Page 1

Issue No. 72

Nov/Dec 2013

Committed to Protecting


Caribbean Alliance Insurance Representative Agent:

Saint Lucia Insurances Ltd.


48 Micoud Street, P.O. Box 1084, Castries • + 1 758. 458. 7900 Linmore’s Bldg., Theodore Street, P.O. Box 283, Vieux Fort • + 1 758. 458. 7930 Shop 43 Baywalk Mall, P.O. Box RB2737, Rodney Bay, Gros Islet • + 1 758. 458. 7950

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Anguilla • Antigua & Barbuda • Ascension Island • Barbados • Dominica • Falkland Islands • Grenada • Montserrat • St. Kitts & Nevis • St. Lucia • St. Vincent & The Grenadines • The British Virgin Islands • Turks & Caicos


THE RIGHT PARTNER TAKES YOU HIGHER When you need to grow, expand and spread your message, you need a partner you can rely on. Digicel Business delivers solutions that will make your business more efficient, sustainable and secure so you can focus on broadening your horizons. Let us collaborate to enable your business to flourish, contact us at 1-758-724-6001 or

Complete solutions for your needs DIGICELBUSINESS.COM BusinessFocus Nov / Dec |


No. 72

BF Nov/Dec 2013


FEATURE 65. Protecting Your Investment



04. Editor’s Focus

35. Book Reviews

06. Business Briefs

Economy & Trade Focus 38. CDB President Says Caribbean Needs Eight-Pillar Approach for Sustainable Economic Growth 40. Regional Agriculture Extension Network Launched at 2013 CWA 43. CDB Regional Water Study Shows Challenges

Business Tech 08. LIME/ERICSSON Partnership Takes Customer Service to Higher Level 09. LIME Gives Even More with MyPlan! 12. Cellestial Brings Wide SMILES to Single-Parent Moms – and to Youth and Students as Well! 14. Digicel Selects NAAP Global Solutions to Provide Telecom Asset Management Software in the Caribbean 18. Digicel Business Launches New Cloud Solutions Portfolio Money Matters 22. EU to Invest One Billion Euros in Grant Aid for the Caribbean 24. Chief Justice says: Time for Eastern Caribbean Court to Find Independent Funding 28. World Bank says Remittances to Developing Countries Set to Exceed US $410 Billion in 2013



44. Environmental Focus 46. Business Spotlight In The Know 54. ECLAC says Caribbean Imports and Exports Will Increase by End of 2013 58. Investing in Your Future Self 60. World Bank Releases GDP per Capita Ranking inCARICOM 106. Tourism Focus 108. Health & Wealth 110. Major Moves 112. Events 2012 113. New Company Registrations

107 BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Protecting Your Investment What’s your greatest or most precious investment: Your home? The vehicle? The children’s education? The family business? Whatever it is, if it’s that important to you then the Bottom Line is: it ought to be protected. It’s just like how we protect our lives by taking care of our bodies. We try to eat right and exercise on advice or recommendation and take medicines prescribed for better health. As we age, we become that more concerned about life so we care more and take more and better steps to protect ourselves by improving our lives. The same with your home – your single largest personal investment. It requires regular care and attention if you are to protect and improve its value. This will include maintenance and repairs, repainting and Lokesh Singh home improvement or expansion and of course Publisher/Managing Editor insurance to cover exposure to any risks. In this 72nd issue of Business Focus, we offer you ideas to protect your investments. We highlight Harris Paints St Lucia Ltd – a long standing St Lucian Manufacturer as they take the lead in offering a new and improved range of paint products to enhance, beautify and protect your investment and our fragile environment. In addition we also feature suppliers whose products and services are relevant for your consideration and we have commissioned and sourced articles offering information to help you make those decisions. But, as you well know by now, that’s just the cover story – there is a lot more in the wider body of material that makes us the best-read and longest-lasting business magazine in the Eastern Caribbean. In this issue – as in all – BF also offers you interesting angles on everything from Money Matters to Business Briefs and Business Buzz including Trade and Economic matters affecting the nation and the region and the latest news in Environmental, Energy and IT matters. This being our final edition for 2013, we wish to express our special thanks and appreciation to our Advertisers, Editorial and Photographic Contributors for their support in allowing us to successfully deliver Business Focus Magazine for you – Our Readers, of both our print and online editions. We also wish to offer our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a successful year in 2014.

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 Harris Paints St. Lucia | Carib-Export Contributors: Earl Bousquet | Stan Bishop | LIME Lokesh Singh | Fern Smith | Lyndell Halliday Bevil Wooding | Kezia Preville | Demerara Waves Sir Richard Branson | Cathilda Charles-Johnny Digicel | ECFH Group | Zhivargo Laing Caribbean Journal | 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.

Happy Reading!

Issue No. 72

Nov/Dec 2013

On the Cover:

Harris Paints St. Lucia Management Team Committed to Protecting Your Investment

Committed to



Your INVESTM cus.c m ciafo .stlu tluciafo www www.s

BusinessFocus Sept Nov //Oct Dec BusinessFocus

| | 44



BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Guyana Launches Portuguese Curriculum for Secondary Schools Left to Right: Portuguese teachers Candida Williams, Dianne Blenman and Monica Payne being presented with copies of resource materials for teaching the language in secondary schools by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand Guyana recently launched its first secondary school Portuguese curriculum as part of the country’s push to deepen relations with neighbouring Brazil. “While language will never stop Guyana from enjoying good relations with anyone, surely our familiarity with the language of the people of Brazil will help us to bolster that friendship,” said Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand The language would be taught initially at five high schools until Guyana’s Teacher’s Training College could begin training Portuguese teachers. Brazil has been already asked to train, exchange or provide Portuguese teachers. The schools who are selected for the programme are Queen's College, Bishop's High School, St. Joseph's High School, St. Stanislaus College and St. Rose's High School. The Minister also announced that Guyana has approached the Barbadosheadquartered Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to offer region-wide schoolleaving examinations in Portuguese in another three years. Now that Guyana has developed its own curriculum and teaching guides, she expects the country to play a leading role in formulating a Portuguese syllabus, schemes and books for CXC. ¤ Courtesy: Demerara Waves

Roberts Manufaracturing Loses Big Share of Regional Market Roberts Manufacturing Company Ltd – one of Barbados’ leading manufacturing businesses has announced that it has lost 68 per cent of its regional market for BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



vegetable oil to competition from extraregional sources. Imports of chicken from outside the region are also posing a threat to the company’s poultry feed production and distribution. Managing Director David Foster after a recent tour of the Business Operations indicated that the competition was hurting the company which depends heavily on exports. Sixty eight per cent of the 350 tons of margarine and shortening and 300 tons of oil produced by Roberts monthly are exported. The company also produces close to 5,000 tons of animal and poultry feed every month. Speaking to the media after taking Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Assembly Kerry Symmonds on a tour of the plant as part of the Opposition’s Rubbing Shoulders exercise, Foster said the company was looking at markets outside CARICOM to offset the loss of distribution within CARICOM, while aiming to maintain and possibly increase production levels. ¤

USVI Moving Towards Visa Free Travel for CARICOM Nationals United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor John de Jongh said he would seek to encourage visitors from the English speaking Caribbean to his country and is moving to get Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals to enter the country without the necessary United States visa. De Jongh, who was meeting with regional tourism officials on the final day of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) sponsored State of the Industry Conference (STOIC 2013), told reporters that he had made a proposal this year to the Senate and the House that as part of the Immigration Bill that “CARICOM nationals could come into the US Virgin Islands without having to go through those visa requirements. “We spoke to the Committee in the House and the Senate and we spoke to

US Department of Homeland Security to come up with a regime which they would feel comfortable with for countries within CARICOM and they agreed with it… “We have written the bill, we have submitted legislation… so we are just looking for the right vehicle for it to pass,” he said, adding that “we recognise …the region represents a tremendous opportunity for the traffic that goes back and forth and we would like to have an opportunity to participate without being overburdened by some of the regulations”. De Jongh said that while he had the support of both the Democrats and the Republicans on the initiative, what is required is the “right vehicle” to get the process moving. The USVI will be the venue for the next STOIC conference in 2014 and de Jongh said that he hoped it would encourage more visitors to his territory that is already on a campaign to lure more visitors. He told reporters that he wanted closer relations with the 15-member CARICOM grouping since “there is always a relationship with Washington that takes place and we are a US territory. ¤

Microsoft Launches Windows 8.1 Worldwide

Microsoft Corp on Thursday 17 October announced the global availability of Windows 8.1, a feature-rich update to its popular Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives — at work, at home or on the go. Beginning Thursday 17 October, consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages

BUSINESS BRIEFS could download the free update via the online Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Friday 18 October at retail locations around the world. “Windows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalised computing while showcasing Microsoft’s dedication to rapid and responsive development.” said Ineke Geesink, Windows Manager, LATAM Markets. “It marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses — from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices. Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.” ¤

“While we are sorry that our sister islands have had to suffer the almost complete collapse of their banana industry, we are pleased that the steps we took to introduce commercial discipline in the banana industry in the late 1990s is probably what saved us and has resulted in Saint Lucia being the only island in the Windward Islands that still has a banana industry to speak about.” Senator Fletcher applauded the St. Lucia Prime Minister “for the foresight and courage he displayed when he took the decision to privatise the banana industry” and congratulated Agriculture Minister ‘Musa’ Moses Jn. Baptiste on the management of the agricultural sector. ¤

Creative Industries Thriving on Low Budget

Banana Privatization Paying-off Big Dividends

“The move towards privatization in the late 1990s may be what saved the banana industry in St. Lucia.” That’s according to Senator Dr. James Fletcher. Dr. Fletcher, in an interview with BS, lauded the latest increase in banana exports of Saint Lucia compared to that of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica over the same period. Whereas the sister islands recorded significant declines in exports, Saint Lucia’s production has increased this year. Senator Fletcher noted, “So far this year, for weeks 1 to 32, Saint Lucia has exported 7,623 tons of bananas (3% more than it exported for the same period last year), while Dominica has exported only 974 tons (which is its lowest level for the past 6 years and 41% less than the same time last year), and St. Vincent has exported a mere 180 tons (57% less than it exported in the same period last year).” Dr. Fletcher further explored the impact of the policy to privatise, in the face of a changing economy. He said, “There was a time when these countries combined produced the same volume of bananas as Saint Lucia. Now Saint Lucia produces over six times what they produce.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, Donovan Williams, says Creative Industries are thriving in Saint Lucia. Though only $2 million was allocated to the Ministry of Creative Industries for the financial year 2013/2014, Williams says it has forced his ministry to be creative in its efforts to develop the sector. He says, “I think the whole aspect of promotion and exporting our talent and giving the artistes an opportunity to showcase is one such window. But we also have a training component which will facilitate the development capacity of artistes and persons involved in the sector. We have a national performance programme, which is a follow-up to a programme we initiated last year.” A small grants programme is available through the Ministry of the Creative Industries where successful applicants can receive up to $20,000.00. Williams says the road to developing the sector has been a challenging one, but believes that the thrust towards a sustainable mandate will reap untold rewards in future. He believes the demand is present and pledged the ministry’s support to supply.

