or bring value to the marketplace with their product offerings. From the customer’s perspective, this translates into “What makes your product or service special and different from another?, “Why should I buy it?, “ How is it going to improve my life?” Consumers have a need to feel important and they need to know that solutions to their problems have been well thought of if they are going to make a purchase. Salespeople need to make certain that they are prepared not only to sell, but to add value as well. Many salespersons see themselves as just “order takers” or “delivery guys”. It is important to remember that salespeople are also selling an experience. This

• They can find solutions to customers’ problems before and when they arise. The customer does not want to hear about the internal organization woes preventing you from solving their problem. • They have done their research and know enough about their customer’s organization or market to present the “right” product or service. Do not try to sell a product that your customer can’t use just to make a sale, or to reach your target or quota. • They provide after sales service and follow up with customers to make sure that the product or service is performing as it should. It is up to organizations to determine what they would like their customers to experience and to relay this standard across the organization. For example, it defeats the purpose if the salesperson offers exceptional service and the accounts department is less than professional or vice versa. Selling is not just about getting your product or service into the hands of customers and calling it a done deal. It is also about creating and building a relationship that tells the customer that his or her business is appreciated and that the salesperson will do all they can to make sure that it remains that way for years to come. ¤ Fern Smith holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management with a Minor in Marketing. Her work experience spans over a decade in the hospitality industry and the distribution and retail sector in St. Lucia.

Launches 2014 St. Lucia Business Awards The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce has officially launched the 2014 St. Lucia Business Awards, adding two more categories to those already up for grabs. At a press launch in mid-August, Chamber Executive Director Brian Louisy said the five-year-old event has had a positive impact on the local business community and it continues to grow in both quality and participation. Louisy announced that one of the new award categories identified for next year’s awards is “Ease of Doing Business”. It will be aimed at public sector entities and agencies that’ll be invited to make submissions identifying and analyzing their performances in terms of serving the business community and improving St. Lucia’s ranking in the World Bank’s annual ‘Ease of Doing Business’ international index.

Altogether, there will be 14 awards in next year’s competition – two more than this year’s. Louisy says since the awards were launched five years ago, “a process of selfevaluation has been undertaken by most businesses, which are beginning to identify their weaknesses and beginning to work on strengthening them.” The awards are held in January of every year and have been attracting more private and public sector participation each time.

8. Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development 9. Award for Marketing Excellence 10. Award for Corporate Leadership 11. Award for Corporate Social Responsibility 12. Green Award 13. Idea of the Year Award 14. Ease of Doing Business Award ¤

The categories for the 2014 St. Lucia Business Awards are: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Prime Ministers Award for Innovation Award for Service Excellence Entrepreneur of the Year Award Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 5. Business of the Year Award 6. Exporter of the Year Award Goods 7. Exporter of the Year Services

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Cave Hill School of Business Celebrating 22 Years as a Leader for Management and Business Training Created to meet a need of Eastern Caribbean and Barbados professionals, the Cave Hill School of Business of The University of the West Indies (CHSB) today continues its more than two decades training of private and public sector managers. In fact, CHSB has ventured beyond its remit to provide training for Commonwealth Caribbean people as far north-west as Belize and south to Guyana, as well as persons of the diaspora living in North America and the United Kingdom. For 22 years the CHSB, formerly the Centre for Management Development, has been producing a number of qualified cadres for the public and private sectors. None more so than those to be found now in the OECS and Barbados. Dr Charmaine Gardner holds a unique position, being with the Cave Hill School at the inception, a St Lucian business leader embedded in the island's culture of commerce, and CHSB Chairperson. She recalls the period of early 1990s when Eastern Caribbean persons representing the 'who's who' of public and private sector management enrolled with CHSB. "Every single ministry across the region ended up with having their deputy permanent secretaries and permanent secretaries doing our programmes. "That's what the MBA Public Sector Management and General Management are all about, allowing persons with tremendous experience the chance to hone their skills in today's world, be it in the private or public sector." BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



St Lucia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Philip J Pierre, and Louis George former Minister of Education were among those to grace the halls of CHSB. As was Dr. Andrew Richardson who was at the helm of a group of visionaries who, 15 years ago opened and now own and operate a highly successful and efficient private hospital in Saint Lucia. EMBA graduate, Mrs Marguerite Estwick, is the Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, of Sagicor Life Inc., in Barbados. She believes the School has put her on a road to lifelong learning and personal development. "The CHSB created a new world for me. The content and rigor of the program pushed me to new intellectual and personal endurance limits. The confidence I gained on completing the program fueled my ambitions and propelled my career. The network of Caribbean contacts and the friendships that developed in my cohort have been valuable and enduring. The experience has forever changed my perspectives of professional s t a n d a r d s and business management. " Director of Antigua’s Office of

National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, Lt Col Edward Croft, graduated Valedictorian in 2004. At that time he was Vice-Chief of the Antigua Defence Force, now he holds this civilian post, guarding the nation against illegal money inflow. He gives the School a ringing endorsement. "I will highly recommend CHSB because it is a school that provided me with a very solid foundation, building on the fine institution that is UWI. Having graduated from the School of Business, I've seen my career enhanced and opportunities for growth realized." The dynamics of having these movers of government and business training together for regular two to three-week periods over 24 months produced a working relationship that keeps the wheels of regional commerce moving. "There is

CHSB Chairperson, Dr Charmaine Gardner (right), with Barbados Minister of Industry, International Business, commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss (centre), and Vice-Chancellor UWI, Professor E. Nigel Harris

tremendous interaction to the extent that when people come back they could pick up a phone and call a colleague and get things worked out," Dr Gardner says. In its evolution, CHSB now mixes its offerings: entire education programmes online; a blend of online and face to face learning settings; and full face to face contact for those who prefer training interaction. There is competition from extra-regional universities. But as CHSB’s leaders point out, those academies lack the indigenous touch. Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jeannine Comma, speaks to the advantage of Caribbean persons opting to study in the region with a regionally based institution. "What we bring that those other institutions don't have is that we are of the Caribbean, for the Caribbean, in the Caribbean - though our education and training are not in a vacuum. We help you develop and to become successful in the Caribbean and anywhere in the world." She elaborates on CHSB's emphasis of creating a competent Caribbean population. "We're about the development agenda of this region. So we are not about trying to see how much money we can make, though that is important as well because education and training are costly." Dr Gardner adds to this: "They get a better sense of business here. For example, as part of an initiative with the Commonwealth Secretariat, and as well as one of the elements of our JOBS

2004 CHSB graduate and Valedictorian, Director of the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, Lt Col Edward Croft partnership with Kelley School of Business/ Indiana University – USAID funded project, we have had to train Case Writers and develop Caribbean case studies for teaching and learning purposes. So you learn from what is happening in the Caribbean. It is Caribbean-oriented. Of course it is world-class because we have to deal with the wider world." She notes uncompromising UWI admissions requirements, which some may find challenging. "But when you do go, and you do get in, you have access to a very high quality world-recognized product. While our programmes have been enhanced to ensure relevance, our product has not diminished, it remains top quality." St Lucian office administrator Remina St Marie, who did her Executive Diploma

Statistics for EMBA programme graduates 2004 to 2012

in Management and MBA at CHSB, sees the usefulness in opting for studies in the Caribbean. "I learned a lot through CHSB, because I was one of those who started my Masters at [University of] Leicester and I didn't know what I was doing. I was just doing a course for doing sake. So I dropped out and joined UWI [CHSB].” Entering the CHSB cohort shed a world of light on administrative principles she did not see in the UK. "If there was something that I did not understand, the way they teach, it helps. I would have no hesitation in advising people to do the course at CHSB." Such resonating approval by graduates should come as no surprise. CHSB earned its place by adopting strong business skills and practices and an entrepreneurial orientation towards doing business. Now in enjoying its 22nd anniversary, coinciding with Business Focus' 18th, CHSB has seen nothing but growth, from

the beginning - with generous assistance from USAID - as Centre for Management Development, to today. Over the years the School cemented bonds with sister UWI institutions, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Mona School of Business and Management in Jamaica. The Barbados and OECS private sector has been on board all the way supporting this institution as it hones employee-skills at the helm of industry. East Caribbean governments facilitated CHSB's evolvement as the leading place for management and business training in the sub-region. In a testimonial recognition of the importance and quality of programmes CHSB offers, international donor oganisations, IADB, IIC and IDRC have joined in partnership with the School over the years. As a 22-year-old uniquely Barbados and Eastern Caribbean product CHSB has been, and continues, demonstrating by its output of relevantly trained people that it remains, a vital cog in the machinery of regional development. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Hey Strategy, Meet Plan! By Pilaiye Cenac I’m sure you’ve heard that the words strategy and plan are sometimes used interchangeably but actually mean different things, so I will spare you the harangue. Let’s move right into an example to illustrate the differences between the two. Rhea has been dating Paul for 3 years and she thinks it’s time they tie the knot. Rhea’s Goal/Objective: To get married by August 2014 Rhea’s Strategy: Rhea sits and ponders what she wants to achieve and the best approach to get Paul to put a ring on it. She considers her competition (other eligible bachelorettes) and what she can do to stand out. She examines their current situation and his personality, before deciding that she will position herself as the attentive, supportive girlfriend who does everything for Paul (cause he’s still dangling from his momma’s apron string) until he realises that he just can’t live without her. Rhea’s Plan: She sits with pen and paper to determine how exactly she will do this? She states specific steps, the tools/ resources needed, the timeline. Included on that list: • Put her Blackberry down and hang on to Paul’s every word • Laugh at his humourless jokes with all her might • Take cooking classes to be able prepare his favourite dishes just like his momma makes them • Play goody daughter-in-law-to-be and drop by his mother’s place weekly • Have those ‘female headaches’ a little less often BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



The strategy supplied the direction, but the plan is what would get the show on the road; therefore, it makes sense to have a strategy before planning starts. In relation to business, to devise strategy, one needs to understand the organisation’s internal and external environment. A strategy can fit on one page; however, the plan is generally more detailed and can go on and on and on and on…

Here are some basic differences: • Strategy Plan • What are you trying to achieve? • Abstract • Thinking • Dynamic/flexible • Overarching/broad • Long term • To gain competitive advantage

Harder to change How will you achieve this?

• Concrete • Action/doing • Short term • Steps • Specific • Easier to change

I met a coconut vendor who seemed to understand the difference between the two, though he did not use those precise terms. He spoke of how the supermarkets’ sale of bottled coconut water had affected his sales. Before, he would park in one spot, and his customers would come from all over to purchase from him. The product’s availability at the supermarkets had hurt his business.

Vendor’s Goal/Objective: He wants to sell all his coconut water by 2pm because he has other commitments after that time. Vendor’s Strategy: Position himself as the convenient option for persons who are mobile and want a cold drink of coconut water while on the go.

Vendor’s Plan: • Hire an additional pair of hands – his godson needs a job • Identify good setup locations along the highway/main roads and ascertain the high traffic periods • Source small bottles • Purchase a mobile beverage merchandiser to move between vehicles • Always have ample change for speedy transactions So there you have it, the differences between a strategy and plan in a nutshell (no pun intended).

Strategy and plan go together for best results because: Strategy without plan = inaction Plan without strategy = chaos ¤ Pilaiye Cenac is an entrepreneur. Her qualifications include a BSc. in Psychology and Soci ology and an MSc. in Marketing. She is also a PMP® and a published writer. One of her companies, In Tandem, focuses on low cost approaches to enriching the customer experience.


Catering for Your Event BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



PLANNING AN EVENT Find the right Location and Venue Are you going to hold your event indoors or outdoors? Outdoor events can be a nice change but the weather is a factor and will require a contingency plan. Make sure that the flooring is suited for the heels of your female guests. Also, be aware that speeches and audio visual presentations are notoriously difficult to stage outdoors. Ask yourself if suitable parking is available? Is it easy to find or are you best to include a map in your invitation? Abide by the “Meeting Planner’s Golden Rule” ... never select a venue without having seen it in person! Almost every week we are invited to attend a family or corporate event of some kind whether it be a Birthday Party, Cocktail Reception, Awards Banquet, Product Launch or another. Whatever the occasion there is a significant amount of planning and logistics which are required to ensure that the event is well executed. You may wish to contract an experienced event planner who will work with you to coordinate and deliver a well executed event.