“We don’t have all of the resources we would like… It has been challenging but I think that we have been able to see some successes and hopefully at the end of this financial year, we should be able to report some major successes in terms of accessing opportunities and changing the potential into actual sustainable opportunities for those who are part of the sector.” The recently established Ministry of the Creative Industries, along with stakeholders, is mapping out a planned calendar of events to help boost the sector. ¤

Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) Elects New Executive The 7th Biennial General Assembly of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad on 26th October 2013. This most important meeting is held every two years so that delegates can present discuss the current state of media in the Caribbean and ensure success by collaborating and harmonizing initiatives for the future. During the assembly a new ACM Executive was elected. Clive Bacchus, Managing Director of the West Indies News Network (WINN) FM radio in St. Kitts, succeeds Wesley Gibbings of Trinidad and Tobago as President. Gibbings will continue to serve on the new executive as General Secretary. Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) Wire Services Editor, Peter Richards is 1st Vice-President and Canute James of Jamaica is the 2nd Vice-President. Martina Johnson, a senior journalist with the Observer Media Group of Antigua & Barbuda is Assistant General Secretary. Onel Sanford-Belle of St Lucia and Jabari Fraser complete the 2013-2015 Executive as Floor Members. Founded in 2000, the ACM is the focal point of media associations and journalist organisations in CARICOM. It is affiliated to several international organisations that promote press freedom and free expression, including the International Press Institute (IPI), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Article 19. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec





Partnership Takes Customer Service to Higher Level Telecommunications Company, LIME, is Introducing Improved Efficiencies That Will Enable the Full-Service Provider to Increase Subscriber Satisfaction.

LIME today announced that it has entered into an exclusive Managed Services Agreement with Ericsson to manage the company’s field operations and network infrastructure. In a move that will deliver the greatest value and efficiency to customers, LIME, Saint Lucia’s only fully integrated telecommunications BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



provider, is partnering with Ericsson, a world-leading managed service specialist of telecommunications networks, to deliver significant enhancement in service delivery while managing the Technical Operations and Field Services arms of the LIME Saint Lucia business. LIME anticipates that the implementation of the Ericsson’s Managed Services Solution will bolster its network operations and cut operating expenses over the seven year life of the contract - a significant overhead reduction aimed at helping the company to become more competitive while being better able to respond to customer needs. As part of the agreement, the positions of forty-nine (49) members of LIME’s current Network Operations and Service Delivery teams have been made redundant effective 13th October, 2013. Ericsson has offered employment to most of the former LIME employees, and the global firm will benefit from one of the most experienced technical teams in the region. LIME will work to ensure the smoothest possible transition for employees who elect to seek employment with Ericsson or otherwise. LIME selected Ericsson as the world-leading provider of communications technology and services. Today 40% of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks. The company supports customers' networks servicing more than 2.5 billion subscriptions and manages networks that serve 1 billion subscribers worldwide. Ericsson has more than 110,000 people that speaks more than 100 languages working with customers in more than 180 countries. Ericsson has been providing LIME/Cable & Wireless with advanced integrated mobile voice and data services for nearly a decade. Ahead of its official commencement of operations in Saint Lucia, Ericsson will establish locally registered offices in preparation for its management of LIME’s field operations and service delivery and its employment of staff. LIME Saint Lucia’s General Manager, Chris Williams said: “LIME is committed to delivering world-class service that will differentiate us from all our competitors, and when we consider Ericsson’s domain knowledge, economies of scale, network design, optimisation and field maintenance, we are confident that LIME will be able to provide service that is on par with best-in-class operators across the globe. “Through this agreement, LIME has also stimulated foreign investment for Saint Lucia as Ericsson will now be establishing local operations. A move that is not only good for LIME but also for the country at large,” added Chris. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




LIME Gives Even More with MyPlan! “Postpaid made easy” now includes rollover data

A few months ago, LIME introduced MyPlan postpaid mobile, a flexible, affordable package starting at just $49.99 and customizable to the user’s needs and personality. MyPlan includes voice, text messages and data, and gives users the option to tailor the plan to suit with bolt-ons, and even to share a plan with multiple users, be they friends, family or colleagues. Now, though, LIME is offering even more with MyPlan. Saint Lucia and the Caribbean’s leading telecommunications service provider has announced that unused MyPlan data

will be rolled over into the following month. If a customer has not consumed the full data allocation, the extra amount will be available at the start of the new subscription period. This latest addition to MyPlan is unprecedented, not just with LIME, but in telecommunications in the Caribbean. With the launch earlier this year of Saint Lucia’s first 4G mobile data network, and a slew of exciting and affordable data-capable handsets, LIME is poised to serve the needs of the Saint Lucian market like no other company possibly can. LIME General Manager Chris Williams says this latest tweak to MyPlan has huge potential for customers. “Customers are familiar with rollover minutes and rollover text messages,” he explains, “but rollover data is a new concept for the region. But it’s important that we keep innovating, as Saint Lucia’s fastest network, with the best rates for talk and text.” Data allocations range from 500MB to 5GB with MyPlan. MyPlan also includes international minutes that can be used for calls to any local or regional network, mobile and landline, as well as to the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and UK landlines. Text messages can be sent to local, regional and international numbers. ¤

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Cellestial Brings Wide SMILES to SingleParent Moms – and to Youth and Students as Well!

Cellestial CEO George Benson (at right) and Information and Technology minister Dr. James Fletcher discussing the company’s products.

Cellestial’s Director of Operations, Marcia Charles (left) hands over the donated cell phones to Bannah and Jana Suffren of Cutty Ranks Barber Salon Single young mothers under the SMILES programme attached to a vibrant local company continue to have more reasons to smile. Regional Communications Limited – manufacturers of the Cellestial brand of tablets, computers and cellular phones for export and domestic consumption – continues to fulfill its corporate responsibility by supporting the government’s Single Mothers in Life Enhancement Skills (SMILES) programme. During a tour of the establishment’s assembly plant in Castries, by Minister for the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology Dr. James Fletcher, Cellestial’s Managing Director/CEO James Benson explained how SMILES participants benefit from the daily operations of his company. He said, “Everybody here is a single mother associated with the SMILES programme, so the programme is kind of a recruiting base for us. They are chosen for an initial three-week training programme and if they are really good, they go on to become an apprentice for six months. And then, after that they go on to international certification through institutes in the UK and the United States.” After attaining accreditation, participants continue training. Benson spoke of the progress the single mothers have made and the scope for further opportunities. He said Cellestial has also aided in the island's education system. “We just went through a session where seven of our BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



ladies were internationally certified – five at Level One Cellular Engineer and two at Level Three Cellular Engineers. “So, they have the freedom, options and accreditations to do anything they want in their lives right now. “One of our ladies was the leader – the Saint Lucian leader for the Duke of Edinburgh Award – and was sponsored by us for that event that ended in Barbados after one month. “Then we adopted Vide Bouteille Secondary and now we have adopted Vide Bouteille Combined – and they get a free laptop every month.” The company – established in February 2013 – has received the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation and won Compete Caribbean’s $1.3 million grant competition from a long list of thousands of regional companies. But the company’s focus hasn’t only been on helping single mothers and students. When a local barber shop took a national initiative to help make haircuts available to students whose parents simply could not afford, Cellestial also came to the rescue. Founders of the project, Bannah and Jana Suffren of Cutty Ranks Barber Salon, launched the initiative ahead of school reopening in 2012. According to the Suffrens, “Because of poverty too many adolescent males are unable to afford the basics like antiperspirant and dental supplies. As a consequence, poor grooming contributes to their already low self-esteem and increases their

vulnerability to people and activities that prey on marginalised youth.” Inspired to give back to society through a free grooming support service, Cutty Ranks took their proposition to school principals throughout the island and also discovered that many children are at risk because they lack the means to be in touch with care givers and responsible adults while away from home or school. Cellestial came forward to equip the Cutty Ranks team to be responsive to this need and increase the safety of some of their clients by donating cell phones. Now over one year in existence, the project provides grooming for over 1,400 students at 53 schools around the island. Benson said, “Sometimes it is the little incisions that leave the deepest marks, when we reach out to the forgotten among us, it does go a long way. We at Regional Communications Ltd believe this is certainly our opportunity to live up to our company motto and ‘answer to a higher calling.’” Cellestial produces custom-featured products for Caribbean end-users and also ships across the CARICOM region through a network of wholesale distributors. The company produces a dozen different models and exports 90% of its models. Its product line is priced 70% lower than the major brands, allowing for accessibility and affordability across all consumer groups. Cellestial products are also available at over 20 retail locations in Saint Lucia. ¤

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Digicel Selects NAAP Global Solutions to Provide Telecom

Asset Management Software in the Caribbean

gets Gold Star for Excellence

Digicel has selected the NAAP Software(c) platform for their operation in Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana. This Programme is a multi-modular asset lifecycle software that helps telecom operators to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. The NAAP Software(c) is one component of a complete array of services branded as NAAP Solution [TM], which provides as well 3D laser scanning of telecommunication sites and bar coding and network asset inventory. With the techniques of NAAP Global Solutions, Digicel will maximise the tracking and management of 350 telecom sites, drastically reducing operating expenses. Under the agreement, this solution will also include conducting a detailed inventory of over 50,000 installed telecommunications assets, bar coding and high definition 3D laser scanning. Donato Van Splunteren, Vice President of Sales of NAAP Global Solutions, commented: "In Digicel we identified a real need and we positioned NAAP as the unified solution that will give them visibility and control over their assets. Upon project completion, Digicel will have an operational tool that will enable the company to have a consolidated view of assets that are deployed in distant geographical territories, simplifying and empowering the decision making process. Furthermore, NAAP offers flexibility: customers have the choice between two business models of NAAP (Purchase Licenses or Software as a Service). The implementation is modular and it offers professional services in order to assist the organisation in its own implementation, and the ability to customise and develop customer-specific solutions. Once we are done with the implementation, Digicel will have all asset related information readily available to be useful to them from day one." ¤ About NAAP GLOBAL SOLUTIONS Based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NAAP has been able to establish itself as a leading company in telecommunications asset managing in the region, with operators tracking assets through the NAAP Software platform in over 15 countries. The innovative programme NAAP Global Solutions enables operators to address the growing need for telecom operational support systems (OSS) and telecom expense management (TEM). BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Digicel Business has achieved a Customer Satisfaction Excellence Gold Star from Cisco. This designation recognises the telecommunications giant for delivering outstanding customer service to its customers across the Caribbean, Panama and El Salvador. CEO of Digicel Business, Tom Carson, said: “Corporate customers across the world demand the highest level of customer service— and exceeding their expectations is something we pride ourselves on. As such, we are delighted to be recognised by Cisco for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction—the highest distinction a partner can achieve within the Cisco Channel Partner Programme. This is a testament to the quality of our staff and the focus on excellence in training and customer experience. “We are seeing strong demand across all our markets for innovative and cost reducing communications solutions and, by bringing real value in cost reductions, we are also delivering improved levels of customer experience and helping them do the same for their end customers— a real ‘win-win’,” concluded Carson. Cisco measures the customer satisfaction levels achieved by its Gold, Silver, and Premier Certified partners based on regional target goals, providing a weighted average of a partner's preand post-sales support over a rolling 12-month period. Partners that achieve outstanding customer satisfaction are awarded the Customer Satisfaction Excellence Gold Star and can be found using the advanced search menu in the Cisco Partner Locator. The Cisco Resale Channel Programme provides a framework for partners to build the sales, technical and Cisco Lifecycle Services skills required to deliver Cisco solutions to end customers. Through the programme's specialisations and certifications, Cisco recognises a partner's expertise in deploying solutions based on Cisco advanced technologies and services. Using a third-party audit process, the programme validates partner qualifications such as technology skills, business best practices, customer satisfaction, and pre-sales and post-sales support capabilities—critical factors in choosing a trusted partner. ¤

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“ROAM LIKE YOU’RE HOME” BRINGS ADDED VALUE TO DIGICEL CUSTOMERS ROAMING IN THE CARIBBEAN Great low rates mean valued customers can have the freedom to use their phones abroad as they do at home! Postpaid and prepaid customers from the region’s leading telecommunications provider Digicel, will begin benefiting from the best roaming value plan announced to date in the Caribbean. Tens of thousands of Digicel customers across St. Lucia will automatically become eligible to realize incredible savings benefits under “Roam Like You’re Home.” Offering truly exceptional value, Digicel customers will now be able to roam with the same kind of extraordinary low rates they currently enjoy at home. The new ‘Roam Like You’re Home” plan sees Digicel customers being able to call, email, browse the internet and send text messages for great low rates. Country Manager for Digicel St. Lucia, Holly Hughes-McNamara says, ‘Roam Like You’re Home’, will demystify the perception that roaming is exorbitant and a privilege reserved exclusively for the elite in society. ”This low cost roaming will ensure that all Digicel customers who are off-island, within Digicel countries in the Caribbean (except Guyana), have the ease and comfort of simply picking up their handsets and making a call back home to their friends and family.” Attracting no activation fee, the ‘Roam Like You’re Home’, reaffirms Digicel’s position as the best value operator in the Caribbean. “With no opt-in codes, no sign-up, the Bigger, Better network is changing customer perceptions and behaviors towards roaming. Armed with (a renewed) freedom, our customers can now use their mobile phone at home and in the region, without the fear of high (bills) charges which have in the past forced them to seek out alternative options,” says Hughes-McNamara. All customers roaming on Digicel’s other networks in the Caribbean, with the exception of Guyana, will automatically be switched to the new low rates, with no activation fees. ¤ About Digicel Group Digicel Group Limited is a leading global communications provider with operations in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 12 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$4.5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. Digicel is incorporated in Bermuda and its markets comprise: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean. BusinessFocus Nov /Nov Dec/ Dec | 16 | BusinessFocus


Use your phone like you’re at home. Use your phone like you’re at home. Use your phone like you’re at home.