The programme you choose stems from the purpose and participants. Your four main considerations include:

Event Planning Tips Hosting a successful event today can be likened to a theatre production, where it is necessary to create the right performance and ambience for the right audience. Here are a few things that one should consider when planning an event.

When Should I Have this Event? The decision about when to hold your event is determined in large part by what type of event it is. Ask yourself, is the event better suited for the day or evening? Do you want to hold it during the week or on a weekend? Make sure to check that your event doesn’t overlap with any other event or major holiday.

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct

Setting The Stage and Planning your Entertainment



1. 2. 3. 4.

What is the main emphasis of the programme – educational, business or social? What is your financial criteria – generate revenue, break even or is it a company expense? What are your participants’ expectations? What is the optimum ratio of education and business to social programming?

Create The Right Atmosphere One key to a successful special event is to seek out entertainment or decorations that are unique and fun to spark excitement and add the right ambience. Novelty is the key to your success. Remember to check all decorating plans with the venue in advance because many have restrictions on what they allow.

Create A Memorable Theme Creating a theme for your event helps make it easier to organize food, decor, and other accessories, such as giveaway items. Select a theme that fits your participants and the purpose of your event and only if you are prepared to follow it through your entire event. Your theme should complement the tone and content of your event.

Hire A Professional Photographer The event photographer has certainly carved out his niche locally. Not only do these photographs offer you, the host, a great opportunity at advertising for the next event, but the patrons enjoy the momentum of a personal paparazzi, and look forward to seeing themselves and others on news releases, corporate newsletters and even on Facebook when the photos are posted. A photographer is a great addition to almost any event.

Entertain The Group Participants look forward to the entertainment segment of a programme. They want to have fun, enjoy themselves, and let their hair down. You have a true responsibility to choose the right entertainment for your group including which deejay will be right for your audience and the type of music they will appreciate.

Putting It All Together Have regular meetings with everyone involved in your event. Write up a detailed run sheet of what every person is doing in the event. Make sure everything is put in chronologically and in 24 hour time. Email a copy of this run sheet to ALL suppliers for the night so they know what else is happening around them. You certainly don’t want guests arriving with the food, or for there to be a lull while the live band sets up or tests their sound. And if this sounds all too overwhelming for you, no need to worry, just hire an event planner! ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Setting A Formal Dinner Table

You have a very special event planned, but may not know anything about a formal dinner table setting. If so, join the club! While many people grew up setting a family table, learning how to set a formal table for a more formal affair can prove to be a bit overwhelming. For most events, a nice basic table setting should suffice. But if you really want to impress, there's nothing like a formal table. How do you set up a table to make sure that your guests are comfortable, you follow the rules of table setting etiquette with the cutlery and glasses set on the table correctly. Cutlery should be set on the table for each individual course and a glass for each anticipated drink.

How to Set a Formal Table in 5 Steps The basic idea behind traditional formal dinner table setting is that the items you will be using first are furthest from you, with other items less used being placed progressively inward towards the center point (namely: the plate). In other words: "Start out and work your way in!"

1. Placemats If using placemats, place them one inch from the end of the table. While not a required part of a formal dinner table setting, placemats can be a good way to add style to your table.

2. Plates/Tableware Most formal dinner table settings will simply include a dinner or service plate, though others will include an optional salad plate at the center of the service plate. For a formal dinner, the plate for each course is brought directly to the table and laid on top of the service plate.

Tableware Components (see diagram below): • •

2a: Service or Dinner Plate 2b: Bread and Butter Plate

3. Silverware or Cutlery In a formal place setting, forks go on the left, knives on the right with the first to be used on the outside, the one to be used in next course in one from the first, and so on. Soup spoon goes to the right of the knives. The dessert spoon and fork are placed above the place setting with the fork closest to the diner. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Silverware Components (see diagram):

• • • • • • • •

Diagram of A Formal Table Setting

3a. Salad Fork: outside and to left of the plate 3b. Dinner Fork: inside and to the left of the plate 3c. Dinner Knife: Inside and to the right of the plate 3d. Salad Knife: Middle and to the right of the plate 3e. Soup Spoon (optional): Outside and to the right of the plate 3f. Butter Knife: Laid diagonally across bread plate 3g. Dessert Fork: Inside and above plate 3h. Dessert Spoon: Outside and above plate

All knife edges should be facing the plate and is perfectly evenly spaced!

4. Glasses/Glassware Depending on how many different wines you plan to serve at your formal dinner party, you'll need anywhere from 2 to 4 glasses: one for water, one or two for wine, and perhaps one for champagne or dessert wine. Glasses are placed above the knives in order from left to right -- water goblet, white wine glass, red wine glass and champagne flute. If you're not serving champagne or a specific wine, do not set the glass. The glasses may be angled a little, with the water goblet furthest from the diner.

Glasses/Glassware Components (see diagram): • • •

4a. Water Glass 4b. White Wine Glass 4c. Red Wine Glass

5. Napkins and Tablecloth When setting a formal dinner table, napkins can be placed on the service plate, to the left of the silverware, or on your bread plate. They can be left plain or given a fancy fold-- your choice! When putting together your formal dinner table setting, be sure to set your plates up 2" from the edge of the table, or 1" from the edge of the placemat.

Setting up Each Place or Seat

Now that you know how to set up silverware, glasses, and plates, the next thing to do to set a formal table is putting together each place or seating within the entire tablescape. There are lots of elements involved with this!

Spacing Your Place Settings

How far apart should place settings be? In making up each table space, make sure there's plenty of elbow room. Chairs shouldn't be crunched together. Otherwise the chances of spillage increase, as does awkward bumping when someone leaves the table. A good guideline: Two feet from plate to plate is generally ideal.


Centerpieces for a formal dinner table setting are about more than just style... you've also got to consider your guests! Look for centerpiece ideas that are low enough to hold a conversation over... and that won't potentially bother your guests.

Serving and Clearing

Food is always served from a guest's left, empty plates removed from the right, and drinks served from the right-hand side. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




the Right


Making the Best Choices to Compliment Your Menu

The right wine can enhance a dish to perfection. While there are no hard and fast rules on matching food and wine because it's ultimately a matter of personal taste, there are basic guidelines on what wine connoisseurs and food lovers consider make good choices. The principal purpose of guides on pairing food and wine is to enlighten your understanding on commonly agreed matches, and the reasons behind these. Ultimately you'll learn to tune into your own palate as the best guide to what wine works with what food. Know how to taste wine before embarking on the journey of pairing wine and food. It is important to seek a balance in the wine's components (fruit, acid, alcohol, sweetness, and tannin), and the food components (ingredients, manner of cooking, and the resulting tastes). It is about more than just the flavour. Also to be taken into account are the texture, weight, structure, and bouquet of both wine and food.

It is Suggested That you do the Following: [1] • Take a mouthful of wine and roll it around your mouth. Swallow. • Ask yourself what you taste and smell. Look for familiar fruit, berry, and wood flavours. • Decide whether you find the wine light or heavy. • Consider the sweetness or acidity of the wine. • Take your summation of the wine and try to match it to similar characteristics in food. Find at least one aspect that corresponds with the food, such as the sweetness, the flavour, the texture, etc. There are four to five tastes - saltiness, bitterness, acidity, sweetness, and the Japanese umami. These are the tastes that you'll be combining together in the same way an artist combines paint on the palette.

BusinessFocus Sept Sept /Oct /Oct BusinessFocus

68 || 68

Chicken: White wine is the usual pick.

Start Pairing Wine and Food.

Chicken: White wine is the usual pick. For grilled or roast chicken, try a Chardonnay. For chicken cooked in a rich sauce, try a Shiraz or a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

It is possible to make generalities. However, such generalities are very broad and don't necessarily account for the manner in which the food is cooked or what else is accompanying it, such as spices or a cream-based sauce. As such, while the following offers general guidance, it is still important to rely on your own palate and to continue exploring the matching process:

Beef and Lamb: Select red Wine for Beef and Lamb Dishes. Beef and lamb: Select red wine for beef and lamb dishes. Usually a full-bodied red such as a Shiraz or Cabernet/Shiraz blend works well.[2] Suitable wines include Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel.

Spicy: Choose Riesling and sweet Gew端rztraminer if your meal is spicy. The sweetness of these wines can be drank quickly to offset the spiciness of the food. Avoid adding a Chardonnay to spicy food as it will taste bitter.[3]

Oysters are Great with a Sparkling Wine or Sauvignon Blanc Fish and Seafood: Select a white wine for fish and seafood. These wines would include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Gew端rztraminer. Grilled firm-flesh fish matches well with Chardonnay or an aged Semillon, while a hearty fish stew is excellent accompanied by Pinot Noir. For flaky fish, choose a dry Riesling or a Chardonnay.

Cheese: Full-bodied wines go well with hard cheese, such as a full-bodied Shiraz with cheddar cheese. Soft cheese partners well with dry Riesling, Marsanne, or Viogner. Sweet wine is a good match for blue cheese.

Tomato (acidic) based meals: Serve Barbera, Sangiovese, or Zinfandel with tomato-based meals (for example, spaghetti and pizza).

Duck, quail: Try a Pinot Noir or a Shiraz.

Dessert: Sweet wines are a good choice, provided that the dessert is not as sweet as the wine. 造 BusinessFocus Sept Sept /Oct /Oct || 69 69 BusinessFocus

Restaurant & Bar

What’s The BIG ‘O’ In Soufriere? By Stan Bishop Owning his own restaurant has always been one of Chef Orlando’s dreams. At the end of 2011, he said he got a call informing him that his period of employment at Ladera had ended. That’s when the self-confessed chef on a mission embarked on his latest mission: putting the ingredients together to acquire his own business. In essence, the seasoned chef turned up the heat a few degrees and became an entrepreneur. Since its opening in December last year, Chef Orlando’s Restaurant and Bar in picturesque Soufriere has been cooking up a storm plate after delicious plate. But there’s a twist to what Chef Orlando’s mission is all about: Chef Orlando does not sell food. What he sells is a product that comes flavoured with his bubbly personality and much more. And the role he has recently taken on is not one he takes lightly. “Now I’ve moved from being known as a chef to being recognized as a businessman,” Chef Orlando tells Business Focus Magazine. “I’ve now taken on the roles of running the business and managing its finances and ultimately creating employment for people within the community. Today, I have sixteen employees working in my restaurant. I have also taken up the charge to spearhead the movement that recognizes Soufriere as being the heart of Saint Lucia.” British-born and internationally-trained Chef Orlando is obviously fixated on the natural beauty that defines Soufriere. And as the proud owner of Chef Orlando’s

A Creation by Chef Orlando BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Restaurant and Bar, Chef Orlando gets to entice visitors to the west coast community by offering a top-class service that comes with years of hard-earned experience. According to Chef Orlando, his mission is simple: “to promote Caribbean cuisine because it is the best cuisine in the world.” Chef Orlando recalls growing up in Jamaica with his maternal grandmother for a short while and watching her cook up a storm in her kitchen. He also saw the manner in which she dealt with the vendors in the marketplace: a rich mix of appreciation, negotiation and friendly chats that went into every purchase. His mother, he says, also influenced him in the art of cuisine. In 1979, Chef Orlando got a job at a five-star hotel in Birmingham, England, after responding to a radio advertisement. At that time, he was the first person of Afro-Caribbean descent working there. In between the cooking, he went to college and became certified at his craft. Several stints at various establishments in the United States, Singapore, Russia, Italy, and Malaysia serving up good cuisine certainly worked in Chef Orlando’s favour. Nearly fifteen years ago when he first landed in Saint Lucia, Chef Orlando’s reputation of being the ardent proponent for eating Caribbean – especially Saint Lucian – took on a whole new colour and taste. After being invited by Berthia Parle to do a two-week stint to train the staff at Bay Gardens Hotel, Chef Orlando says his cuisine skills seemed to have impressed the host. Nevertheless, he soon moved on to Ladera in Soufriere where he said he made a sterling contribution in turning things around there. The word around the Soufriere town is that Chef Orlando is that down-to-earth brother who has a passion for food and everything local. Maybe it has something to do with the free cheesecake he delivers to his friends and Soufriere vendors on their birthdays. Or maybe – just maybe – the mission that Chef Orlando is on is to create a melting pot of everything that’s good about Saint Lucia – its cuisine included. Despite slipping out of his chef uniform and into his business suit from time to time, Chef Orlando says he is and will always be a chef at heart. Nevertheless, he believes that the rich mix of excellent cooking and business skills serves him in good stead. And that’s exactly why paying a visit to Chef Orlando’s Restaurant and Bar is definitely a must-do next time you’re in Soufriere. Chef Orlando also caters for private parties, corportate and special events island-wide, and can work with you in coordinating the catering and hosting of your occasion or event, with his special flair and flavor. ¤ Tel: 1(758) 572-6613 / 1(758) 722-6265 Lunch: 12pm - 2pm • Dinner: 6pm - 9pm Sunday Lunch (Buffet): 12pm - 2pm • Coal Pot Cook Up