DIGICELSTLUCIA.COM Rates apply to all Caribbean and Central America countries in which Digicel operates. Digicel terms & conditions apply. DIGICELSTLUCIA.COM Rates apply to all Caribbean and Central America countries in which Digicel operates. Digicel terms & conditions apply. DIGICELSTLUCIA.COM Rates apply to all Caribbean and Central America countries in which Digicel operates. Digicel terms & conditions apply.

BusinessFocus Nov /Nov Dec/ Dec | 17 | BusinessFocus



Digicel Business Launches New

Cloud Solutions Portfolio

Digicel Business recently launched its new Cloud Solutions portfolio, featuring the latest suite of Cloud Solutions to drive business advantage. Working with Citrix, Cisco and Microsoft, Digicel Business now offers complete Cloud Solutions for its clients’ business needs. Located at Digicel’s Tier III accredited Datacentre in Jamaica, with dedicated sub platforms in Bermuda, Panama and T&T, Digicel’s Cloud platform is the most secure data-hosting platform in the Caribbean and Central America. It means specifically that customers can choose to retain their data locally or regionally. Within the Cloud Solutions portfolio, Digicel’s Desktop as a Service is a scalable service that allows clients to use a cloudhosted desktop environment to deliver business applications, including Microsoft Office, across multiple devices. Clients can control the security of their businesses’ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



information on employee mobile devices with Mobile Device Management. Digicel Mobile Device Management enables completely secure access to any business application, using any device. “Thanks to our partnership with major Cloud technology providers, such as Citrix, Cisco and Microsoft, Digicel Business can now offer the best range of solutions to suit our clients’ business needs”, said John Delves, Digicel T&T Chief Executive Officer. “With Cloud technologies, our local businesses would now be able to focus on what they do best rather than spending important capital and resources on purchasing and maintaining expensive, depreciating equipment.” He continued: “High quality Enterprise Private Cloud Solutions allow individuals and businesses to access computing applications, business processes and files wherever and whenever they are needed.

This would indeed enhance the user experience and deliver significant value to our business clients locally.” Delves further stated: “Business Solutions is a strategically important part of our business and we are investing as much in the people as well as technology to grow in line with market demand. To complement our rapidly expanding Business Solutions team, early in 2011 Digicel Group acquired Netxar, a leading business solutions company based out of Puerto Rico. The team has doubled in T&T since that time and we now have plans to grow this number by another 50 per cent before the end of this year.” After a rigorous process, Citrix has selected Digicel as a strategic go to market partner for Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Speaking for Citrix, Mick Miralis said, “The Desktop as a Service (DaaS) market is growing rapidly and our Citrix Service Provider (CSP) partners are delivering hundreds of thousands of Cloud-hosted desktops and applications to businesses that are looking to go mobile and enable bring your own (BYO) device programmes. Digicel is the first regional telecommunications company outside of the US to offer these services as part of the CSP programme. Digicel Desktop as a Service will bring significant value to customers across the Caribbean and Central America, allowing them to take full advantage of the flexibility of hosted desktops and applications with maximum uptime and productivity.” Digicel Desktop as a service is powered by Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenMobile which enable businesses to go mobile and develop “bring your own device” programmes without the need for large capital investments. By making highend technology affordable on a scalable basis, Digicel Desktop as a Service levels the playing field for small and medium sized businesses that would otherwise be unable to access these market leading technologies. As more businesses adopt DaaS solutions, the market is growing to accommodate the demand. IDC estimates an 84 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




St. Lucia and St. Vincent Working to Improve Local Internet

Bevil Wooding Facilitates the Caribbean Telecommunications Union CARCIP Workshop in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), together with US-based research firm Packet Clearing House (PCH), is working with officials in St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to improve the countries’ Internet infrastructure. The CTU hosted back to back two-day workshops with stakeholders in each country to discuss implementation of local Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). The workshops included Internet service providers, local content providers, academics, business leaders and government officials, and focused on the role, value and requirements of a local IXP. Secretary General of the CTU, Bernadette Lewis, said the workshops were part of the CTU’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of establishing an IXP for the local Internet system. She said proliferation of IXPs in the Caribbean could help improve the delivery of local Internet services such as video conferencing, voice of IP, data backup and even online gaming. Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist with PCH, speaking at the workshop, said addressing the infrastructure challenge and improving the efficiency of local data traffic exchange was a critical step in improving the quality and lowering the cost of providing local Internet services. “Packet Clearing House has been working closely with ISPs and governments in the region to support the implementation of Internet Exchange Points regionally,” said Wooding. He added the Internet Exchange Project is in the interest of all Internet users in the region as “it not only strengthens the resilience of local Internet infrastructure, it also opens a host of new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and innovators to build products and services that meet local needs and create new global possibilities.” The initiative is part of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), a World Bank funded initiative designed to strengthen regional telecommunications infrastructure and improve the quality and resilience of services to consumers and businesses. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec

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Apple Unveils New Macs & iPad Ahead of Holidays

Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the “iPad Air” along with a slew of new Macs ahead of the holiday shopping season as it faces growing competition from rival gadget makers. The Cupertino, California-based company made the announcements in October at an event in San Francisco. The iPad Air weighs just one pound (0.45 kilogrammes), compared with 1.4 pounds (0.64 kilogrammes) for the previous version. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the tablet a “screaming fast iPad.” He said it is eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010. The iPad Air will go on sale November 1 and start at US$499 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory, while the iPad 2 will continue selling at US$399. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at US$399 for a 16-gigabyte model. The iPad’s market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google Inc’s Android operating system. Research firm Gartner Inc estimates that Android tablets will end 2013 with a 50 per cent share of the worldwide market versus 49 per cent for the iPad. Just two years ago, the iPad commanded a 65 per cent market share compared to 30 per cent for Android tablets. Apple sold 14.6 million iPads in the June quarter, down 14 per cent from the same time last year. It was the first year-over-year decline in iPad sales. Nonetheless, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted that Apple has sold 170 million iPads since the tablets launched three years ago. Apple also refreshed its computer lineup. A new, 13-inch (33-centimetre) MacBook Pro with Retina display is thinner and lighter, Schiller said, adding that the laptop has up to nine hours of battery life, enough to “watch the entire trilogy of The Black Knight on one charge.” The notebook’s new price is lower: $1,299, compared with $1,499 for the previous version. A larger MacBook Pro, with a 15-inch (38-centimetre) monitor and 256 gigabytes of storage starts at US$1,999, compared with US$2,199 for the previous version. The Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer aimed at what Apple calls “power users,” will be available in December for US$2,999. The company also said that its latest computer operating system, Mavericks, is available free of charge. Apple also says nearly two-thirds of its mobile devices are running iOS7, the revised operating system it released in September. ¤

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EU to Invest One Billion Euros in Grant Aid for the Caribbean

President Donald Ramotar and Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs in talks at the end of the 11th European Development Fund Programme Seminar

UNDER the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), the European Union will invest one billion euros in grants for the Caribbean region. This was disclosed by European Commissioner for Development within the European Union (EU), Mr Andris Piebalgs, during the plenary session of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programming Seminar for the Caribbean Region, which was recently held at the Guyana International Convention Centre. He said, “This considerable amount demonstrates our renewed commitment to the Caribbean – a commitment reflected in a larger envelope for regional programmes and new implementation options for regional cooperation. Furthermore, we will scale up cooperation efforts with Haiti, which is continuing its struggle towards reconstruction and against poverty.” The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programming Seminar for the Caribbean Region discussed the support which the EU will provide to CARIFORUM BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



for Caribbean Regional programmes. Bilateral discussions are also being held on national programmes with individual CARIFORUM states. The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) runs from 2014 to 2020. President Donald Ramotar; Secretary General of CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Mr. Irwin LaRoque; and Mr. Oliver Joseph, Chairman of the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers, made opening remarks at the plenary session prior to the announcement by Commissioner Piebalgs. Participants at the ongoing seminar include the National Authorising Officers (NAOs) from the 15 member states of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM); namely, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In opening remarks, President Donald Ramotar welcomed the new European Union (EU) approach of multi-country programming at the regional level for use of funds from the 11th EDF as further proof of the member states’ commitment to facilitate poverty alleviation and accelerated economic growth in Guyana and the Caribbean. He said the CARICOM/ CARIFORUM/EU relationship was growing from strength to strength, and the regional programme would enable Guyana and the Caribbean countries to move forward in developing the agriculture and natural resources sector in a very beneficial way.

He also observed that the EU is Guyana’s largest grant resource donor. “We have been the beneficiaries of substantial funding under the LOME Convention and now under the Cotonou Agreement, which has assisted us in our development even during the global financial crisis. Guyana appreciates what the EU has done through the EDF at the bilateral level in support of sea defences and other aspects of the protection of our coastland; (and) in bilaterals related to energy efficiency, forestry, the support of the sugar industry, and the development of our Amerindian communities.” He said that Guyana looks forward to continue receiving EU support for accelerated economic growth, which is very vital to making the country immune from exogenous shocks, which are most times outside of its control but which have a big impact on the lives of its people. He also urged the meeting to review the functioning of the Economic Partnership Agreements, to determine whether these have achieved their objectives or if they can be adjusted so that they better achieve their purpose. In his address, Commissioner Piebalgs said that although much has been achieved by the Caribbean countries, they still needed to overcome remaining development obstacles. He said major challenges are linked to the Region’s inherent vulnerability to exogenous shocks, such as the global financial crisis, which affected the key sectors of tourism and remittances, with serious implications on the level of indebtedness,

the unemployment rate, and the security situation. Security, he said, is a particular concern, because it is a prerequisite for social and economic progress. In addition, climate change and its related impacts – such as rising sea levels and more frequent natural disasters –continue to cast a long shadow over global development efforts, and pose a major obstacle to sustainable development here in the Caribbean. Commissioner Piebalgs stressed: “It is with these persistent development obstacles in mind that we have to look for even more effective ways to cooperate. Our common objective of the EU is to provide better opportunities to millions of people here in the Caribbean Region. You have your own ideas about where you want to go; we will accompany you on that journey.”