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Superior Fish and Seafood Supplies Ltd. Hook, Line & Superior By Stan Bishop

The countless struggles that Ethelina Emanus Hilarie has had to endure over the past three decades of being in business

restaurants and hotels with superior cuts of fish and quality service has always had a favorable tide on its side. That is far from the truth that Ethelina told Business Focus Magazine recently. It turned out that leaving Saint Lucia for Martinique at age 15 proved to be the beginning of Ethelina’s impressive streak of business acumen. While in Martinique, she noticed fish vendors walking through the communities selling fish and other seafood in large basins. At that time, she said, Martinique did not have any fish markets. In 1982, Ethelina opened the first market there and began selling about 50 pounds of fish per day. She quickly realised that this level of income could not sustain her business and vowed to better

The first three fish markets were established by Miss Ethelina Emanus Hilarie. Soon after 14 other fish markets were established in Martinique. Soon enough, the number of boats supplying her with fish rose from two (2) to twelve (12). On a trip to Martinique in 1989 former Prime Minister Sir John Compton, urged Ethelina to return to her homeland and set up shop there instead. At first, she was reluctant, but a year later she sold all her business interests in Martinique and set sail for Saint Lucia. Ethelina came well equipped to start her new business venture with three fishing canoes, two fishing trollers and all equipment to fish, process and sell all that the ocean delivered. But she faced numerous difficulties and

have been no easy feat. To be the best in the fish and seafood market has no doubt been a journey paved with both losses and triumph. But if there is anything of deep significance that Ethelina has learned throughout her business years is this: to keep raising the bar and providing superior service to her customers. Today, Ethelina is the Managing Director of Superior Fish and Seafood Suppliers Ltd, one of the island’s leading suppliers of fish and seafood products. The company currently has three locations: Castries Market, Massade Industrial Zone and Baywalk Mall. On the surface, it seems that the thriving business that serves up homes,

the situation. The best way forward was to improve her product quality and meet the customer need. After much research and consultation about the sector and market she was involved in, she upgraded her market to HASAP standard; and she instructed and trained the workers on the fishing vessels that supplied her with fish to handle and ice their catch, in order to ensure that the products she received was of the highest quality. She also made available clean and seasoned products. She was soon realising sales of upward of 2000 pounds of fish per day. The quality and presentation of the fish to customers had also improved.

financial losses for years before finally setting up shop at the Castries Market in November 1998. Due to the limitations set on the location, she was forced to invest heavily there and found herself selling fish from her home due to the lack of adequate space in the market. Things seemed encouraging when she was able to retain some of the island’s leading hotel and guest houses as major customers. In 2005, she opened a depot at Massade where she invested heavily. She also incurred huge losses of stock as a result of prolonged loss of electricity, theft of stock, and destruction of equipment.

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Such losses amounted to millions of dollars according to her records. Today Ethelina Emanus Hilarie still owns and operates her three depots. She credits her passion for the business and the twenty two employees who make it all happen. The species of fish sold by her company include: red snapper, mahimahi, grouper, snook, catfish, bangamary, tilapia, butterfish, trout, grey snapper, blue fish, tuna, black fish, shark and many others. She has certainly come a long way in keeping customers hooked to her superior service by offering customers

the best quality of fish and other seafood products. In fact just last March Ethelina was awarded the plaque for Fisherwoman of the Year by the St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA). “My Philosophy has always been to give customers value for money. I believe in always improving my service to customers, that’s why I continue to train my staff so that they will in turn ensure that the customers get the value added service. At Superior Fish & Seafood Suppliers Ltd, our aim is to provide a superior quality of service to our customers that would in

turn keep them coming back. That’s the only way we know how to do it,” Ethelina told Business Focus Magazine. With such a determination for keeping her head above water, Ethelina Emanus Hilarie who is also a seafood chef says that opening a Seafood Restaurant would be her crowning glory. But for now she says she remains committed to giving her customers what they want: a superior service that’s simply unforgettable. ¤

Now at


Next to GL Food Market!

Cooked Fish & Seafood on sale

BAYWALK SHOPPING CENTRE Fridays and Saturdays! Tel: 758 458 0677

Some Of The Products We Offer:

King Crab Legs • Salmon Side • Octopus • Mussels • Shrimps • Crab Meat • Scallops • Squid • Conch • Grouper Trout • Tilapia • Seafood Combo • Delux Deviled Crab Backs • In Season Local Fish (clean, sliced and filleted upon request)

Other Locations Include: Wholesale Outlet: Massade Industrial Zone, Gros Islet Retail Outlet: Castries Market, Castries Tel: (758) 458 1607 EMAIL: TEL: (758) 450 8647 FAX: (758) 450 9729 Mon - Thurs 9am - 8pm

Fri - Sat: 9am - 9pm

Sun/Holidays - 9am-2pm

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Josalt Productions Ltd. Where Creativity Meets Design

Johanna Salton , CEO and Director of Josalt Productions Ltd. offers clients a variety of services resulting in exceptional interior solutions. From initial conceptual sketches to the design, selection, supply, delivery and installation of both furnishings and finishes she combines a passion for artful aesthetics with functional, comfortable spaces. Although Ms Salton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from her studies in France and speaks fluent french, it is interior design which is her true passion. Eighteen years ago Ms Salton’s mother Joan Marquis purchased Mi Casa, a small home accessory store in the newly built Gablewoods Mall. The store sold gift items, bed and bath accessories , table linen, kitchen accessories and other décor items. Johanna would come to St Lucia during her school vacation and work at the store where she tastefully combined colours and patterns to showcase mini bathrooms and bedrooms in the display window. Although growing up she enjoyed painting her rooms and designing spaces, it is during this time that she truly discovered her talent and passion for interior design. Mi Casa’s client base expanded with every exciting display window and customers came in to ask her advice on redesigning their own home spaces. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct

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Upon completion of her studies and under Johanna’s guidance the business moved from retail to manufacturing as she sought to provide a full décor service: clients could choose from the company’s range of fabrics or they could bring in their own, where she would mix and match textures and colours to custom make their window treatments, bed spreads, bedskirts, throw pillows and cushions. Presently Johanna and her team take care of every design aspect - from measurement to installation - when decorating a home. The design process begins with a Client Consultation where information, ideas and impressions are discussed with the homeowner in order to create interiors which will reflect their taste, interests, lifestyles, hopes and yes, even dreams. From colour scheme to fabrics and furniture selection, custom made window treatments and bedding, the Josalt team provides a complete 'turn key' service which is prompt and reliable. As her business grew Johanna saw the need for a small to medium special event décor and design company that would not intimidate the serious but budget conscious client. It would however provide the same planning and management, party themes, and wedding services as larger companies, without the unjustly inflated prices. The natural progression to include and encompass event décor and management was therefore made, making Josalt Productions one of the leading event décor companies on the island. With her constant quest for new challenges Johanna launched DesignStyle in 2010, a 60 minute TV home improvement program focusing on do-it-yourself (DIY) room makeover ideas and tips. DesignStyle presents practical and cost-effective tips on making a space truly beautiful, functional and comfortable, using materials and products available from local suppliers. Johanna is the host and executive producer of the show and her easy going nature and down to earth style has made Designstyle one of the most popular and successful shows which is widely watched locally as well as regionally. ¤

P.O. Box 3008, La Clery P.O. Castries Tel: 1 (758) 715 3118 / 461 3118 e mail: web:

• Interior decor • Wedding planning and Wedding Decor • Event Decor and Event Management

From furniture to linens, fabulous center pieces to exquisite ambient lighting, and catering, Josalt Productions is the one stop when planning your special day. We will work with you through the entire process, taking your dream and translating it into an elegant and inspired event. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct | 75

HOME KITCHENS BY Innovation St Lucia introduces Aran Kitchens - An Innovative, functional and elegant range of premium, top of the line Italian Modular kitchens to St Lucia. Aran Cucine is the largest exporter of modular kitchens from Italy.

Innovation St Lucia is the factory representative of the Fagor and De Dietrich appliances since it inception in the 2007. Fagor appliances are known for their product innovation, quality, performance, convenience and energy savings. The Staff at Innovations can design your kitchen, specify the appliances as per your requirement, install the kitchens and provide warranty and after sales support. Please contact us for more information on 450 9460 or visit us our offices at Massade Gros Islet.

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Elegance Café Elegance Café, one of the newest restaurants in the north of the island, is an excellent dining option that merges authentic Indian cuisine with International healthy dining options. Our Indian menu features some of the most popular and unique home style dishes from all over India. Each dish is prepared and presented in a special way to give a distinct mouth-watering taste and flavors. The international Menu includes steam baskets, selection of grilled sandwiches with freshly baked breads, simple salads with local organic produce and home style desserts. The café also serves Italian cappuccino, latte, espresso using freshly ground Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans, a variety of teas, fresh juices with no additives, and a fine selection of wines. If you are in a hurry… problem our take away option would be ideal for any weekday time constraints, or offer you an ideal solution to picking up lunch or dinner for the family to be enjoyed at home or the beach. The catering side of our business boasts menus tailored to suit your small and medium events. We can either host your function here at our restaurant or cater for your next special occasion at your home or office. Please contact us for further information

Elegance Café is designed to be a place where good wholesome food is served in an elegant atmosphere, at an affordable price. Its location makes it easily accessible and offer ample off-street parking for quick and convenient take away, coffee pick-up, or for staying and enjoying the atmosphere. The Café is opened Mondays through Saturday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. Contact: Elena Phillip Elegance Café . Massade . Gros Islet Phone: (758) 450 9460 Indian Cuisine . Healthy dining options . Takeout . Outdoor Seating . Takes Reservations . Groups . Catering

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct





Married Some Helpful Points to Consider. Getting married is a special occasion and hence weddings are planned and executed to be the most memorable of events for the happy couple and their related families and guests. Having made the decision to get married, plans are then put into place for the wedding which based on the financial allocations can either be a very simple and tastefully executed event or a grand affair with a large number of guests and all the associated bells and whistles. St Lucia has been the location for umpteen weddings of all sorts over the years featuring local residents in traditional island style weddings as well as the many thousands of visitors coming to our shores for various types of destination weddings resulting in our island being labeled as one of the most popular “Weddings and Honeymoon Destinations” worldwide and in the process creating an economic opportunity where we have hundreds of persons offering their specific services in the many specialist areas required to execute a memorable wedding experience.

Whatever the decision, it all requires careful planning and here are a few tips to help. 1. Establish a Budget - a Wedding can be a costly or inexpensive exercise depending on your plans and budget. It is important that you’re financially prepared to cover the costs for hosting a most memorable event. It need not be one where you invite everyone you know, but if this is required and you are prepared then let’s get on with it. 2. Find your Venue. More often than not, unless you are planning towards an exact date years in advance, the availability and choice of venue will drive the actual date of the wedding. Choosing the right venue will most certainly take time. When both the ceremony and reception venues have been chosen, the whole day will then fall into place. 3. Intimate weddings are always best! As a spin-off from the budget, you will need to define the number of your guest list. This will also have an impact on the choice of venues. It is always advisable to have a manageable number of guests and concentrate on delivering the best possible experience to your guests so that they all leave with wonderful memories that will forever define your special day.

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



4. What is your personal style? One should always consider the mood you want to create and consistently apply it throughout every aspect of the event. Do you want a Classic wedding, an Avant-garde one, something whimsical? Whatever you choose let it be a true reflection of who you are. The day is yours, customize it! Choosing The Dress will be one of the most fun and exciting parts of the whole wedding preparation process. No matter what shape or size you are, there are a multitude of dresses to be found. Grooms-wear, ushers, bridesmaids, pageboys and every other member of the wedding party also need to be considered, so be prepared to spend some time making sure the complete wedding party is coordinated.

wedding. It would be fabulous to visit a destination that you would not ordinarily see, but it can be equally rewarding to do a Staycation if this is what the pocket can afford. Whatever you do make the time for some 1on1 with your life partner and savor every moment before your return to everyday life.