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• For All Your Formal & Casual Dresses • Business Attire • Bags & Accessories • Drapes & Curtains • Gift Certificates Available We accept All Major Credit Cards President Donald Ramotar and CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque with European Union officials at the 11th EDF Programme Seminar

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for European Union (EU) aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP Group) countries, and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). The programme included a workshop on regional implementation modalities for focal sectors, such as security, trade, environment, and energy; as well as bilateral discussions with Guyana on its Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period of the 11th EDF. The NIP maps out the sectors and areas that will receive EC aid, explains how the aid will fulfill its objectives, gives a timetable for its implementation, and specifies on how nonstate actors would be involved in the cooperation. Ambasasador La Rocque disclosed that presentations on the regional programming will provide perspectives on planning, implementation and management of the regional programmes. The Regional Indicative Programmes (or RIP) provide a framework that is similar to the NIP to guide the use of resources allocated to each of the six ACP regions, namely the Caribbean, Pacific, South Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa. Ambassador La Roque disclosed that these presentations on the Caribbean regional programme would have benefited from intensive internal discussions within the institutions of the EU. Similarly, the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers has also had discussions on the overall approach to, and priorities for, the 11th EDF regional programmes. These discussions, he reported, resulted in the endorsement of a concept paper based primarily on the joint EU/CARIFORUM strategy already agreed to by CARIFORUM and the EU, which should help pave the way for what finally emerges as the agreed approach to planning, implementation and management of the Regional Indicative Programmes for the 11th EDF. ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Chief Justice says: Time for Eastern Caribbean Court to Find Independent Funding

Chief Justice Janice Pereira

Chief justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Janice Pereira believes the time is now right for the region’s court to find other sources of revenue, rather than relying on the executive (Governments) for financial support. The Chief Justice was speaking at a special sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to commemorate the opening of the new law year at the High Court in the British Virgin Islands. “The dependence of our court offices on the executive to provide needed resources and budget approvals, sometimes hamper the everyday functioning and efficiency thus demanding a greater level of creativity and initiative on the part of those that manage our court offices,” Perriera said. “We have seen an international trend of courts moving to greater financial independence in an effort to promote and preserve judicial independence. The question must be asked how can the judiciary, as an institution be truly independent if it does not have some kind, some level of true financial independence.” Speaking on the theme “The Role of the Court in the Region’s Socio-Economic Development,” Pereira said the judicial system is unfortunately not viewed as an important part in the economic and social development of countries. “Many persons view value only in monetary terms and measure it primarily in terms of tangible areas such as industry and commerce and the benefits to be derived from them. As a result, the focus is placed on developing these areas with the expectation that the returns which are yielded will be sufficient to enhance the country’s socio-economic growth." BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Members of the legal fraternity marching along Cayon Street in Basseterre during the opening of the new law year on Tuesday, September 17. (Photo: A. Huie) "Unfortunately, the judicial system is not viewed by most as being integral to the country’s socio-economic development and thus the vital contribution that the courts make to the economy of the state may be underestimated,” the chief justice said. “The reality is that economic and social development depends on an effective legal system which is just as pivotal to a country’s growth and development as any financial institution.” The Chief Justice’s presentation was simulcast in all the courts of the Eastern Caribbean via video conferencing. ¤

Yellen to Be Named Chairman, Federal Reserve and Its First Female Chief President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, which would put the world’s most powerful Central Bank in the hands of a key architect of its unprecedented stimulus programme and the first female leader in its 100-year history. Janet Yellen, 67, would succeed Ben S. Bernanke, whose term expires on Jan. 31, 2014. Janet Yellen, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was the favourite in surveys of economists and had the backing of 20 members of the Senate Democratic caucus who signed a July 26 letter to President Barack Obama. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, the designated successor to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, would become the first female leader in the central bank's 100-year history. She supported the Fed’s unprecedented bond buying programmes and was a

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driving force behind a strategy adopted in 2012 to commit the central bank to goals on inflation and unemployment. Obama turned to Yellen, Vice Chairman of the Fed since 2010, after the other leading candidate, former Treasury secretary and White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, withdrew from consideration amid mounting opposition from Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee. “She’s an excellent choice, and I believe she’ll be confirmed by a wide margin,” Charles Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat, said in a statement. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, pledged to work “to move her nomination forward in a timely manner,” saying her depth of experience is unmatched. ¤

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EU &


11.7 Million Euro Agreement to

Strengthen Caribbean Food Standards

IICA Director-General Victor Villalobos (L) and EU Ambassador Robert Kopecky signing the agreement. The European Union (EU) and the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have signed an agreement which will see the regional bloc providing some 11.7 million euros to boost Caribbean food access to the EU markets. The agreement was signed recently during BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



the 2013 Caribbean Week of Agriculture activities in Georgetown, Guyana. Head of the EU Delegation based in Guyana Ambassador Robert Kopecky noted that they had signed another agreement with IICA earlier in the year but said this agreement had a special importance for the region. “This one is very important because I personally translate it into particular language like opening the doors to markets like Europe, still the biggest one in the world. New ones, emerging ones, basically all require certain phyto-sanitary and sanitary standards. Nobody doubts the quality and the organic nature of the products of the Caribbean but some bureaucratic procedures from the point of view of consumer protection simply aren’t there,” Kopecky stated. He said the objective of the agreement was to ensure the relevant organisations got the practical know how and expertise to ensure the desired standards were reached and maintained. “There will be training seminars, capacity building

throughout the member states of CARICOM to get this capacity to be able to comply with European markets.” The EU and IICA in March 2013 signed an 8.6 million euro agreement to strengthen incentives, policies and programmes for small farmers, and to improve food security at the regional, national, and local levels by increasing the production and productivity of selected agricultural products. Another aim was to enhance the capacity of regional agricultural institutions. According to the EU envoy, he would be happy if the project could start bearing fruit within the next six months or so. IICA Director General Victor Villalobos said the implementation of the two projects would improve sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues in the Caribbean and that they would be working with CARICOM and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute. The grants were provided under the 10th European Development Fund, a cycle of developmental aid for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




World Bank says Remittances to Developing Countries Set to Exceed US $410 Billion in 2013

The World Bank said remittance volumes to developing countries, as a whole, are projected to “continue growing strongly over the medium term,” averaging an annual growth rate of 9 percent. The World Bank says remittances to the developing world, including St. Lucia and the Caribbean, are expected to grow by 6.3 percent this year to US$414 billion. In its revised estimates and forecasts, the World Bank also projected that remittances to the developing world will cross the half-trillion mark by 2016. The bank said remittance volumes to developing countries, as a whole, are projected to “continue growing strongly over the medium term,” averaging an annual growth rate of 9 percent to reach US$540 billion in 2016. Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated to reach US$550 billion this year and a record US$707 billion by 2016, according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief. The estimates reflect recent changes to The World Bank Group’s country classifications. In addition, the World Bank said the data on remittances also reflects the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) changes to the definition of remittances that now exclude some capital transfers, affecting numbers for a few large developing countries. “These latest estimates show the power of remittances,” said Kaushik Basu, senior BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. “Remittances act as a major counter-balance when capital flows weaken as happened in the wake of the US Fed announcing its intention to reign in its liquidity injection programme. Also, when a nation's currency weakens, inward remittances rise and, as such, they act as an automatic stabiliser,” Basu continued. Dilip Ratha, manager of the Migration and Remittances Team at the World Bank’s Development Prospects Group, said remittances are the “most tangible and least controversial link between migration and development. Ratha said the high cost of sending money through official channels “continues to be an obstacle to the utilisation of remittances for development purposes, as people seek out informal channels as their preferred means for sending money home.” He said the global average cost for sending remittances is 9 percent, broadly unchanged from 2012. According to the World Bank brief, while remittance costs seem to have stabilised, banks in many countries have begun imposing additional “lifting” fees on incoming remittances. ¤

Saint Lucia Government Launches National Competitiveness and Productivity Council Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has described the launch of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council as “most timely, given the global environment of slow growth, dampened private sector appetite for investment and high debt and limited fiscal space of Government”. Speaking at the official launch and inaugural meeting of the Council, Dr Anthony said that the creation of this Council brings to the fore the uncomfortable truth that increase in wages in Saint Lucia has not resulted in a commensurate increase in productivity. The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council will be responsible for raising the awareness and understanding of the importance of competitiveness and productivity to Saint Lucia’s economic wellbeing, as well as provide advice to the Government on actions to promote productivity growth and competitiveness in Saint Lucia.

Rayneau Gajadhar

The Council is chaired by Rayneau Gajadhar, Chairman of the CIE Group and will includes representatives from the private sector, public sector, trade unions and civil society. ¤

Tips to Overcome Financial Despair

An extended period of economic turbulence has shattered the American dream for millions of Americans said economist Zhivargo Laing. "The Power to Be Better in Good Times and Bad" is a principle message conveyed by economist Zhivargo Laing who urges people lashed by the recession to "not feel bad because these have been momentous times with shifting fortunes leaving legions in states of anxiety, hopelessness and despair." An extended period of economic turbulence has shattered the American dream for millions of Americans and with it, he reminds us, "the fortunes of many outside the United Sates whose wellbeing is tied to the advancement of that dream." The former finance minister of the Bahamas, who plans to embark on a speaking tour on the theme "Released!" this Fall, noted: "Unemployed millions, underemployed millions and fully employed but over-leveraged millions now share a common fate – the democratisation of pessimism." Those at the margins in fragile communities, especially those heavily populated by minorities, asserted Laing, "face the additional burdens of the dissolution of social support systems and widespread despair." With material security in doubt and economic prospects obscure, he added, "the times have raised the central question of human existence: Why are you here and what are you about?" The times call for an awakening, he said, "to an untapped, limitless power within, one which when discovered provides the means to be and do better in good times and bad." This power within, the author declared, "first works its miracle on the person, providing inner peace, clarity of perspective and renewed personal purpose. The power then works itself outward, providing the means to produce, provide and prosper." Laing describes it as a liberating power which "frees from the shackles of regret, the chains of pessimism and the burdens of discontentment. It releases us to be free to be now, to do now and to excel now." It is at this stage where Laing stated: "Physically, emotionally, socially, financially and spiritually... the released soul is centered, at peace and joy, and an excellent candidate for family and community building and development. Released is a pocket of wisdom that gives life and riches in full measure, whatever the times." ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Acquires 100% of T&T Based IBL Bank

Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited (JMMB) now has 100 per cent shareholding in T&T’s Intercommercial Bank Ltd (IBL). This follows the company’s recent acquisition of the remaining 50 per cent shareholding held by the Mittal family of India. The transaction was confirmed in a brief statement which also said that the shareholding disposed of was owned by private companies connected to the family of LN Mittal. The JMMB Group had previously acquired a 50 per cent shareholding in IBL from the Mittal family companies in December 2004. In September, the company announced plans to acquire IBL and Intercommercial Trust and Merchant Bank after getting approval from T&T’s Central Bank. With this purchase JMMB now owns its first commercial bank, adding to their existing fleet of operations in Jamaica, T&T and the Dominican Republic. The result is a much larger Caribbean financial institution providing integrated service to people in the region At the official opening of IBL’s Tunapuna branch earlier this year, JMMB’s Executive Director Donna Duncan-Scott, said the BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



group’s involvement in T&T is a key part of their “expanding regional footprint”.

IBL Bank's Managing Director Krishna Boodhai, left, and JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan at the JMMB Group’s AGM in Jamaica in September JMMB Group CEO, Keith Duncan spoke about the planned bank acquisition at the group’s recent annual general meeting in Jamaica. “As an indigenous Caribbean financial services company, we are excited

about this opportunity to further build out banking services in the T&T market,” he said. “JMMB and IBL share a commitment to genuine client care, flexibility and responsiveness, and together we will build on that, to the benefit of our clients. The strength and commitment of the IBL team, coupled with JMMB Group's regional reach, expertise and focus on valuing each client, make a formidable partnership,” he added. IBL Managing Director and CEO, Krishna Boodhai, who attended the AGM, had said at that time that the transaction would further position the bank as a strong financial entity within T&T. “I am confident of the possibilities and benefits that this will offer to all of our clients, as both JMMB and IBL are committed to providing customised solutions to meet the financial goals of our clients, at every stage of their life or business phase,” Boodhai said. JMMB’s lines of business span securities dealing, stock brokering, foreign exchange trading, insurance brokering, banking and remittances. It is listed on the T&T, Barbados and Jamaica Stock Exchanges. ¤

Chairman Offers Ringing Endorsement as ECCB Celebrates 30 Years of Monetary and Financial Stability in the ECCU. As the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) marked its 30th anniversary on 1 October, Governor Sir K. Dwight Venner said “maintaining the stability of the EC Dollar and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Financial System” had been the bank’s major achievement over the years of its existence. The EC Dollar has been pegged to the US dollar at a rate of EC$2.70 to US$1 since 1976 and as the global crisis continues to affect the economic performance of the ECCU member-countries, the ECCB – in collaboration with its member governments and with the support of regional and international agencies – has been implementing measures to strengthen the ECCU financial system. Governor Venner said the support of the people of the ECCU for the ECCB and the new Economic Union Treaty will be very important as the Bank continues to fulfill its mandate. He emphasised that the Bank would need to expand its communication with the public and its relationship with its stakeholders particularly within the context of the OECS economic union. The ECCB was established on 1 October 1983 as the monetary authority for eight countries – Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Meanwhile, the new Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Monitory Council and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, has expressed confidence in the management of the region's fiscal space and its banking system, but he says there are some major adjustments which are necessary. Despite the lingering effects of sluggish growth in the global economy, the ECCB continues to perform credibly by maintaining adequate foreign reserves and a stable EC dollar, pegged at an exchange rate of US$1 to EC$2.70. In his inaugural speech as Chairman on September 4, the Saint Lucia leader told his regional counterparts that the Central Bank will continue to address the main policy issues which confront member countries namely; financial stability, fiscal and debt sustainability and growth and competitiveness. He said, “The bank will continue to take a proactive approach to addressing vulnerability in the financial system and will accelerate the implementation of the strategy for strengthening the resilience of the financial sector, where instability and danger lurks especially in the face of unwise and imprudent corporate behavior. “We will not hesitate to act to protect investors and the stability of our shared financial space.”

Cognizant of an extreme high level of non-performing loans in various ECCB member territories, Prime Minister Anthony says the case for integrating the region's indigenous banking sector is now more compelling. He says while it has been a difficult period for banks and their customers, the problems may be resolved through a review and upgrade of the archaic and obsolete banking legislation which the region inherited from Quebec, Canada. The Chairman told his colleagues, “I welcome the decision of the Monetary Council to unify the legislation governing the realisation of mortgage collateral across member states through consultation, among member-countries. “While this is a necessary and sound initiative it is essential that such legislation provide adequate protection to borrowers. It cannot be right for example that a borrower who has paid fifteen or more years of a twenty year mortgage is dispossessed of a home because of sudden financial difficulties not of his or her making.” Dr. Anthony also pledged to work with all interests to advance and execute the mandate of the Monetary Council efficiently. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Bringing You One Step Closer to Your Piece of Paradise Thinking of purchasing your own property? BOSL can Help! Land is a valuable resource and arguably the most solid investment one can make. It does not spoil, it does not diminish, but rather, it appreciates in value with the passage of time. Bank of Saint Lucia makes it possible for you to own your piece of ‘Fair Helen’ by offering favorable rates on land loans and providing savings options to assist customers with deposits specifically geared at land and home ownership. For customers looking to purchase land, build their own home or both a Home Start account provides favorable interest rates on savings and allows you to qualify for reduced interest rates on your land loan. A Home Start Account is a customized savings account, which allows you to save over a period of time towards your home. Customers have a choice of two maturity plans: Plan A: Minimum one (1) year with no tax credit benefit and Plan B: Minimum five (5) years with tax credit of up to $6,000 per annum. Opening a Home Start Account is easy. The minimum opening balance and minimum monthly deposit required is $100. Anyone 18-50 years of age is eligible. Applicants must present valid identification and proof of address. Home Start is the key to unlock your dreams of home ownership. Land purchase can become quite complicated and lengthy if you are not aware of the many banking and legal requirements. A Bank of Saint Lucia officer will guide you through the process of making land ownership a reality. To complete your transaction, you will need a vendors letter stating the intent to sell and the price of the land, a vendors deed BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



of sale, a recent copy of the land register, a copy of the survey plan, a valuation of the property from a Quantity Surveyor or a Surveyor on Bank of Saint Lucia’s approved list and 10% deposit on the value of the land. Other regular loan requirements such as a job letter and recent salary slip also apply. Owning a home is one of the most empowering feelings one can have. Not only is home ownership a sound investment, it helps you build equity which you can use for other important life goals such as higher education. You cannot build equity if you are renting. Imagine how much better-off you would be if the money you pay in rent went towards acquiring your own home. Home Equity is the difference between your original mortgage amount and your current mortgage balance. Bank of Saint Lucia offers Home Equity Loans to persons who have made long term investments in their property and would like to use the equity in their homes to pay for a current need. You can use the equity in your home to pay for Home Improvement, your Child’s Education, or Vacation. No cash injection is required to qualify for a Home Equity Loan from BOSL and you can borrow against 100% of your mortgage. Interest rates and loan terms are negotiable. If you already own a home and you need to borrow money, BOSL’s Home Equity Loan is the ideal option for you. Come in to any of our branches. Our officers will guide you through the process and tailor a package that meets your needs. ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




INVESTMENT CLUBS Enjoy the Strength in Numbers There has been growing interest in Investment Clubs in recent times as persons become intrigued by the idea of pooling funds and investing together. This is especially appealing to amateur investors who may be nervous about taking the leap into the stock market world. Investment Clubs can be used as an introduction to the investment fold as persons can learn valuable information about the process and make a better return on their funds. Thinking about an Investment Club? Here are some of the basic facts you should know:

What is an Investment Club? An investment club is formed when a group of persons, usually friends, coworkers, neighbors, family, etc. pool their money in order to invest jointly in a club portfolio. The primary objective of such a club is to make a profit for club members. These parties would meet on a regular basis in order to improve their knowledge on investments and investing, and determine their investment moves.

Benefits of an Investment Club Essentially, an investment club enables investments by persons who, individually, would not be able to afford to take advantage of a number of investment opportunities. Each member makes a small monthly contribution which is determined by each club. This small contribution, multiplied by a number of members, can result in the investment club building up a sizeable portfolio. This portfolio also provides diversification benefits due to the investment of contributions in a variety of instruments. Also, trading fees and commissions would be reduced as they are shared among members. Another essential function of an investment club is the education of its members. Some view this aspect as being the more important one given that the investment in knowledge contributes greatly to the development of members. Improvement in the financial literacy of members also enables these members to make more educated investment decisions, which would result in better performance of the club's portfolio.

Rules and Regulations An investment club is usually organized as a partnership. A partnership agreement would be drawn up, as well as by-laws dictating the operations of the club. The club would also have its own bank and brokerage accounts. At the club's regular meetings, decisions are taken to buy or sell investments based on majority votes. The value of each member's share in the portfolio is proportionate to the member's contribution to the total holdings. There are several software programs which enable tracking of individual member holdings. The Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC) is charged with the governance and regulation of the securities market in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Generally, an investment club would not have to register with the ECSRC. However, if the club has passive members, that is, members who do not partake in the investment decision-making process, it may be considered an issuer of securities. In such a case, it may warrant referring to the ECSRC for guidance. Also, if one member is charged with making the investment decision/selection for the club, that member may have to be registered as an investment advisor. In conclusion, the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC), the organization supporting the formation and operations of investment clubs in the United States, reports that 42.9% of U.S. investment clubs outperform the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Nov Nov / / Dec Dec


34 34

Easy Steps for Starting an Investment Club Make a List of Invitees. Grab your pen and paper and jot down a list of people that you believe would be an asset to the investment club.

Pick a Club Name. You want to pick a name that incorporates the focus of your group.

Draft a Partnership Agreement. This agreement is the formal creation of the business partnership. It should contain the partnership formation date, the partnership’s, fiscal year, profit and loss sharing structure, and rules concerning the termination of the partnership. The partnership agreement should be signed and dated by all of the investment club partners.

Craft Your Bylaws. The bylaws will determine how business is transacted and have to be agreed to by every member.

Select Your Officers. Every investment group should have a President, Treasurer, and a Secretary.

Open An Account. Now you are ready to open a bank account. Two or three members should visit the local financial institution to open a business account for the investment group.

Open a Brokerage Account. The group members can now select a brokerage firm for the group’s investment account. You will need a copy of the partnership agreement, tax ID number, and a form authorizing one of the group’s members to conduct business on the partnership’s behalf.

Conduct Regular Meetings. The group should hold regular meetings. This can be monthly or quarterly. There should also be an annual meeting in which end of year statements are issued and new officers are selected. ¤ Source:



Personal Leadership Development by Lyndell Halliday

While there is little doubt that many persons are born with traits that predispose them to become leaders, the weight of the growing body of evidence is that leadership skills can be taught and developed. However, leadership development literature is of variable quality – celebrity biographies and periodical articles laden with unhelpful adages are often not based on empirical research. Readers should be cautious about these publications and instead seek out evidence based books and articles. This issue of Business Focus Must Reads recommends two such well researched, brilliant and deeply insightful books - How to be Exceptional: Drive your Leadership Success by Magnifying your Strengths by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman, Robert H. Sherwin and Barbara Steel (MxGraw-Hill, 2012) and True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George and Peter Sims (Jossey-Bass, 2007)

How to be Exceptional: Drive your Leadership Success by Magnifying your Strengths by John Zenger, Joseph Folkman, Rober H. Sherwin and Barbara Steel Conventional wisdom in leadership development is that leaders should focus primarily on identifying and improving their weaknesses. How to be Exceptional turns this conventional advice on its head.

Instead, the author offers up compelling evidence that strongly suggests that those interested in becoming exceptional leaders would be better served by focusing on their strengths. The book’s leader authors – Dr. John Zenger and Dr. Joseph Folkman – are the founders of a leading US based consulting firm that specializes in corporate leadership training programs. This book builds on Zenger and Folkman’s previously published book entitled. “The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders”. However, one does not need to have read the earlier book in order to benefit from the current one. The central premise of How to be Exceptional is that there are 16 differentiating competencies that define exceptional leaders. In order to be considered exceptional, a leader needs to possess and consistently display five or more of these competencies. The authors argue that fixing weaknesses cannot make a leader exceptional. The leaders who truly stand out do so because of a small number of exceptional strengths and not due to an absence of weaknesses. Top tier leaders are all flawed, but they are effective because of the few things that they do very well. How to be Exceptional provides advice on how to decide which strengths an individual should develop and how to go about developing those strengths. Importantly, the authors’ heretical ideas are supported by solid research. This is a revolutionary and ground breaking book that will force you to think differently about your personal leadership development plans as well as those of your organization. It is required reading for anyone interested in their own or others’ development. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George and Peter Sims Bill George, a former CEO of a Fortune 500 medical devices company and a

Harvard Business School professor partners with entrepreneur, Peter Sims in writing this stimulating book. They previously cowrote another book with a similar theme entitled “Authentic Leadership”. The authors interviewed 125 top tier leaders in a wide range of fields in formulating their central tenet that “authentic leadership” is the key to leadership success. They define “authentic leaders” as “genuine people who are true to themselves and to what they believe in”. Their focus is on serving others rather than self. George and Sims argue that there is no one right way to lead – authentic leaders chart their own path. The key component of authentic leadership is self-awareness - discovering and pursuing your own “True North”, or internal compass. According to the authors “the hardest person you will ever have to lead is yourself”. Learning self is therefore the starting point of any personal leadership development. The authors challenge readers to take responsibility for their own leadership development and to look within themselves and examine their own core values, principles and motivation. George and Sims detail the five dimensions of an authentic leader as follows: 1. Pursuing purpose with passion. 2. Practicing solid values. 3. Leading with heart. 4. Establishing connected relationships. 5. Demonstrating self-discipline. Through a series of examples and exercises, the authors guide the readers in understanding where they stand with respect to each of their dimensions and formulating an appropriate self-development plan. Finding your own “true north” will not only aid your leadership development, but it will help you to stay focussed and on track. True North is a thought provoking book that inspires, challenges and teaches. Leaders in search of a guide for their own personal self-development will find in this book an instructive and engaging guide. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




CDB President Says Caribbean Needs Eight-Pillar Approach for Sustainable Economic Growth

The CDB President listed among other things, prudent public investment and debt management strategies, macroeconomic stability and the removal of barriers to trade, as some of the pillars on which the region’s economy has to be built.