9. Final Touches. Everyone’s wedding is unique to them so it is difficult to put into words exactly what final touches you will need to take care of. Things to think about are seating plans, order of service, rehearsals, speeches, readings, poems, thank you gifts, first dances, music, time lines, transportation, children, favours, return of rentals, thank you cards, etc. 10. Have Fun! Hopefully your wedding will be a one-time event except for the renewal of vows later on in your walk together. Embrace every moment of the planning as sometimes the journey is the destination. Whatever your choice of a wedding, we hope that you will plan it properly and engage the specialist services of our talented entrepreneurs and service providers to guarantee a memorable occasion. ¤

5. Employ the services of a qualified Event Planner or Wedding Specialist to assist you in making your dream day a reality. Please note that unless they are involved and experienced in the industry on a regular basis and with much experience, aunties, best friends and family members are not the best choices. This is not the time to give those not knowledgeable about weddings and special events the responsibility to try to manage your event. It is not as easy as it looks!

6. Your colour scheme is important. One rule of thumb is that when using intense colours, include a neutral. Try not to get over-excited with flamboyant names for colour like Eggplant, Tangerine, Chartreuse etc. It is very difficult to source these outside of garment; fabric and the shades usually differ from different suppliers. Try to stay close to the pantone colour chart as this is a more universally recognised range. Many times the simple names of colour are over sensationalised. 7.

Do not skimp on food and beverage, and a great ambience, which is self explanatory.

8. Always make arrangements for a Honeymoon. It should be mandatory that you make provisions for some R&R after the rigours of being intimately involved in the planning of your

"Quick, Last Minute Catering on Pastries and Cakes." Pastries - Meat Pates • Sausage Rolls • Cheese Rolls • Custards Cakes - Vanilla • Chocolate • Marble • Fruit 11 High St., Box 124 Castries • Tel: 758-458-0720 • Tel: 758-458-0720 Blue Coral Mall 8 Bridge St., Castries • Tel: 758-452-7227

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Your Best Choice for Provisioning




Crown Foods Ltd St Lucia, is committed to purveying quality products and services to the Hotel,Villa, Restaurant and Yachting sectors supplying frozen and gourmet food supplies including Certified Angus Beef. With over thirty-five years in the food industry, former Executive Chef and Director Kevin White, has first-hand knowledge of the needs of chefs in the Caribbean. Crown Foods Ltd, St Lucia, now operates form two locations being their corporate offices conveniently located in Massade Industrial Estate , Gros Islet, and more recently at Crown Foods Deli now open in the Rodney Bay Marina offering all of their USDA Angus Beef and gourmet deli products. We maintain a fleet of refrigerated trucks and retain a team of courteous, knowledgeable staff who are dedicated to providing quality frozen food products and services for villa and yacht provisioning in St Lucia. Whether sailing the crystal waters of the Caribbean, renting a villa or establishing a hotel or gourmet restaurant, Crown Foods Ltd is your choice for gourmet and frozen food provisioning in St. Lucia. In addition should you be hosting a private event for a small party or a large commercial event come and talk to us as we can provide all of your requirements at wholesale prices delivered to your location. ¤

Is your choice for gourmet and frozen food provisioning in St. Lucia, whether sailing the crystal waters of the Caribbean, renting a villa or dining with friends at home. With over 30 years experience in the gourmet food industry, our professional and qualified management and staff are prepared to satisfy your provisioning requirements giving you a five star quality dining experience in your own home, boat or villa. No order too small or too big, with an extensive inventory and a fleet of trucks delivering island wide our customer oriented service is unsurpassed.

IGY Rodney Bay Marina | Gros Islet | St Lucia | W.I. Tel. 1 758 452 9330 • Fax. 1 758 452 0531 Mobile. 1 758 285 4197 • Web: E-mail:

St Lu cia’s fresh meat and deli specialist utor Of Certified Angus Beef in St. Lucia Sole Licen sed Food Service Distrib

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Davric’s Catering Service Expect Nothing but the BEST!!

Chef David, Balata, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: 1(758) 489-5742 / 718-2350 / 286-0347 • Email: Catering for EVERY Occasion: Weddings • Birthdays • Anniversaries • Conferences • Banquets Special Gatherings • Cooperate Boxes • Any Special Function

Specialize In: Cakes • Pastries • Cocktails Food • Desserts

Delivery Service & Event Planning Also Available Best Food I Ever Had…,” were the words that had Davric’s Catering featured here. With their tagline, ‘Expect Nothing, but the BEST!!’, Davric’s continues to be showered with compliments. Davric’s Catering Service is a family owned business. Managing Director and Chef, Mr. David Remy, has been in the Hospitality Industry for over twenty-three years. Davric’s Catering Service was only an idea until November 2003. “It was always my dream to own my business, so I kept saving and planning, “he remarked. The magic of Davric’s began in his home kitchen. Their first job was a $63.00. Business was slow as Mr. Remy had intentions of doing strictly cakes, pastries and desserts. Thankfully, his wife designed business cards to include food. Within a year following its establishment my wife and I catered for a group of five hundred people from our home kitchen. We continue reinvesting monies earned to purchase equipment and supplies. They lamented on the fact that banks would turn them down because they were too small and had no collateral. Mr Remy held positions such Cook at Couples, now Rendezvous and Pastry Chef at Sandals Regency. “I let my food speak for itself”. “My business is all about service, I always put my clients first and go the extra mile.” He

stressed on the fact that they promote healthy cooking and use a lot of fresh ingredients. His achievements includeTop achiever in Dessert & Patisserie in the H.O.S.T. programme; Silver Medal at Team Competition, Culinary Masterpieces, Jamaica; Two Silver Medals at the

Annou Tjuit Sent Lisi to name a few. He also holds Certificates in Management Development for Supervisors and Leadership Development Skills for Kitchen Supervisors and Advanced Certificate for Honourable Achievement in Desserts & Patisserie. He has conducted training

sessions for NELP, Police Training School and Secondary Schools. Mr. Remy is also called ‘Cheesecake Man’. “He makes the best cheesecake,” said one client. Mr. Remy also spoke of a “to die for chocolate cake”, which they also produce. His wife, Rica Jongué-Remy, is a qualified teacher and has a BBA in Hospitality Management, Advanced Diploma in Home Economics, Associates Degrees in Hospitality Studies and Teacher Education. ‘She is my pillar,” said Mr. Remy. Her passion for cooking combined with her love for event planning propels her to use her time when not at work to assist her husband. Their son Dravid "Little Chef" is also actively involved. Some of the places catered for include Her Excellency Governor General; East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Taiwanese Embassy, Bank of St. Lucia, Cricket World Cup, LIME and Home Coming 2010 (Government of St. Lucia) among others. We celebrate our tenth anniversary this year and it has not been without its hiccups. They attribute their success and length in operation to God’s blessings and guidance, hard work, reliable and professional service, committed and reliable staff, support of family and friends. They also pause to thank their clients for their many referrals. ¤ BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Sept Sept/Oct /Oct | | 81 81

RAVI Ltd. A Tradition of Memorable Events

Ravi Limited began its operations in 1999 at Corinth as a small event rental company offering rental of chairs and tables. Over the years, the family owned business has made steady strides under the astute stewardship of its owners, Vimla and Kingsley St. Hill. Vimla, a former banker has always dreamt of owning her own business. She enhanced her skills by pursuing a Certificate in Events Management from George Washington University and provides free event co-ordination advice to her clients. At Ravi Limited, we offer a wide range of items including chairs, tables, table linens, chair sashes, chafing dishes, wine, drinking and champagne glasses, crockery, cutlery, ice bins and many more items. When it comes to prices, we are highly competitive in the event rental business. In addition as a client of ours you will experience a smoother process with a high level of organization, quality items and customer service being the hallmark of our business. Ravi Limited is a service based business and we get involved with every client to ensure we deliver to your satisfaction. We look at your event, provide free advice and make sure that all your rentals are covered with nothing being forgotten. As a client, you have the convenience of picking up your items one day before the event and returning the items one day after the event with no additional costs. 造 Let us at Ravi Limited make your Event a memorable one. Call us at 1 (758) 450-2273, 485-2273 / 720-1783 or email us at BusinessFocus Sept /Oct

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y l l e B Felly resh

f e d ma

Felly Belly

Felly Belly Inc. offer smoothies made just the way you like; fresh fruits and veggies mixed to perfection to offer pure nutrition. Through weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and so much more, we here at Felly Belly offer a bridge between the bountiful gifts of dedicated St. Lucian farmers and the needs of busy families. Safe, nutrient dense produce is blended from your choice of ingredients, through our “make it your own,” concept. Felly Belly also has a range of customized blends to choose from. By using fresh produce, we help persons in the fight against chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Felly Belly takes pride in maintaining its quality and having a reasonably priced product, so everyone can afford to eat healthy! Felly Belly Classics (mix any flavours your like!) Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Peach, Pineapple, Mango, Guava, Lemon, Pina Colada, Kiwi, Passion Fruit, sour sop and papaya. BOOST your FELLY BELLY SMOOTHIE! Add in : Pure Whey protein, meal replacement powders, flax seed, chia seed, cashews, almonds, rolled oats, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seed, sea moss, yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, peanut butter, moringa, wheat grass. Felly Belly Inc. JQ Shopping Mall - Rodney Bay - PO Box BW349 T: 452-BELY W: E: BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



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Mama Sheila’s

Restaurant, Grill & Bar Sherille Emmanuel-John started cooking at home with her late mom who worked in the hotel industry for 32 years. Sherille attended St Joseph’s Convent where she took up Food & Nutrition, one of her favorite subjects. After excelling in Food & Nutrition at school, Emmanuel-John pursued a double major in Culinary Arts and Hotel Operations Management at the Regal Constellation College in Toronto, Canada. She also majored Tourism Management, followed by a postgraduate course in Hotel Management System (HMS). Sherille began catering in 2000 and her passion for the culinary arts has been growing ever since. “Cooking is my passion,” she says. “For me, it’s all about taste and presentation, and likewise maintaining the standard and consistency of the product and service offering. She says cooking is a science: it’s about experimenting, and being innovative. Quality assurance, standards, hygiene and sanitation is also a major component of the culinary offering. Cooking is both theoretical and practical and her love for feeding people is one that’s as strong as the rich flavours she cooks up for them. In fact, the restaurant, bar and grill is named after her mom, who was affectionately known as Mama Sheila. Among the long list of clientele she caters for are BOSL/ECFH, various Government Departments, Special Event (Jazz Festival, Queen's Birthday, Independence, Piton Medal Awards. ¤

Mama Sheila’s Restaurant, Grill and Bar

We Cater for small and large functions Marigot Highway Tel: 1(758) 451-5182 Cel: 1(758) 717-7936 / 461-4400

Opening Hours 9 a.m 11 p.m Daily

St. Lucia Marketing Board Suppliers of Tropical Fruits and Vegetables

Our aim is to provide you with fresh argricultural produce sourced directly from the farmers Islandwide and beyond. P.O. Box: 441, Jn Baptiste St., Castries St. Lucia Tel: 1(758) 453-1162/452-3214 • Fax: 1(758) 453-1424 Email: We Go To The Farms For You!!

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Eat Healthy! For a Healthy Lifestyle!!

Flavours of the Grill O’Nell Daly is the owner of Flavors of the Grill. O’Nell started cooking at home in his native Guyana, helping his grandmother to make pastries and cakes to sell. He came to St. Lucia to make a better life, gaining employment at Club St Lucia where he worked as a steward. At the hotel, he would often fill in for staff who called in sick and while in the kitchen, he learned whatever he could from the chefs. The chefs there soon recognized his interest and encouraged him. Soon, a post for a chef became available and he applied for the position and got it. His job became more challenging with a lot more responsibilities. Nevertheless, he gained lots of experience during his three years there before moving on to work at the Wharf as a chef. Daly then moved into private catering. He also worked as a chef at the La Vigie Restaurant during the day and at night he worked at Capone’s as a Sous Chef. He then migrated to the UK where he did a Hospitality and Catering Management Course at the University of London before, returning home to work at the Landings as a Sous Chef. “I always dreamed of owning my restaurant,” Daly tells Business Focus Magazine. “I wanted to be my own boss. So I took a big risk and decided to go on my own by opening Flavors of the Grill. It was a hell of a challenge but was all worth it. It’s been four years now and the business has grown tremendously. I have a passion for cooking; it’s all I ever wanted to do. The restaurant has been recognized worldwide, and we have received two awards from Trip Advisor. We were #1 for the year and we now have moved to # 4.