CDB President Warren Smith President of the Caribbean Development Bank Warren Smith says there needs to be an eight-pillar approach to sustainable growth in the region. Smith was speaking at the opening of a 2-day financial forum in the Bahamas in early October, which brought together finance ministers from across the Caribbean, as well as representatives from International Funding Institutions (IFIs), to discuss ways of addressing challenges to growth while achieving fiscal and debt sustainability objectives. The CDB President listed, among other things, prudent public investment and debt management strategies, macroeconomic stability and the removal of barriers to trade, as some of the pillars on which the region’s economy has to be built. He said, “The Caribbean must confront its vulnerability in all its forms. A solid macroeconomic position with adequate fiscal reserves and low debt can be a strong bulwark against the vulnerability to external economic shocks.” Smith also called on Caribbean governments “to strive for better accountability, to build trust and BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



commitment to their policies and strategies. Governments must develop the institutional and policy infrastructure necessary to support good governance practices; and the general public and the private sector need to be adequately equipped to hold their governments accountable.” Alejandro Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which co-hosted the event with the government of the Bahamas, said: “This is the time to ensure that we listen to real-time feedback from the region on our proposal so next time we would be stronger and more sustainable; so we can build a framework together to push the region forward, to increase growth and to make this growth sustainable in the next few decades.” Delivering the keynote address at the opening, Prime Minister of the Bahamas Perry Christie called on the international funding agencies to try to better understand the peculiarities of the island nations of the Caribbean in order to better tailor projects and programmes to suit their needs. “The role that the IFIs play in our efforts to enhance public-private partnership frameworks, will be critical…As long as the

multilateral agencies have documented in their research that we are extremely vulnerable to the point that our currencies will in many cases only mitigate as opposed to eliminate some of our economic exposures.” Hasan Tuluy, regional Vice president of the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean said he hoped the conference would devise a prioritised agenda for growth and prosperity in the region’s economy. He said, “I’m hopeful that the outcome of the deliberations and discussions during this forum would result in a prioritised agenda of actions; an agenda that we can all forcefully rally around and which would advance the goals of shared growth and shared prosperity in the region.” Issues discussed at the conference included the Regional Growth Forum and the implications for the structural reform needs of the region and strategies for restoring sustainability while minimising the impact on growth and protecting vulnerable groups. The conference was held under the theme: “Building growth into Caribbean Sustainability Agenda – A concerted approach.” ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




IMF Head Warns US Debt Crisis Threatens World Economy Christine Lagarde Warns Failure to Raise the US's Borrowing Limit Threatens the Global Economy IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says failure to raise the debt ceiling is a far worse threat to global economy than the recent government shutdown. The shutdown followed a budget standoff between President Obama and Congress. But a worse problem looms: The US is up to its borrowing limit and will run out of money without agreement to lift it. Ms Lagarde's comments were echoed by the US Treasury, which says a debt default could lead to a financial crisis as bad as 2008 or worse. In a speech looking ahead to a decade of challenges for the world economy, Ms Lagarde said that the US government needed to fix its finances for the long term. She said it was "mission critical" that the US agrees a new debt ceiling. But as she has often said before, there should not be too much change in the short term because that could undermine the economic recovery. US President Obama and Congressional leaders have been in political deadlock for days, which has had the effect of freezing non-essential US government functions. The US government closed non-essential operations after Congress failed to strike a deal on a new budget. The shutdown has left more than 700,000 employees on unpaid leave and closed national parks, tourist sites, government websites, office buildings, and more. However, as one budget crisis raged in Washington DC, another one – potentially more dangerous – looms in the coming weeks. On 17 October, the US government was expected to run out of cash to pay its bills unless the debt ceiling is raised. On the prospects for the world economy in general terms Ms Lagarde was cautiously positive. She added that although the global economic outlook remained subdued, there were signs that growth was looking up and financial stability returning. She said not only was the US picking up steam, but the eurozone was too, with a growth forecast of 1% next year. Even Japan, she said, was beginning to improve, albeit all three areas needed to make policy changes. The IMF's latest economic forecasts will be released in a few days and will give a more detailed view of global economic health and prospects. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Willing to Assist

Caribbean With Oil and Gas Exploration Russia’s ambassador to Guyana, Nikolay Smirnov, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that relations with the Caribbean remain strong spanning economic, tourism, communication, sports and politics.

Russia says it is willing to help the Caribbean explore for oil and gas as well as deal with the impact of the global economy. Russia’s ambassador to Guyana, Nikolay Smirnov, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that relations with the Caribbean remain strong spanning economic, tourism, communication, sports and politics. But the diplomat said that while Russia may not be able to engage in direct investment in the search for oil and gas, it was nonetheless in a position to assist in “specific projects like the seismological study of the Caribbean Sea.” He said the study “can be used for oil and gas research, to seismic study, fisheries and especially climate change. All those things will be available to Caribbean countries free of charge because it will be done by Russian scientists with participation with local scientists if they will like and that data will be available without any pre conditions without any restrictions.” Ambassador Smirnov told CMC that trade with the Caribbean remains at a low level. “It is not as large as we will like to have due to the distance, maybe because of the competition from other countries in Latin America but we hope it will we hope trade ties will be growing, tourism will increase because right now it’s on the rise to the Caribbean. “For example, last year from the Dominican Republic we had about 60, 000 tourist from Russia. Second to our destination is Cuba because with Cuba we have traditional ties and of course Jamaica is also on the rise, (regarding) Barbados, we also have a number of growing Russian tourist.” The diplomat said that, like the Caribbean, Russia has to deal with issues of climate change, global warming and the economic crisis. He said a solution to the financial crisis should not be left only to the developed countries. He said while he is not a palm reader, an economist or in possession of a crystal ball, Caribbean countries should look to deal with unemployment, particularly among the youth, fight against corruption, and manage government expenditure in a bid to stimulate their economies. “…those things should be addressed and international institutions like IMF, World Bank, regional banks, (like) the Inter American Development Bank...they also should be providing some specific assistance towards needs; not for overall programmes but to improve fields in the economy like tourism.” The Russian diplomat said that his country would continue to use its influence in fora like the G20 and G8 “because as you know, traditional times we have quite friendly relations with a number of Caribbean countries like Cuba, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Guyana and we hope to continue.” ¤

Caribbean Looks to Colombia as Strategic Investment Partner

Carlos González, director of Proexport Colombia in the Caribbean market

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Proexport, the Colombian government agency in charge of foreign investment, trade and tourism, has revealed that Caribbean markets are seeking investment opportunities in Colombia. These markets have a particular interest in software, IT and BPO services, as well as insurance and financial services, hotel infrastructure and construction materials. The contributing factors that make Colombia a strategic partner for investors include the country’s economic stability, free trade zone benefits, and grades of investment awarded by international risk-ratings firms. Due to limitations in the economy and population of the Caribbean, companies are seeking to expand their businesses outside of the region. Local companies in Puerto Rico, Curacao and the Dominican Republic, for example, are looking into emerging markets in Latin America; and because Colombia offers great protection for investors and a platform to reach other markets in South America, it is an ideal strategic partner for investors. "By setting up an operation in Colombia, you gain access to other markets that have FTAs with Colombia," said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia. A number of foreign BPO, software and IT service companies from around the world have been investing in Colombia in recent years. The Caribbean has been on the same bandwagon, deciding to organise several of their international projects in Colombia. In addition, companies from Puerto Rico, Curacao, Aruba and The Bahamas have already established themselves in the country. Some of these companies include MC21, Triple S, Lanco and ESI from Puerto Rico, Grupo Ennia from Curacao, and Columbus Network from The Bahamas. These markets are also benefiting from Colombia’s desire to invest in the Caribbean. This region is becoming an attractive base for Colombian companies that seek investment opportunities and to establish themselves in the islands. It is a win-win situation for all economies seeking to expand. One of Proexport’s missions is to support the internationalisation of Colombian companies in the Caribbean. Those who seek investment opportunities in that region are accompanied by investment specialists who facilitate access and communication with Caribbean companies and governments. Colombian companies have been particularly interested in the chemical sector, food industry and call center services available in the Caribbean. ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Regional Agriculture Extension Network Launched at 2013 CWA

A regional network for agriculture extension services has been launched at the 2013 Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) with the aim of boosting agricultural productivity. The Caribbean Agricultural Extension Providers Network (CAEPNet) is a collaboration between the University of the West Indies and Extension Service Providers in CARICOM. “The network is a new association of extension leaders which intends to support the work of agriculture extension at a time when the Caribbean region’s food import bill is increasing at an alarming rate. The kind of rate we’re talking about is US$4.2B and we can’t really afford to be producing no food and importing so much food that we like to eat, and of course there are many things that we have to do,” said UWI’s Dr. David Dolly. At a meeting of regional heads of extension services in February 2013 a number of problems were identified within their areas. These included clear definitions of the roles of extension officers, improving staff morale, increased budget support, policies to better empower the services and greater farmer participation. Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy in his contribution said it was extension services that were responsible for the growth of Guyana’s rice industry which was initially intended to be a way to feed the sugarcane workers more than a century ago. Today, he added, Guyana consumes less than 10 percent of the rice it produces. BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



“Part of the success story is that from a dream in 1920 that we could reach 50,000 tonnes, in 2013 we will exceed 500,000 tonnes of rice. We can meet the rice demand of the whole CARICOM,” he declared. The minister said the success was as a result of improved technology and farming techniques in addition to the establishment of an extension service for rice and a research centre. “Research finds things that must reach the farmers and that’s the role of the extension workers. Better use of fertilisers and pesticides, the professionals can come up with the guidelines but it is the extension workers that must be with the farmers in their fields. There is a critical role that extension workers play and it is high time that we acknowledge the work that extension workers have done to improve agriculture. It is shocking that it has taken us so long to organise a network … but it is better to be late than never,” Dr. Ramsammy stated. The Minister committed to introducing the network to his colleagues when the CARICOM ministerial Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meets and that they would work to ensure it became an integral part of agricultural development in the region. ¤

OECS Heads to Elect New OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael to Demit Office Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer says he intends convening a special caucus of the leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to discuss the appointment of a successor to outgoing OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael. A government statement issued following recent talks between Prime Minister Spencer and Ishmael, noted that applications are being considered for the post as Ishmael would be “demitting office shortly.” “Mr. Spencer pointed out that he intended to convene a special caucus of his colleague Heads of Government in order to settle the question of who will be appointed to lead the organisation,” the statement said.