I am very content with how the restaurant has done and we have a very good customer base. “In life, you always face challenges. One should embrace them because things will get better once you recognize these challenges. I manage my time very well. I also say special thanks to my fiancée who has been my greatest supporter my pillar through it all. God has given me the strength and guidance and He took me this far and I am eternally thankful.” His favourite quote, he says, is “Always enjoy the finer things in life.” ¤

Of The Grill

Restaurant & Bar Buffet Lunch Evening Dinner

Highly Rated on

Opening Hours: 12pm - Till Late TEL: 284-7906 . 727-0100 Marie Therese St. Gros - Islet

E.mail: BusinessFocus Sept /Oct | 85

The Ideal Venue for Your Special Event Auberge Seraphine is a lovely little boutique hotel overlooking the port where the cruise ships dock and beautiful white egrets nest on trees directly in front of the hotel. It offers a serene and picturesque view of the open Castries bay and is very popular for its great food and friendly service. In addition to offering well furnished rooms with magnificent views, the locally owned and managed facility offers an open air full service restaurant and bar, swimming pool and conference room with adjoining open air balcony. Over the years the hotel has evolved as a very popular facility for hosting conferences, seminars, product launches and special events to include weddings and receptions. With its great location in the hillside of the Vigie Bay offering picturesque views of the Castries Harbour and surrounding areas the hotel is ideally located a short distance from the Capital city with adequate parking to accommodate the hosting of special events. So whenever you are looking to host a business or social event or that special event of a lifetime consider the facilities of Auberge Seraphine where we will ensure that you leave with fond memories of a great atmosphere and courteous and professional service. ¤

at Auberge Seraphine Ideally Located, close to town and overlooking Vigie Yacht Marina

features a varied menu of Caribbean and International cuisine,

served with care by friendly & efficient Staff Enjoy a day at the pool side or check into Auberge Seraphine for the evening Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner Happy Hour & 1/2 5:00pm - 6:30pm Tel: 758-453-2073 for Reservations

St. Lucia Fish Marketing Corporation Ltd. & Seafood Garden “Quality Fish & Seafood for Healthier Living”

Seafood items include

Aslo Suppliers of Tilipia, Prawns (cray fish), Conch

• Red Snapper • Tuna • Squid-Clean / Unclean • Crab Backs • Dolphin • Octopus • Shrimps in all sizes • Mussels • Marlin • Scallops • and much more • Fish seasoning • Sans Souci, Castries • Tel.: 452-1341 / 451-7071/2 • Fax: 451-7073 • Dennery: 453-8750 • Vieux-fort Fisheries: 454-3371 e-mail: • Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8.30 am – 6.00 pm / Sat 8.00 am – 12.30 pm Fish & Seafood are our Business, Satisfying you is our promise. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Award Winning Rums By Stan Bishop

For four decades now, St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. has built a reputation for producing fine rums. The distillery, based in Roseau, began serving the domestic rum market. But the company underwent a major change in the mid-1990s when its Managing Director, the late Laurie Barnard, felt that St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. should begin making pot still rums inseatd of column still rums. In 1998, St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. decided to take the newly-rebranded and better quality products into the international market. However, the company faced

numerous challenges penetrating that market segment, limited finances being one of them. But, like its rum products, some things do get better with time. The company got a reprieve when a Good Samaritan stepped in. “We soon managed to access funds from the West Indies Rum Producers Association via the EU which gave the Caribbean rum industry funding to develop their infrastructural and marketing capacities,” Sales and Marketing Director, Michael Speakman, told Business Focus Magazine. “In 2008, we began exporting our rums to the United Kingdom and the United States. Nevertheless, our funding was limited, so our strategy was to target bars. It was a focused approach: targeting people who knew about our rums and recognized their quality.” Today, Chairman’s Reserve Rum is the company’s main international brand, with Admiral Rodney, 1931, Toz and other rum products playing supporting roles. It turns out that having Chairman’s Reserve Rum in its portfolio worked magic for the distillery.

St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. usually enters its export brands into major international competitions, competing against the best distilleries in the world that feature rums, whiskeys, cognacs, and the like. In the short period that St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. has featured its rums in those international competitions, the successes have been phenomenal. “We have now won over 250 medals in international competitions. We’ve won more gold medals and trophies than any other rum distillery. We were delighted this year to win the International Spirits Challenge trophy for the best rum which was Chairman’s Reserve Rum. In that same competition, St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. was also voted “Best Individual Distillery In The World,” Speakman said. Barbay is the local distribution arm of the company; St. Lucia Distillers is the manufacturer and exporter of the products. Barbay also imports wines and other beverages, including liquers, for the local market. Barbay was created in order to give the company a diverse portfolio of products. They’re the ones to call when planning that next big party event. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Event Managers

Ten Skills to Look for When Considering a Good Event Manager Event managers should always have these ten basic event management skills: 1. Listens carefully to the client and fully understands their needs/the brief 2. Event management experience - the client should be able to “sleep at night” in the knowledge that their event manager has all the necessary skills and experience to ensure that their function/ event will be successfully and professionally delivered on time and to budget! 3. Industry expertise and contacts - the client has vested their trust and confidence on the basis that the event manager has all the necessary and required knowledge or industry contacts and relationships to provide "all the right answers"! 4. Works within budget! - will compile a budget that is agreed upon with the client and then works within this budget 5. Organisation skills - so critical, this goes without saying! 6. Time management - naturally! Planning with a transparent schedule, re-planning if required, and delivering to the schedule 7. Passion - the passion to want not only to do the job and with a big smile and enthusiasm, but also to add value with creativity and excitement! 8. People skills - with client, client’s guests, staff and suppliers! 9. Communication - listening, sharing of ideas and articulating clearly In summary, a good event manager should possess all these skills and qualities and use them all to professionally and seamlessly deliver your function or event, and, in the process, add significant value with their expertise. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Serving the best in Indian foods and flavours Spice of India is a truly unique, award winning restaurant, located in the heart of Rodney Bay. The restaurant commenced operations in December 2010 and is the brainchild of Chef Adil. There he celebrates his passion for cooking fine foods by bringing a modern flair to the ancient, traditional Indian Tandoor technique of cooking to St Lucia. Diners can enjoy watching Indian and St. Lucian chefs (under training) in our open display kitchen. The food is kept as authentic as it can be, utilising ancient recipes but is presented in a very clean and crisp manner to soothe your palette as well as your visual senses. By making full use of the freshest ingredients and keeping the food clean to its true nature, Spice of India hopes to clarify the misconception that Indian cuisine is greasy, hot and spicy. For Lunch there is a daily changing Chef Tasting Lunch Menu which offers items from many different regions of India, whilst dinner can be ordered from our lavish a la carte menu. Diners can choose from open air or air conditioned seating whilst marvelling at the exotic decor presented by Chef Adil. With decorative elements of reflective mirrors, hanging saris, murals of village scenes and other Indian accents, your visual senses are sure to be delighted. Shortly after opening Spice of India was awarded the certificate of Excellence from; an award it also received in 2012 and 2013. In fact Spice of India is currently rated the number one restaurant in St. Lucia by the world’s leading destination travel review website. This is quite an honour as the ratings are based on reviews from travellers the world over who publish their reviews based on personal experiences. This is testament to the high level of service and food quality that is given to guests. ¤

To enjoy the best in authentic Indian Cuisine Spice of Indian is open Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Mondays) with lunch being served from 12 Noon to 4 PM and Dinner from 6 PM onwards. Vegetarians and non vegetarians welcomed. Visit for quick access to menus, facebook page and other social media links.

• Takeaways • Private Functions • Catering Services are also Provided. For Reservations Tel: 1 (758) 458 4243 Email: Web:

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‘LOVE ELEVATED’ WEDDING SYMPOSIUM From September 26 – 29, 2013, Saint Lucia will host a roster of destination wedding experts during the first annual “LOVE Elevated” Wedding Symposium. Noted speakers include renowned New York based wedding planner Sarah Pease; Denise Favorule, Executive Vice President of the XO Group; Erika Hueneke, Senior Weddings Editor of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine; Lynne Leger, Vice President of Wedding Solutions at David’s Bridal; Charles Oster, Director of Sales and Marketing for MyWedding. com, along with other on-island wedding planning specialists. Seminar topics will range from “Marketing to Brides; Best Practices” to “Creating the Ideal Destination Wedding Experience.” The weekend also includes site visits to idyllic locales around the island, a showcase of island wedding vendors hosted at Sandals Grande and the opportunity for attendees to observe a wedding at the iconic Pigeon Island. A sunset cruise cocktail reception and picturesque boat ride to the South of the island to see the natural mud baths of the Sulphur Springs and the UNESCO World Heritage Pitons, round out weekend activities. Priced at US $150 per person, the threeday Symposium includes all seminars, social events, site inspections and transportation from select hotels. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



A number of the island’s top hotels, including Bay Gardens, The BodyHoliday, Calabash Cove, Rendezvous and C’est la Vie, are offering discounted rates. “The island’s natural beauty coupled with a number of world-class resorts has made Saint Lucia one of the most sought after wedding destinations in the Caribbean,” said Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “Building on our reputation as the most romantic island, we aim to make this event an industry leader and seek to attract the best minds, talent and innovation in the destination wedding market.”

“LOVE Elevated” will be led by a roster of local and international wedding experts including: • Denise Favorule, Executive Vice President, XO Group Inc., the largest media and marketing enterprise for brides, home and new moms, will present on “The Destination Wedding Industry” providing an overview of the business bolstered by current statistics and trends. • Sarah Pease, Owner of The Proposal Planner and Brilliant Event Planning, creates dream weddings around the world and has built a reputation with her creative ideas, eye for design and impeccable attention to detail. Sarah will present “Creating The Ideal Destination Wedding Experience.” • Erika Hueneke, Senior Weddings Editor of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons; Lynne Leger, Vice President Wedding Solutions, Marketing & Operations at David’s Bridal, the nation’s leading bridal retailer; and Charles Oster, Director of Sales and Marketing for MyWedding. com, a leading wedding planning website, will comprise a panel discussing “Marketing to Brides, Best Practices.” ¤

St. Lucia Records Another Visitor Airlift while United Airlines Launches New Service

United touching down at Hewanorra International airport The first half of 2013 has seen a dramatic increase in the number of arrivals to Saint Lucia. From January to June, there has been a 5% increase of visitors, particularly stay over arrivals. At a recent press briefing, the island’s Minister for Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries Honourable Lorne Theophilus lauded the efforts of tourism stakeholders who contributed to a positive 5% growth in the industry from January to June. Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Louis Lewis, expounded on the news saying the United States market has been growing consistently for 2013. According to Lewis, “That has everything to do with the strategies that we have implemented so far, a number of them being led by public relations, getting strategic media out there in the market place to create that demand. “We’ve also had a number of familiarization trips with travel agents which we have been able to target very closely because of a programme that we have called the Saint Lucia specialist. According to Lewis, special events such as the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival

have been a major factor in the increase. The projected figures for the remainder of the year bode well for the Tourist Board as there has been a strategic move to increase airlift out of the North American market in the coming months. He said, “We saw an increase in capacity from Jet Blue this year. We also saw an increase in capacity from US Airways as well as from Delta Airlines and now we have United and we are confident that based on the performance United has shown right through to March next year, we should be talking to them of a schedule of three or six. Meanwhile, United Airlines has launched weekly non-stop service to St. Lucia from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport. The flights, which began on July 13, 2013, operate using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with 16 United Business seats, 48 United Economy Plus seats and 90 United Economy seats. The service provides convenient connections to and from 22 cities in the United States, including Chicago, Boston and Washington, as well as several Canadian cities.

"St. Lucia, United's 17th destination in the Caribbean, is a very welcome addition to our network -- and just in time for customers to enjoy a great summer getaway," said Milagros Uriarte, United's Director, Latin America Onshore & Caribbean Sales. United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,446 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In what’s left of 2013, United says it will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. ¤ BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Elects New Board at 49th Annual General Meeting

On Friday, July 12, 2013 the 49th Annual General Meeting of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) was held at the Royal by Rex St. Lucian Hotel under the sponsorship of LIME, Lucelec and CMS world media. The theme for this year's AGM was "You are the U in Tourism." This theme was selected as it clearly demonstrates the Association's belief that tourism is indeed everybody's business and that partnerships and linkages will foster a greater appreciation of the benefits to be derived as we tackle the global challenges in these trying economic times. St. Lucia’s Prime Minister – Dr. Kenny Anthony was the Feature Speaker at this year’s AGM. This year's Annual General Meeting was an election year whereby a new Board of Directors and President were elected for the period 2013 - 2015. The newly elected members of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Board of Directors is as follows: • President - Mrs. Karolin Troubetzkoy • Executive Vice President Mr. Noorani Azeez

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



• 1st Vice President Mr. Ross Stevenson • 2nd Vice President Mr. Daniel Belizaire • Representative for Large Hotels Mr. Carl Otto Bevriere • Representative for High-End Boutique Hotels and Luxury Villas Mr. Sanovnik Destang • Representative for Small Properties Ms. Cheryl Skeete • Representative for Independent Restaurants and Food & Beverage Suppliers - Mr. Bobo Bergstrom • Representative for Airlines, Travel Consultants and Destination Management Companies Ms. Erwin Louisy • Representative for Ground Transportation, Cruise Sub-Sectors and Tour Service Providers Mr. David Lumkong • Representative for the Yachting and Maritime subsector Mr. Bob Hathaway • Representative for Utility Companies, Statutory Corporations Mr. Roger Joseph

• Representative at Large for Banks, Professionals, Educational/ Training Institutions & Other Allied Members Mr. Andre Alexander • Director of Tourism Mr. Louis Lewis A successful tradeshow featuring twenty one (21) Companies under the theme, "Linkages in the Tourism Sector" was also organised at the SLHTA's AGM. This successful and informative tradeshow was hosted in the Mistral Lounge at the Royal by Rex St. Lucian Hotel and was a beneficial opportunity to attract the attention of all invited guests, members and media as participating Companies were given the chance to advertise and showcase their goods and services. ¤

Prime Minister Anthony Addresses SLHTA AGM Urges Hoteliers to Look at “the Bigger Picture” Prime Minister Kenny Anthony has called on hoteliers to redefine their approach to the industry and do more to improve quality and mutually beneficial partnerships. Addressing the 49th annual general meeting of the St Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association, the Prime Minister said developed countries such as the United States and Europe, which are major source markets for the industry, are currently jostling for number one status as visitor magnets. "The economic benefits of travel and tourism are immense and no country can afford to ignore this fact in their future developmental planning. Nowhere in the region has escaped the volatility of investment in the tourism sector. Hotels and resorts in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, and Cayman have been bought and sold as a result of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s," he said.

The Prime Minister told the audience that players in the tourism industry must look at "the bigger picture" and concentrate efforts on discovering what today's traveler considers value for money. He said future development in the industry must concentrate on finer details: "I believe if we place a critical eye on the details, on quality, on excellence, on being better than any other, then there is no doubt that we will see growth--that our occupancy rates will be high, that visitor spending will go up, that our profit margins will look a lot healthier than they might be now." However he acknowledged this must be done "within the context of industry standards and best practice, while creating a unique experience." He said the Government has a responsibility to pursue all paths of economic growth, but "public-private

partnership is more than just desired it is necessary" to achieve any goals set for the tourism industry. ¤

St. Lucia Hoping to Soon Welcome Argentinian Visitors

St. Lucia is hoping to soon be able to attract visitors from Argentina, one of its long-standing friends in South America. The two countries have long had diplomatic ties, but trade has been minimal. Now the government says it is seeking to develop all-round trade, economic and other ties, including tourism. As a result, the island has already engaged Argentina’s Tourism Ministry for initial discussions on future cooperation. In late August, Saint Lucia´s Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia, Alva Baptiste, paid an official visit to the Argentine Republic (from August 2527, 2013), during which he held talks with the island’s tourism minister, among others... The central purpose of the visit was to strengthen overall relations between the two states, primarily through South-South Cooperation.

In this regard, a high level meeting was held between Saint Lucia´s Minister for External Affairs and the Minister for External Affairs of the Argentine Republic, Hector Timerman. In addition the Ministers were also expected to finalize plans for the opening of an Argentine Embassy in Saint Lucia. Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1979, Saint Lucia and Argentina share a long-standing history of brotherhood and solidarity as members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean State (CELAC). While in Argentina, Baptiste also held meetings with the Minister for Agriculture, the Minister for Civil Aviation as well as the National Administration for Civil Aviation, the Minister for Health, the Minister the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Minister for Industry, the Minister for Science and Technology and the Minister for Tourism to discuss ways of future engagement between the two countries. ¤

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St Lucia Resorts Awarded World's Best St Lucia’s Iconic Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage Site One of the world's leading travel magazines confirmed that the southern town of Soufrière in St Lucia is home to the top two resorts in the Caribbean. Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine reports that the super luxurious Jade Mountain resort and its elegant sister property, Anse Chastanet, are the number one and number two hotels in the Caribbean region respectively, and number 14 and 21 in the world. The accolades were headlined with the release of the Travel+Leisure's World's Best Awards readers' survey which reveals which hotels deliver the most extraordinary experiences. For T+L's 18th annual poll, the magazine asked its discerning readers to cast their votes for the hotels, destinations, and companies which define the very best in travel. The result? One of the most robust lists developed in the travel industry. "You can set standards for a hotel operation, but the standards need to be carried out by a team that wholeheartedly embraces them and has the ambition to excel in everything they do," remarked BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Karolin Troubetzkoy, the resorts' executive director of marketing and operations. Troubetzkoy who, along with her husband Nick, will accept the award at an upcoming presentation dinner in New York, congratulated her St Lucia team for playing an integral part in Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet's success throughout the years. She said, "We not only want to meet guest expectations with our service - we also want to exceed them every step of the way. Our wonderful team not only shares this philosophy but they also walk the talk." Troubetzkoy, architect and developer of Jade Mountain, created one of the world's most unique and most sustainable resorts. The bold design features individual bridges leading to huge doors carved by local artisans from trees hand-picked and sustainably cut from Guyana's rainforests. No two rooms are alike and all contain exquisite infinity pool sanctuaries with tiles molded from recycled glass and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky.

A defining architectural touch, however, is the fact all rooms have only three walls. Instead of a fourth wall guests are treated to stunning, uninterrupted views of the iconic Piton mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the glimmering Caribbean Sea. The resort is committed to enhancing local culture and maintains an active team of wood carvers, stone workers, painters, and other artisans drawn from the surrounding communities. Jade Mountain's sanctuaries are intelligently designed as grand sweeping spaces, where bedroom, living room and a private infinity pool form platforms which appear to float out into nature. And, for those discerning travelers seeking responsible and sustainable properties - almost everything in the resort has either been recycled or sustainably produced. ¤ Travel + Leisure's World's Best List was published in the August issue.

Visitors from Port Miami to Face More Security as US Steps Up Safety

PortMiami, a hub for Latin and Caribbean travel and trade will provide training and mentoring on anti-crime and port security matters to its counterparts in the Caribbean. Cruise visitors to St. Lucia from Miami can look forward to increased security measures before leaving port in the near future, as the US steps-up safety and interdiction measures at the ports that feed St. Lucia, the Caribbean and South America. The United States’ Department of State has signed a partnership agreement with PortMiami aimed at helping to enhance port security in the Caribbean. But it also says the security measures will help improve the major port’s tourism business. As enforcement pressures increase against drug traffickers in Mexico and Central America, William R. Brownfield, assistant Secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, said it is logical that criminals will try to resurrect old drug routes through the Caribbean. He, therefore, urged regional governments to begin preparation to combat the threat. Brownfield said his goal is to build partnerships and relationships now, so that as “the inevitable laws of market economics” come into play in 2014 to 2016 with traffickers seeking the paths of least resistance, “we’re not caught with our pants down.” He told the Miami Herald that the Caribbean drug trafficking routes of the 1970s and 1980s are “gray-haired in some respects”, but “they are still around, and will begin to look more attractive” to traffickers as law enforcement puts more of a squeeze on Central American routes. Under the arrangement, Brownfield said PortMiami -- a hub for Latin and Caribbean travel and trade -- will provide training and mentoring on anti-crime and port security matters to its counterparts in the Caribbean. The partnership will also give ports in the Caribbean access to the technology, experience and personnel at PortMiami. The top State Department official noted that, in the 1970s and 1980s, Miami was at the center of the Caribbean drug trade. “We have been there before, and we did learn some lessons,” he said, adding that, among the things Miami can share with its counterparts is its expertise in cargo container inspection and control programs. When such programs work, Brownfield said, “they work for everyone,” eliminating long port delays that can tie up shipments for two to three days as inspectors search for drugs and other contraband.

He said PortMiami would function more efficiently if ports around the Caribbean have better procedures and better inspection techniques. “If you want your port, tourism and cargo to flourish and grow, it’s in your interest to have a port that’s compatible” with one of the largest ports in the southeast United States,” he said. ¤

Distributors for the ROT Brand of the Fire Safety Equipment: Portable & Wheeled

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Contraceptives The Many Methods and Their Use By: Dr. Minerva R. King M.D These are methods employed by women of childbearing age and men to avoid unintended pregnancies, space pregnancies and to obtain a desired number of children. Contraceptives prevent conception from occurring and allow better Family Planning which overall helps the society economically.

Benefits of Family Planning and the use of Contraceptives: • Reduction of Infant mortality • Reduction of Adolescent pregnancies • Reduction of Maternal mortality • Reduction in rates of unintended pregnancies • Reduction in unsafe abortions • Limit family size (beneficial for economic reasons)

Methods of Contraception available: Hormonal Methods: 1. Combined Oral Contraceptive pills (COCs)-these contain two hormones: estrogen and progestogen, which prevents ovulation and with correct consistent use it is about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Inconsistency decreases efficacy to 92%. These pills should not be taken by women who are breastfeeding, BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



35 years old or older and smoke, who had had blood clots, or breast cancer.

2. Progestogen only pills (POPs)these contain only progestogen hormone and this promotes thickening of the cervical mucous to prevent egg and sperm from meeting and prevents ovulation. Improper use decreases efficacy of preventing pregnancy 90%-97%. This pill should be taken at the same time daily and can be used by women who are breastfeeding. 3. Progestogen only Injectables: this hormone is administered in the muscle every 2-3 months. It prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucous blocking the egg from meeting the sperm. Irregular vaginal bleeding and absent menstruation are common. Delayed return of fertility after stopping use of 1-4 months. 97%-99% effective in preventing pregnancy. 4. Combined injectable contraceptives: this is a combination or estrogen and progestogen injected into the muscle monthly. It’s mechanism of action is the same as the combined pills. Irregular vaginal bleed is common. Efficacy is 97%-99% in preventing pregnancy. 5. Vaginal Ring: a ring that is placed inside the vagina and releases small quantities of estrogen and progestogen over a 3 week period. It is removed for 7

days during which menstruation occurs and another vaginal ring is placed after 7 days. It is 90% effective.

6. Implants: these are small flexible rods placed under the skin of the upper arm, they contain progestogen only hormones and their mechanism of action is the same as progestogen only pills (POPs). This method is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and can be used 3-5 years. Irregular vaginal bleeding may be a consequence of its use. 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. 7. Transdermal Patch: a hormonal patch (both progestogen and estrogen) that is placed on the skin (lower abdomen, buttocks or arm) and releases small quantities of hormones during a 3 week period after which it is removed, menstruation occurs. A new patch is placed after 7 days to commence a new cycle. It is 91% effective. 8. Emergency Contraceptive Pill: a progestogen (levonorgestrel 1.5mg) only pill taken within the first 3 days of unprotected sex. It prevents ovulation and reduces the risk of pregnancy 58%95% if used correctly. This method is not to be used more than 2-3 times yearly as increased use of this method promotes increased possibility of failure.

Barrier Methods of Contraception: 1.

Male Condoms: Theses are sheaths of latex or non latex that fit over an erect penis to form a barrier preventing sperm and egg from meeting. It is 98% effective with consistent and proper use. It protects against sexually transmitted infections.

2. Female Condoms: Sheaths of latex or non latex material that fit loosely into the woman’s vagina. It forms a barrier preventing sperm from meeting the egg. It can be inserted 6-8 hours before sexual intercourse. Protection is about the same as male condoms.