“I intend during my term as Chairman to ensure a smooth transition to a new Director-General and to reinvigorate this important organisation to take forward the challenge of implementing OECS Economic Union,” Prime Minister Spencer said. Ishmael, who has been at the post for a decade, in June described her tenure as “this journey of which I have been so proud to be a part of has been extraordinarily exhilarating and pioneering in both spirit and practice. I am more honoured than I can say to have been given the opportunity to serve our region and to lead the work of this organisation in arguably one of the most exciting periods of change in its history.” The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada,

St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. The statement said that the meeting also “looked at the scheduling and other arrangements relating to the inaugural meeting of the OECS Economic Affairs Council.” It said matters relating to further sittings of the OECS Assembly were also discussed and Prime Minister Spencer indicating that he would want the OECS Authority to mandate another session of the Assembly at its seat in Antigua in order to debate the Eight-Point Stabilisation and Growth Programme developed by the Monetary Council. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




to Become a Caribbean Economic Zone

Venezuela’s Minister of the People’s Power for Mining and Petroleum, Rafael Ramírez, Petrocaribe is to transcend to an Economic Zone to increase exchange and complement Venezuela’s economy. So says Venezuela’s Minister of the People’s Power for Mining and Petroleum, Rafael Ramírez, who participated in the XI Meeting of the Council of PetroCaribe Ministers following their meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Ramírez indicated that through this multilateral organisation, Venezuela supplies 43% of the energy requirements of the 18 countries that comprise Petrocaribe. He also said Venezuela had received more than 2,300 million US dollars as “compensation of the oil bill through fair trade.” Ramírez highlighted the development of the oil entity, given that “a geo-strategic space for cooperation and the defence of the interests of our sister nations has been set up.” He emphasised the formation of the Economic Zone, saying “It is not just about a trading zone, but rather the creation of an economic zone of complementarity and the mobilisation of our production apparatus”. At the Haiti meeting, homage was also paid to the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chávez, who was the main promoter of the organisation. Ramírez reiterated that the organisation “is the creation of Commander Hugo Chávez and it has been strengthened as a successful space of union and solidarity amongst the countries that comprise it”. Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Richard Casimir recalled President Hugo Chávez as being “the founding father of Petrocaribe, the genius who considered a new form of cooperation amongst the Peoples and States of the region”. The PetroCaribe Ministers also concretised development strategies of the Economic Zone, which include topics such as transport and communication, production chains, tourism, trade and integration and culture and society. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Film Competition Launched to Promote Caribbean Foods A region-wide youth competition has been launched to promote value-added foods with 10,000 euros in prizes up for grabs. The 2nd Caribbean Young Professionals Science and Agriculture Film and Video Competition was unveiled Thursday evening at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Georgetown, Guyana. The competition is open to teams of individuals – no more than four – between the ages of 18 and 35 and is being held under the theme “Adding Value to Local Foods.” According to Caribbean Council for Science and Technology’s (CCST) Lovaan Superville, one of the objectives was to “raise the excitement level of the general public about the production and consumption of local foods including healthy options.” Although the competition targets youths to enter the competition a secondary group is targeted through the outcomes which would be the videos or the animations which would be showcased at the end of the competition. A stated goal is the use of the competition as a mechanism to promote the importance of science, technology and innovation for improving agricultural performance and supporting economic development. Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Michael Hailu said he believed that the competition would not only help people understand the potential of agriculture but also encourage them to have their success

stories told. The CTA is one of the entities partnering with CCST to host the competition. The director also urged that there be participation from Guyana this time around since there was none in the inaugural competition. There are 16 participating countries including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname. However all submissions must be in English and no longer than five minutes. The competition will be run over 10 months with interested individuals having up to January 30, 2014 to enter their concept and those shortlisted have up to June 2014 to do the final submission. Interested individuals can visit the CCST website at for more details on the competition. ¤

CDB Regional Water Study Shows Challenges Expresses Concern on Long Term Sustainability Initial data from an assessment of the water supply and wastewater management in the region has revealed a number of problems facing Caribbean islands. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) commissioned study was carried out in 2012. President of the CDB, William Warren Smith, said that during the initial assessments, conducted by consultants, the role of regional institutions and funding agencies were evaluated. “The draft final report is currently undergoing internal review at our bank,” said Smith. He was speaking during the official opening of the 22nd annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition hosted recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados. Smith said the bank had pumped an estimated US$120 million in the islands for water related projects over the last four decades but there were still a number of technical issues. He was speaking on the topic “Water And Wastewater In The Caribbean: The Role Of The Caribbean Development Bank”. He said inefficient water supply networks and inadequate access in rural communities, as well as inadequate wastewater management systems coverage, weak data management capacity, high per capita usage and a shortage of capacity, especially in the areas of planning and risk management, were some of the challenges facing some territories. Sharing six of the key findings of the report, Smith said: “Rainfall data for the last four decades point to a decline in freshwater availability. We note this trend especially in the northern Caribbean where the decline was as much as 50 per cent in some of our countries. Secondly, we compared per capita consumption in the Caribbean with that of similar regions of the world. It was 50 per cent higher than expected. Thirdly, unaccounted for water across this region ranged from 17 per cent to 66 per cent. “Fourthly, the percentage of population with connected sewerage systems varied from zero per cent to 30 per cent. Fifth, access to pipe water is less than 90 per cent in four of our borrowing member countries. Finally, in ten of the utilities in all 18 borrowing member countries operational costs exceed revenues being generated by the services provided. That is not a good indicator of sustainability.” Smith said: “If we accept that water is a key driver of economic and social development then we cannot afford to ignore the signals that these findings are sending to us. Clearly, effective water management must be almost at the top, if not at the top of the list of development priorities of every country in our Caribbean region.” He said the CDB was currently working with Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia to correct some of the issues. ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Greater Awareness Needed to Combat Effects of Climate Change on Tourism and Agriculture

Yendi Jackson A young Antiguan says regional economies can suffer if they do not take sufficient notice of and understand the effects of Climate Change on the OECS’s Agriculture and Tourism industries. “Antigua and Barbuda needs to place more emphasis on awareness and the inculcation of best practices into the minds of the population with regards to climate change and its likely effects on tourism dependant nations such as ours.” So said Yendi Jackson on returning to Antigua and Barbuda after recently participating in the OECS/USAID climate change project dubbed ‘Rallying the region to action on climate change.’ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Jackson, who is currently employed at the ministry of tourism as a sustainable tourism officer, participated in the two day course held in St. Lucia from September 4 to 5 and focused on the impacts and adaptation of climate change in the areas of tourism and agriculture. Topics that were discussed ranged from climate change impacts on the tourism sector, the economic contribution of small island resources to the tourism sector, sustainable land management and agriculture, adaptation measures for farming, maximising business benefits through building resilience and reducing risks to the tourism sector from climate change. According to Jackson, “We here at the ministry of tourism…understand the importance of sustainable tourism and (the importance) of taking measures and steps to go about combating the climate change phenomenon, likewise our stakeholders but the broader population may not fully grasp the concept and all of the difficulties and potential hazards that can be caused by climate change as well as the mitigation procedures that can be undertaken in order to combat these occurrences.”

The sustainable tourism officer is of the belief that social media use would be the most effective vehicle for such an awareness campaign as a larger proportion of society would benefit because it is youth driven. “We need to focus more on our youth and not just at the tertiary and secondary level but at the primary and kindergarten age. If we get that engraved into their minds from an early age then we could influence the mindset of the new and upcoming generation,” he concluded. Based on reports coming out of the seminar, the region may produce less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions; however we are most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Because of their geographical location, the islands in the Caribbean have low lying coastal areas, steep slopes, fragile marine eco-systems and are directly within the hurricane belt. Best practices that could be enforced are inclusive of the introduction of alternative energy solutions, enacting and enforcing stricter laws relating to land use and development, and a greater regional collaboration in an effort to combat the negative effects of the phenomenon that threatens small island economies. ¤

Williams Industries Refleets With Electric Cars Williams’ Industries in Barbados is planning to replace its entire fleet of petrol-driven vehicles with more environmentally friendly electric powered units. Chairman Ralph “Bizzy” Williams, speaking to the media at his Cane Garden, St Thomas office said the initiative would save the company thousands of dollars in the long run. “Each vehicle will save us between BD$4,000 and $6,000 a year in gasoline,” he said. So far the company has acquired three Nissan Leaf vehicles at the cost of about BD$68 000 each and Williams, a known advocate of renewable energy, said they would eventually replace the almost 100 vehicles used by the company with 100 per cent electric powered vehicles. He explained that the savings would be seen since the company used solar energy to power all the operations at the Williams Industries’ Cane Garden location and the cars would be charged using that same energy. Ralph “Bizzy” Williams also has major investments in companies operating in St Lucia. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




DIGICEL To Unveil Complete Suite of Business Solutions to Corporate Community Small Businesses


To Unveil Complete Suite of Business Solutions To Corporate Community In today’s competitive and technology driven business environment, having a strong and reputable ally as you navigate through the maze of business options and touted solutions is paramount to your financial success. Responding to government’s call for greater ICT penetration here in St. Lucia, one company through a suite of highly interactive and cutting edge business solutions is again set to distinguish itself as a market leader, proving to be an extraordinary ally in helping small, medium size and already well established companies maintain their comparative advantage. Now more than ever, local firms, whatever their size, can avail themselves of a cadre of business solution products like Voice ( PBX solutions ,video conferencing either web or IP telephony), Internet access (Broadband and super-fast Data) , IP services such as asset tracking and management as well as a wide range of cloud solutions such as cloud data backup, virtual desk top and cloud telephony. We have realized tremendous success over the years offering solutions to customers across the Caribbean such as : Huggins Group-Grenada, Scotia Bank – Eastern Caribbean, Unicomer –Eastern Caribbean, East Caribbean Financial Holdings Limited ( ECFH) St.Lucia, National Bank of Dominica –Dominica, Coconut Bay-St.Lucia, CCA Canounan Resourts _ Canaoun Island, Sandy Lane-Barbados, The STAR Publishing –St.Lucia, Sandals Group.

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Small scale and newly startup businesses are being encouraged to take advantage of Digicel’s robust corporate positioning. As a new business, your strongest network is the human element and Digicel's Connect service portfolio is designed to match the needs of your startup venture or small business. Our custom-made small business solutions allow you to stay agile, nimble yet never still. Take advantage of our Closed User Groups which allows savings on calls between employees. Our wide range of mobile handsets with mobile data solutions provides email and web access on the go. Wireless, Broadband, Voice and Internet is ideal for the office.

Medium Size Businesses Whether employees are centralized at corporate headquarters or scattered in the field, communication should be seamless and efficient and our Business solution packages delivers on that. Data VPN solutions allows you to link all office locations on a single network to share resources and streamline communication. A high-speed dedicated Internet connection at head office can be used by any remote location for data, Internet and voice. Blackberry, Closed User Groups, mobile data and email access are solutions that will further facilitate growth. Our IP PBX’s are also enhanced with features where you don’t have to be at your desk to receive a call when it rings at the office. We at Digicel stand ready to integrate your current systems onto our state-of-the-art fully automated system to provide optimum business efficiencies to your medium size operations.

Large Scale Enterprises Now is the best time to have the Digicel Advantage. Join the scores of large firms already locked on to Digicel Business and start reaping rewards. As that one preferred partner, Digicel Business undoubtedly helps larger companies maintain their competitive advantage while staying ahead of the game. Through well targeted business interventions,

Digicel Business is helping multinationals in operating markets to unlock the power of their communications networks. Information is power. Communication is a power multiplier. Therefore our business solutions are designed to increase efficiencies, streamline your operations and develop momentum that would maintain and sustain your enterprise.

Dependable, Cost Effective Seamless Integration This is the promise Digicel Business makes to all corporate clients. Whatever area of business you operate in, your communications network is central to how you, your suppliers and your customers interact. Digicel Business Advanced Networking streamlines existing IT and communications, while adding the latest, industry-leading functions. Digicel Business gives you the network you need to run mission-critical applications and streamline your operations. In short, our Advanced Networking is a cost-effective way to improve your communications performance, increase reliability and maximize cost-effectiveness. Digicel St. Lucia Country Manager Holly Hughes-McNamara says “Unified Communications (UC) makes every aspect of a company’s communications accessible through one, unified interface, across multiple devices and platforms – meaning staff can work from anywhere. When implemented, Digicel’s UC solutions have a proven track record of reducing business costs and increasing a company’s profitability and operational efficiency by helping staff, customers and clients collaborate quickly and effectively.” Digicel Business keeps customers ahead of the game with leading technology solutions that solve business problems by delivering value, innovation and partnership. Its dedicated team of consulting professionals develop solutions that help companies achieve operational efficiencies and reduce costs while delivering security and peace of mind. Our business solutions team is on standby to show you how your business units and functions can be transformed. Contact us today to set up a meeting. ¤

GREATER CONNECTIVITY AND A LOWER COST Digicel Business gives your business optimum efficiency through a single, unshared line, directly into the Digicel Business Network – maximizing the power of your connection, while reducing your overall network costs. And this high-speed online connectivity isn’t limited to your HQ, it works wherever you do, guaranteeing you secure transmissions and reliable downloads across the Digicel Business territory. MEETING AND EXCEEDING STANDARDS Digicel Business meets the most stringent corporate security requirements with data encryption, information integrity and confidentiality. We operate a world class internet infrastructure that maximizes redundancy with no single IP point of failure. BACKED BY GUARANTEE Our network is monitored around the clock and backed by a 24/7 help desk. Digicel Business’s industry-leading Service Level Agreement (SLA) undertakes to credit your account if, for any reason, we do not reinstate your service within 5 hours following an interruption.