Intrauterine Contraception: 1. Copper Intrauterine Device (IUD): small flexible plastic devices containing copper sleeves or wire that is inserted into the uterus. The copper damages sperm and prevents it from meeting the egg. It is more than 99% effective. It can be used as an emergency contraceptive in the first 5 days after coitus. Menstruation may be longer and heavier. This IUD can be left in place up to 10 years. 2. Intrauterine Device with Levonorgestrel (IUD): a plastic T shaped device inserted into the uterus which continuously releases small amounts of levonorgestrel (hormone). There is

3. Transcervical Sterilization: a thin tube is used to thread a tiny device into each fallopian tube which irritates the walls of the fallopian tubes causing scar tissue to be formed and permanently block them. Scar tissue may take up to 3 months to form. This impedes passage of sperm and egg and is 99% effective. Natural Contraceptive Methods: 1. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM): contraception for new mothers whose monthly menstrual bleeding has not begun but requires exclusive breastfeeding daily of infants less than 6 months old. This method prevents ovulation and can be 98%-99% effective. 2. Withdrawal Method (Coitus Interruptus): withdrawal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation and avoiding any contact of semen on the external genitalia of the woman. This method tries to keep sperm from entering the woman’s body, preventing conception. It is only 73% effective and is one of the least effective methods as proper timing is necessary. 3. Fertility Awareness Methods: this entails the accurate calculation by the woman of the most fertile days of her menstrual cycle and consequently abstaining or using condoms during that time period. It is 75%-97% effective. Correct and consistent effective use requires partner cooperation.

3. Cervical cap and the Diaphragm: these are placed into the vagina and give full coverage of the cervix if accurately placed. They impede sperm from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. These methods may be used in combination with spermicides. It is 70%-88% effective.

suppression of growth of the lining of the uterus impeding implantation. It is 99% effective and also can be beneficial in reducing menstrual cramps and may promote amenorrhea (absent menstruation). It can be left in your womb up to 5 years.

4. Spermicides: these may come in the form of tablets, foams, creams, suppositories or jellies which are placed in the vagina before coitus. May contain nonoxynol-9 chlohexidine which causes death of sperm. This method is messy, less effective and may increase the contraction of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections through increased irritation and inflammation of genital tissue. This method is 72% effective and may be used in combination with the cervical cap and diaphragm.

Permanent Contraception: 1.

Male Sterilization (Vasectomy): a form of permanent contraception to cut the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm from the testicles. It is more than 99% effective after 3 months of the procedure. It does not affect male sexual performance or libido.

2. Female Sterilization: a form of permanent contraception by cutting the fallopian tubes and sealing them. Eggs are blocked off from meeting sperm and it is more than 99% effective.

It is important that your physician does routine physical examination when you are using contraceptives especially hormonal and intrauterine devices (blood pressure checks, breast exams, weight assessment and papsmears as necessary). Important: Condom use is highly employed as this barrier method prevents pregnancy and protects against a myriad of sexually transmitted infections when used consistently and correctly. Note: this is a general overview of methods of contraception available. Each method has its risks, contraindications and appropriate medical use. Contraceptives are provided on an individual basis for both the woman and the man. Seek advice from a doctor or health practitioner before embarking on the use of any contraceptive. ¤ Dr. Minerva R. King M.D is in private medical practice and can be contacted at : THE GASHA MEDICAL CLINIC # 5 Cnr. Coral & St. Louis Streets Castries, St. Lucia. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed, may ‘leak’ out of the intestines into the blood stream. These ‘foreign’ substances are then mis-read by the body as ‘invaders.’ Once they are in the bloodstream - your immune system sends out the antibody cavalry, (the natural immune response) and the inflammation begins.

Are Food Allergies Making Us Sick?

“ One Man’s Meat is another Man’s Poison” – Lucretius Our diet plays a critical role in keeping us healthy and in preventing a wide range of diseases. In some people, exposure to common foods can trigger an abnormal activation of the immune system and cause a myriad of disorders. These inflammatory reactions are linked to chronic health problems like obesity and diabetes, as well as skin, heart, joint, and digestive disorders. Food allergy and food intolerance are NOT the same thing. The commonly known food allergy is an IgE immune system response that is typically characterised by hives, shortness of breath, upset stomach and in some cases anaphylaxis. The most common food allergies are to nuts, shellfish, wheat and dairy. With a food allergy, there is an abnormal reaction of the body's immune system to a particular food. This can range from a mild reaction to one that is severe and life-threatening (anaphylaxis). Food intolerance happens because the body has difficulty digesting certain substances in food, or because certain substances have a direct effect on the body in some way. It is much more common than food allergies and is characterised by digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, aching joints, skin disorders and behavioral issues. It has been stated that upwards of 70-80% of the US population has food intolerance. Unfortunately for many, those food intolerance symptoms are often identified as individual problems and treated as such, thus treating the symptoms and not the cause. BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Differences between Food Allergy and Food Intolerance: Food Allergy: • Usually comes on suddenly • Small amount of food can trigger • Happens every time you eat the food • Can be life-threatening Food Intolerance: • Usually comes on gradually • May only happen when you eat a lot of the food • May only happen if you eat the food often • Is not life-threatening How do we Get Inflammation from Foods? Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognised by conventional physicians, but evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. Tiny holes develop in the tissue lining which allow the unfamiliar protein pieces (peptides) to get into the bloodstream.

• Inflammation at the joints causes stiffness and arthritis • Inflammation in the lungs or nasal passages causes respiratory congestion, asthma and chronic cough • Inflammation in the membranes of the brain causes headache and migraine • Inflammation in the nervous system causes neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy • Inflammation at the skin can cause hives, eczema and psoriasis But a simple switch in foods means the cause of the inflammation is removed and the body begins healing naturally. Avoidance of the offending food or substance is thought to aid in healing the intestinal wall, and halting some of the inflammatory processes. Food Sensitivity Testing has Been Proven Successful in Helping Overcome: • Digestive Disorders: including heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating • Fatigue • Migraines • Asthma • Skin Disorders • Aching Joints • Hyperactivity/ADD • Obesity A simple blood test is used to measure the body’s cellular response to challenges from a wide range of foods, food additives , chemicals and medicinal herbs. The individual cellular reactivity after exposure of the blood to the various test agents, versus the person’s baseline control , gives us an indication of the substances which may be causing a sensitivity-related response in the body. ¤ For further information , contact The Rodney Bay Medical Centre. Tel: 1 (758) 452-8621 / 453-6582

events 2013 CARIBBEAN MEETING & INCENTIVE TRAVEL EXCHANGE (CMITE) THE event for buyers and sellers of incentive travel. September 15-18, 2013 at The Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas. Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (CMITE) brings together buyers and suppliers servicing the Caribbean meeting and incentive market. CMITE is an invitation-only, appointment-based event. Apply online. For further information visit their website:

FCCA CRUISE CONFERENCE & TRADESHOW September 30 - October 4, 2013, Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, Cartagena, Colombia. For many cruise executives, destinations, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet with key industry players, analyze trends and discuss current issues. It is because of the unique forum provided by the Conference that nearly 1,200 cruise industry partners, including approximately 100 cruise executives, attend each year. For further information visit their website:

GUYEXPO 2013 – Guyana’s Premier Trade Fair & Exposition October 3 – 6, 2013 at the National Exhibition Site, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana Being hosted under the Theme: “Advancing Productivity through Innovation, Modernisation and Expansion” and in partnership with the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Guyana’s largest Trade and Investment Exposition – GuyExpo began in 1995. This public/ private partnership event which showcases locally produced goods and services, became an annual activity in 2004 and is now the longest sustained exhibition in the Caribbean. For further information contact the GUYEXPO Secretariat at

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2013 4 – 7 November 2013,ExCel, London, UK This leading global event for the travel industry is a vibrant must attend business – to business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and international travel professionals. It is a unique opportunity for the for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof. For further information :

CARIBBEAN ASSOCIATION OF BANKS INC – 40th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and CONFERENCE 13 – 16 November 2013, Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, Pigeon Island Causeway, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. The 40th Annual General Meeting and Conference will be hosted Under the Theme “Redefining Strategy – The Leadership Challenge”. The Conference will address issues that will influence regional and global financial policies impacting member states. For further information visit their website:

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




Republic Bank Ltd. REPUBLIC BANK GUYANA HAS A NEW CHAIRMAN Republic Bank Group based in Trinidad has announced the appointment of Nigel Mark Baptiste as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd . Baptiste is currently Executive Director of Republic Bank Ltd. He replaces David Dulal-Whiteway, Republic Bank’s Managing Director, who served as Chairman of the Guyana operations since 2005 and was a director since 2002. Dulal-Whiteway continues to maintain a keen interest in Guyana even as he broadens his focus on advancing the Republic Bank Group’s international expansion, the bank said in a statement recently. “Under his leadership, Republic Bank Guyana increased and modernised its branch network, expanded its community involvement through its flagship social investment programme, the ‘Power to Make a Difference’ and experienced an increase in profitability of more than 250 per cent,” the bank said. Baptiste is well known to the Guyanese community, having previously served as the Managing Director of Republic Bank (Guyana), then NBIC from 1999 to 2002, following which, he returned in 2003 to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. A Trinidad and Tobago National Scholarship winner, Baptiste holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and brings to the Chairmanship extensive experience in regional banking and finance. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



New Director General at Cariforum Percival Marie, a national of the Commonwealth of Dominica, assumed office on August 1, 2013 as DirectorGeneral of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States (Cariforum) Directorate in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. He replaces Ivan Ogando Lora. Marie who has been appointed for a period of three years said his priority will be to effect an integrated, comprehensive approach to the work of the two units that comprise the Directorate. This approach, he said, forms part of a targeted strategy. On the one hand, that strategy is intended to make the respective units even more responsive to the needs of regional states. This comes at a time when the region is purposely adapting to changing realities in respect of (ACP)/European Union (EU) and Cariforum/EU relations, including the landmark Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). On the other, Marie said, the strategy is geared at sustaining dynamic, productive partnerships forged between the Cariforum Directorate and partner institutions, in light of certain shared responsibilities regarding the advancement of facets of the respective work programmes of the Directorate’s two units. The recently-concluded special meeting of the Council of Ministers of Cariforum, convened in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on June 14, approved Marie’s selection by the Bureau of the Council of Ministers. Marie has had a long association with Cariforum, having worked for the then Cariforum Secretariat and its successor, the Cariforum Directorate. He has served as Executive Director and most recently, he held the post of Executive Director, Resource Mobilisation and Technical Assistance in the CARICOM Secretariat. The Director-General of Cariforum is also the Cariforum EPA Coordinator. The latter function is provided for in Article 234 of the EPA. ¤

Allison Jean – Appointed CARILEC Executive Director The Caribbean E l e c t r i c Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Allison Jean as its Executive Director. Mrs. Jean took up her position on August 1, 2013 and will be an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of CARILEC. Mrs. Jean, a Saint Lucian national, has over 25 years’ experience in the public service and held the position of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport in Saint Lucia since 2009. As Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Jean advised on policy to the Minister and had management oversight of a staff of some 600 persons. She represented the Government of St. Lucia at regional and international meetings on matters relating to electricity and energy. Mrs. Jean has also served on several statutory and regulatory boards. Mrs. Jean has a BSc in Management, an MBA with distinction from the University of the West Indies and is a candidate at Walden University for her Doctorate in Business Administration. ¤

T R A C E Y W A R N E R A R N O L D DEPUTY T O U R I S M DIRECTOR IS NEW HEAD OF SLTB’S MARKETING UNIT Deputy Director of Tourism and longstanding events and marketing specialist, Tracey Warner-Arnold, will now lead the Marketing unit at the island’s lead promotions agency – the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.

MAJOR MOVES Warner-Arnold, who holds a BA and Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management, takes over from former Vice President of Marketing and Sales Nerdin St. Rose, who has moved on from the SLTB. With years of experience under her belt at the highest levels within the tourism industry, Warner-Arnold says her immediate goals, “are to build upon the successes achieved by St. Rose and drive the Marketing arm of the Tourist Board to continuously raise the bar, as the agency strives to deliver a comprehensive marketing programme, in line with the overall strategic direction of the Board of Directors.” A former marketing director herself, Warner-Arnold adds that her focus will be to ensure robust returns on investment for the SLTB, while bolstering tourism growth from key source markets. Mrs. Warner-Arnold has consulted on numerous marketing initiatives and mega events in Saint Lucia and throughout the region and was appointed Deputy Director of Tourism in January of 2012. ¤

TT Central Bank Deputy Governor is new Chairman of CARICOM Development Fund Finance Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at their recent 15th meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) in Port of Spain, Trinidad, agreed to appoint a new head for the region’s development fund. COFAP agreed to appoint Dr Alvin Hilaire, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, as the next Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Barbadosbased CARICOM Development Fund (CDF). The fund was established to provide technical and financial assistance to

countries, regions and sectors that are disadvantaged due to operations of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as well as positioning member states to take advantage of the opportunities in the market. The last Chairman of the fund was St. Lucia’s former Budget Director Bernard La Corbiniere, who is the current Managing Director of the St. Lucia Development Bank (SLDB). ¤

Seasoned Public Servant Eustace Monrose is the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of I n f ra s t r u c t u r e , Port Services and Transport. A former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, Mr Monrose is a UWI and University of Birmingham-trained accountant of national public standing, with an MBA specializing in international trade and finance and long and extensive service across government ministries since 1982. Before his latest appointment, he served in mainly accounting and finance positions and rose to the senior positions of Deputy Permanent Secretary and Acting Permanent Secretary in ministries ranging from Education, Justice and Planning to Tourism and Finance. He served in the Treasury Department and in several accounting capacities before taking up overall ministerial administrative responsibilities. Mr Monrose also served in very senior capacities in top organizations in the regional banana industry, as Chairman of the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company (WIBDECO) and also of the St. Lucia Banana Corporation (SLBC). ¤

Following the expiry of the term of office of the previous commissions, new Public S e r v i c e Commission (PSC) and Teaching Service Commission (TSC) have both been appointed to oversee the appointment, discipline and removal of public officers to and from the Public Service. The new Chairman of both commissions is a graduate of the UWI and of the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland. He completed MSc in International Trade Law in Scotland, with distinction. A former Comptroller of Customs & Excise, Mr Claude Paul served in that position for five years (2000 to 2005) before taking his talents and experience as an International Trade and Customs Consultant to the regional level. Before his latest double-barreled appointment, Mr Paul served as Director of the government’s official Customs Reform Project in neighbouring Dominica and as Permanent Secretary of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council, based in St. Lucia. The dual post is not new, dating back to 1997, when the same position was held by former joint Chairman Mr Keith Weeks. Meanwhile, pursuant to Section 85 (1) of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Her Excellency the Governor General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition, has also appointed the following persons to be members of the Public Service Commission and the Teaching Service Commission, effective April 2013: New Public Service Commission: Mr. Claude Paul (Chairman), Mr. Wilbert King, MBE, Fidelis Williams, Ms. Lorraine Sidonie and Ms. Renee St. Rose. The Commission will serve for a period of three years. New Teaching Service Commission: Mr. Claude Paul (Chairman), Mrs. Virginia Albert-Poyotte, SLPM, MBE, Mrs. Leonise Francois, Ms. Agatha James and Mr. Effrem Edgar. The Commission will serve for a period of three years. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct




The title of Economic S t ra t e g y Analyst at CIBC FirstCaribbean is being held by Tracy Polius, a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Economics. She is also currently a PhD candidate with UWI. Tracy has been the recipient of the Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial Prize, awarded to the top student in Economics with the University of West Indies. Tracy served as the Deputy Director for Economic Planning in the Ministry of Finance between 2002 and 2006 and as the Director of Economic Affairs from 2006 to 2007. As a Research Fellow at the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance at UWI between 2008 and 2013, Tracy has garnered research experience that will enhance her position as Economic Strategic Analyst. Tracy is currently a Commissioner with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), a body responsible for the regulation of the telecom sector in collaboration with the policy authority, Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL). Not only does this position arm Tracy with extensive knowledge of telecommunications, which will positively impact her role as an Analyst, but also with an appreciation of the principles of regulation which can be applied, with success, to the financial sector. Her impressive educational pedigree, paired with her 14 years background in financial and development within the Economic and Financial sector makes her a superlative candidate for the position which she commenced in April. ¤

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



Lester Henry Wilson is the newly appointed Branch Manager of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Vieux Fort Office. As of July 1st, Lester commands the helm of the Vieux Fort Branch, in addition to having oversight of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Soufriere Branch. A St. Lucian national with an extensive career in the banking sector, Lester Wilson has an excellent record of business management with financial institutions. Prior to his current appointment Lester served as Small Business Officer with CIBC FirstCaribbean in St. Lucia for a number of years before being promoted to the position of Senior Branch Manager for Saint Kitts and Nevis with responsibility for the overall management and administration of the Retail and Small Business Banking Sector. Lester Wilson holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with specialisation in Total Quality Management. His expertise is further bolstered by 30 years’ of banking experience, fourteen of which were honed in Sales and personal and small business lending. ¤ Ms Carol Mangal has been appointed Branch Manager of the Rodney Bay Branch, the flagship branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean St. Lucia. Carol commands over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector with acute expertise in leadership, excellent customer service and client retention standards. Formerly the Branch Manager of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Vieux Fort Branch, Carol’s ambitious commitment to excellence is now adapted to the state-of-the-art wealth management centre in the Mardini Building in Rodney Bay. As an Account Manager with Mortgages, Carol was adept at managing a portfolio of US$ 29M. In 2008 she became Sales Team Leader, managing three sales specialists and three customer care officers and received the Star Player Award in December of 2008 for her exceptional performance in team work / support and effective leadership. As Branch Manager Vieux Fort she also received the Country Manager’s Special Award for Exceptional Leadership. Carol holds a Diploma in Financial Services Management from the Institute

of Financial Services in the United Kingdom as well as Credit Risk Accreditation Tier 1 and Tier 2 with CIBC FirstCaribbean Internal University. She commences her Master’s in Business Administration with Specialisation in Leadership with University of Liverpool in October of this year. ¤ C I B C FirstCaribbean’s new Corporate Sales Associate is Luann Maraj. She is a motivated and an ambitious professional with a diverse background in Business Management and Tourism, with over nine years experience in Sales and Marketing. She received an award for Outstanding Academic Achievement from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in 2002. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Monroe College where she graduated summa cum laude in 2009 with a specialisation in Tourism and Hospitality Management. Prior to her current position with CIBC FirstCaribbean, Luann served as the LIME Account Manager with Renwick and Company Ltd., managing a team responsible for the distribution of LIME E-top up service on the island. As the Corporate Sales Associate for CIBC FirstCaribbean, Luann is dedicated to providing the corporate sector with convenient and innovative Banking Solutions, aimed at increasing productivity and efficiency, whilst delivering exceptional customer service. She provides sales, service and administrative support to Head of Corporate Banking and is responsible for identifying marketing opportunities. She currently endeavours to strengthen her portfolio with a master’s degree in Strategic Management and an assortment of courses related to Banking and Finance. Quote: “That a man can change himself...and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind that is wide-awake to the power of right thought.” (Christian D. Larson)” ¤




Guiste Estates Inc.

Real Estate

Glen Guiste

Zeals Pharma Ltd.

Supply of Pharmaceuticals and Operation of a Pharmacy

Sylvester Louis Andrew Nwachukwu Aghadiuno

E.G.S. Freight Services Inc.

To Provide Customs & Brokerage Services and Acting as Shipping Agents and Importers of Goods & Merchandise

Ellen Gopaul George Alaric Pearson Walter George

The Natural Ecologist Inc.

Apiculture , Organic Agriculture Agronomy Engineering and Agriculture and Rural Development

Kwesi Vladimir Anthony Goddard George Goddard Sygnus Matthew

Exotic Events Inc.

Planning Parties & Events

Marwan Chreiki Larry Chreiki

Lamar Waterfront Ltd.

To Acquire by Purchase, Exchange or Otherwise Land/Immovable Property in St.Lucia and Elsewhere.

Rowald Derrick Zinaida McNamara Krystal JnBaptiste

D.M.V.D.F. Inc.

Initiatives Geared Towards the Educational, Cultural, Economic, Environmental, and Social Development of the Dennery Mabouya Community

Benedict James Albert Kennedy Shoulette Rommela Sadiqa Hunte Jennef Sylvain

Francis & Flora Regis Scholarship Fund Inc.

Providing Education Grants to Children

Prisca Regis –Andrew Gregory Regis Ruth Regis -Whitefield

Luxury Living Properties (LLP) Inc.

Real Estate, Property Management, Consulting, Sales, Rentals, Design & Architecture

Eustace Cherry

Beausejour Property Ltd.

Property Holding & Management

Sintra Rambally Khan

K & M Garage Inc.


Patrick Michaud Kathleen Michaud

National Jet Services Ltd.

Luxury Services to High end Airport Users

Anthony Leon

Map and IT Solutions Ltd.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS ) Database Design

Jim Claudius Joseph

Petrocaribe (Saint Lucia) Ltd.

Wholesale and Retail Sale of Petroleum Products and Fertilizers

Darrel Montrope Dr.Reginald Darius Sylvester Clauzel Joanna Reynolds Arthurton

Express Medical Group Inc.

Medical Services

Sylvester Louis

Guardsman Services (St.Lucia) Ltd.

To Provide Termite and Pest Control Services in Saint Lucia

Kenneth Benjamin Valerie Juggan Brown Vinay Walia Sheila Benjamin McNeill

Tapion Sleep Centre Inc.

Sleep Laboratory Services

Dr.Martin Didier Dr. Leonard Suraj Dr Martin Plummer Dr. Jacqueline Bird

Boka Estates Ltd.

Property Holdings Company

John Kennedy BusinessFocus Sept /Oct






Cap View Real Estate and Property Management Co. Ltd.

Real Estate Agency and Aroperty Management

Bryan Matthews Rohan Matthews

Cue Sports Inc.

Pool Tournaments

Darren Williams

Iyanola Ventures Inc.

To Provide Different Services for People Getting Married, Going on Tours etc.

Curtis Michael John

Caribbean Institute of Research & Consultancy Services Ltd.

General Research and Consultancy Services

Curtis Stephen Paul

Slim’s Masonary Inc.

To Carry on the Business of General Construction, Tool Sales & Rental

Edward Slim Francis Charity Nwanneka Akoye Francis

Change in FACES Ltd.

Consignment Emporium- Selling used Items, Furniture, Accessories, Clothes, Electronics, Shoes

Neri Anna Alexander

The Rainbow Bridge Project Inc.

Recreational & Educational Learning Centre

Carla Pescini Christopher Arthur Pilgrim Janelle Sargusingh

Waldeco Inc.

Land Development Company

Timothy Walcott Andrea Sindy Laurent

ACU2 Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Bernard Johnson Martin Johnson

Outreach Solutions Inc.

Information Technology, Web Solutions, Social Media Management

Wayne Girard

Palmiste Cove Ltd.

Housing Development

Miller Tobierre Debra Tobierre

Newport Refreshment Inc.

Sale & Rental of Water Cooling Refreshment Systems

Shawn Ian Gibbons Gilbert Charles Emtage Jane Emtage

Doxa Missions Inc.

To Provide Medical Missions Through the use of Specialists from Saint Lucia and Around the Region

Ndidi Adoh Dagbue Cordelia Dagbue Thomas Eristhee

Equilibre Ltd.

Property Investment

Libellule Ltd.

Yun Enterprises Ltd.

General Merchandising

Jiang Yun Fan

Atmosphere Inc.

Events, Planning, VIP parties & Event Management

Rowald Derrick Zinaida McNamara Krystal JnBaptiste

Docutech Ltd.

Import & Export

Geraine I. Georges

F & F Trading Ltd.

Restaurant and Retailing of Dry Goods

Ben Ran Yang Hui Fen Yang

Mammie Du Inc.

Property Holding and Development

Hilford D.A. Deterville Thecla C. Deterville Chaka D. A.Deterville Nandi A.O. Deterville Mtonya A.G.Deterville

Commodore Corporation Ltd.

Property holding company

Michele Michell

Professional Contractors Inc.


Lindon Kert Elibox Junior Ricardo Joseph


Consultancy, Investment services

Pierre Gregory Soudatt

BusinessFocus Sept /Oct



St. Lucia Business Focus 71  

Catering for Your Event

St. Lucia Business Focus 71  

Catering for Your Event