Let us collaborate to enable your business to flourish, contact us at 1-758-724-6001 or

Complete solutions for your needs DIGICELBUSINESS.COM

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Beachcomber had its official Launch of their new Luxury line of vehicles – LEXUS on September 6, 2013. Amazingly, amidst all the heavy rain storms which had plummeted St. Lucia for the previous weeks, the clouds lifted and the sun came out - some may say this was coincidental, however the Management and Staff of Beachcomber knew it was symbolic to the bright new beginning of the Lexus Journey within Beachcomber. David Devaux, Managing Director of Beachcomber, was very humble (as is his nature) when asked about his decision to add ‘Lexus’ to Beachcomber’s already ‘Top Brand’ Vehicle Family. He said that Lexus, speaks for itself, as over the years Lexus has received numerous awards, many of which have been consistently re-awarded year after year in different categories. He also noted that an added bonus was that after-sales service and parts, were by far, more reasonably priced than other ‘Luxury’ Brands, as in many cases they have the same parts prices as Toyota vehicles. He pointed out the true cost of a vehicle is not the purchase price, but is the purchase price, plus the cost of ownership (i.e. spare parts and servicing) less the re-sale value. Which he indicated, will be higher than other competitive makes, particularly some of the European vehicles with their high costs of ownership and negligible re-sale value. The Lexus journey began in 1983 out of a desire by Toyota to create a world-class luxury car brand. In the years since its inception, the Lexus brand has distinguished itself time and again in quality, reliability and in vehicles that emphasize dependability and comfort, hence the Lexus marque has no equal. The hallmarks of this brand are a quiet, well-crafted cabin, a plush ride and commendable performance from powerful, nearly silent engines.

Lexus vehicles are created with a masterful skill and attention to detail inspired as much by traditional artisanship as by state-ofthe-art engineering. This ‘pursuit of perfection’ is evident at every stage of the manufacturing process. Visually, you can recognize a Lexus by its unique styling, which is not only captivating and luxurious, but also highly refined.

BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Nov Nov // Dec Dec

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Inspired by Passion, Focused on Perfection It also should be noted that in J.D. Power's long-term Vehicle Dependability Study, the Lexus has been the most reliable car for fifteen consecutive years, the most for any manufacturer. Lexus also topped all automotive brands in a leading Consumer Magazine’s 2013 brand report, ‘Japanese automakers again dominated the rankings, taking 8 of the top 10 spots’. The magazine reported that Lexus cars are among the most reliable even though they are ‘brimming with technology’. Some of the vehicles displayed at the Launch were the IS250, GS350 and the RX350. The Lexus GS 350 is a leader in quiet, comfortable, luxury sedans that deliver great value. It has made Lexus one of the bestselling luxury brands in recent listings. The new GS’ impressive blend of nimble handling, quiet road manners, intriguing looks and high-level interior seem like the perfect blueprint, all of this and packed with the latest in technology.

Lexus GS 350

The Lexus IS 250 (6 Cylinder) has an engine that is mated to 6-speed automatic transmission. It also has a manual shift program that can be accessed through the steering-wheelmounted paddles or the shift lever. Its sophisticated engine also makes use of a combination of direct injection and port injection for better performance across the board. In addition, it has an interesting, very high end cabin that features a unique digital instrument cluster and is packed with technology.

Lexus IS 250

The Lexus RX350 Lexus found a way to get ahead of the Europeans when it launched the RX. The RX beat all of those brands to the market with an all-weather, all-purpose, tall, premium wagon. It's more practical, more affordable, more reliable, and it has a lot of technology packaged into a car that doesn't appear to be fiscally or environmentally irresponsible. The RX is premium.

Lexus RX350

In short, Lexus has redefined the meaning of luxury driving. It also has the reputation for dealer service and reliability that just can't be beat, and which is available at Beachcomber. It’s a journey – that has no end and it is now here in St. Lucia.

A warm reception awaits you at Beachcomber P.O. Box 930, Vide Boutielle Road Castries, Saint Lucia T: 1(758) 452-5241 • F: 1(758) 452-7448 BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Nov Nov // Dec Dec | | 49 49


Automotive Art has grown rapidly to become a household name in St Lucia, cementing is place as the island’s leading retailer of automotive aftermarket products. Relentlessly driven to continually find better ways to serve its customers, the company recently completed a major transformation of its flagship Vide Boutielle, Castries retail store. The transformation entailed a complete remodelling of the store and delivers a significantly improved customer experience. The brand new store is fully air-conditioned, modern, chic, spacious and customer centric. According to General Manager, Lyndell Halliday, “Every detail of the new store was designed with customer convenience and comfort in mind�. The new store offers improved product selection, attractively merchandised in a manner to facilitate easier shopping by customers. One of the more popular new amenities in the store is a customer lounge with comfortable seating for customers waiting on tyre or battery installations. The new customer lounge is equipped with a 42 inch flat screen TV and offers free Wi-Fi and complimentary beverages. The feedback from customers has been tremendously positive so far with rave reviews pouring in. One customer who entered the new store for the first time was visibly stunned and was overheard remarking that she could not believe she was in St Lucia. Mr. Halliday noted that while the new store was a significant investment, Automotive Art remained firmly focussed BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



on continuing to offer great value to its customers along with exceptional service. In order to offer the best possible customer experience, Automotive Art has over the years placed significant emphasis on staff training. “Every single staff member undergoes extensive training”, said Mr. Halliday. As a result, the store is equally popular with the car enthusiast and the novice, who particularly appreciate the advice of the store’s knowledgeable staff. One repeat customer noted enthusiastically that Automotive Art was the only place she shopped for tyres and car accessories. In her own words, “The staff here makes me feel comfortable, they are friendly, patient, always willing to assist and I know I can trust their advice” The growing company is either the clear market leader or holds a significant market share across a number of product categories including tyres, accessories, car care products, additives, lubricants, rims, batteries and automotive refinishing products. Automotive Art is also becoming known for its growing selection of household and speciality tools. Mr. Halliday explained that Automotive Art has strived over the years to provide the highest quality products to its customers in fact, it is the exclusive authorised agent for a number of world-class brands such as Valvoline, Cyclo, Meguirs’, Cosmos, Draper, Freezetone and Maximo. When asked about the future of Automotive Art in light of the current economic environment, Mr Halliday was unperturbed and upbeat. “We will continue the laser focus on satisfying our customers for which we have become known – through superior value, quality service and innovation while continually revamping our product selection to respond to changing customer needs. I believe our tagline says it all –

"your car, our passion.” BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




REGIONAL FIRE & SECURITY (ST. LUCIA) LTD For all your Fire Safety and Electronic Security Solutions!

Safety and Security of staff and property have always been and continues to be at the forefront of every organisation. Now more than ever, with the growing number of fire related incidents right here in our island home of St. Lucia, it has become essential to sensitise the masses on some preventative measures to better secure life and property. Regional Fire & Security (St. Lucia) Ltd. (RFS) is part of the RFS Group of Companies and was established in St Lucia some five (5) years ago. Since then RFS has made it its mission to provide competitively priced fire, safety and security products and services supported by exceptional customer service grounded on a 50 year legacy. With support from its Head Office in Trinidad and associated

company in Barbados, RFS St. Lucia serves the industrial, commercial, residential and marine markets both locally and regionally. The Company provides a wide range of quality Fire Protection Equipment including Fire Extinguishers, Hose Reels, Fire Suppression and Sprinkler Systems; and Security Systems including Fire Alarms, CCTV, Access Control, Intrusion Alarms, Public Address (PA) and Building Management (BMS) Systems. Through the support of handpicked suppliers from the US and UK such as ANSUL, Edwards Systems Technology, Samsung, PCSC or Delta Controls, RFS has been able to provide St. Lucia and the wider Caribbean with high quality, eco-friendly and globally field-tested and established life safety and security solutions.

The technical staff of the Company undergoes both continuous On-thejob Training as well as Certified Training facilitated by the Company’s major suppliers to ensure the highest level of technical competence and certification on the respective brands and product lines. Customer Service continues to be the Company’s major ongoing objective which has led to internal processes and training with a unique hands-on approach to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Visit us at Vide Boutielle, Castries or contact us at Tel: (758) 451-3473 or Email: to arrange your next consultation.

The Following are Some Key Products That Will Provide Protection of Life and Property From Fires: 1. 2. 3.

4. 5.

Fire Extinguishers represent in most cases the first response to fires. Ensure that you have the correct type and size of fire extinguishers placed at the right locations. Fire Alarm Systems are essential in buildings of medium size and occupancy (larger houses, offices, schools, hospitals etc.) to warn all occupants in case of a fire. Automated Kitchen Fire Suppression System automatically extinguishes fires in restaurant and industrial kitchens before they can develop into large scale fires. In home kitchens, battery operated Heat Detectors will warn your family of a fire. 90% of all home fires start in kitchens! Emergency Lighting, Exit Signs, Fire Drills and Exit Plans are crucial to help occupants to exit buildings swiftly in case of a fire or any other emergency. Fire Sprinkler Systems will protect bigger commercial and industrial buildings as well as high-rise apartment buildings.




BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




ECLAC says Caribbean Imports and Exports Will Increase by End of 2013

ECLAC is predicting that imports would expand by 4.5 per cent “which will bring the region's trade surplus down to eight billion US dollars in 2013, compared to US$41 billion in 2012. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has predicted that regional exports will grow by 1.5 per cent and imports by 4.5 per cent respectively this year. In its annual report titled “Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2013,” ECLAC said the foreign trade performance of Latin America and the Caribbean “reflects the weak global economy.” It said regional export values were expected to grow by just 1.5 per cent in 2013 which is similar to the 1.4 per cent growth observed last year. ECLAC is predicting that imports would expand by 4.5 per cent “which will bring the region's trade surplus down to eight billion US dollars in 2013, compared to US$41 billion in 2012. The Commission said that the weak global economy “continues to affect the buoyancy of world trade. “The latter is expected to grow by around 2.5 per cent in volume in 2013. This would mean trade growing more slowly than global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the second year in a row – which has not been seen since the 1980s. “Latin American and Caribbean countries whose exports are mainly to China and the rest of Asia will probably chalk up higher volume growth, while at the same time experiencing a gradual change in demand from commodities to more processed products,” it added. In the report, ECLAC said that one of the main features of the current international economic situation was “mega-regional negotiations” linking the main world production networks: Europe, North America and Asia. It said that several “mega-regional negotiations” under way were changing the face of world trade, identifying some of the BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



main examples as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the free trade agreements between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. “All of these initiatives aim to create large economically integrated spaces at the regional level (in Asia), as well as at the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific levels. These mega-negotiations include topics that are not regulated by the World Trade Organisation and that are important for international production networks. “The agenda is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with a view to harmonising the operating rules of various production networks to facilitate the operations of multinationals in North America, Europe and Asia,” the ECLAC report noted. According to the document, as well as diverted trade and investment flows, these negotiations could result in the region's countries facing “restricted access to knowledge and innovation opportunities provided by new technologies, if the positions of the lobbies observed so far in the main economies prevail.” It said mega-regionalism “poses the challenge of improving the international economic standing of the region's countries, which would help to produce sub-regional value chains and progress towards pluri-national industrial policy practices.” The document, therefore, examines the potential of some subregional production networks, as well as suggesting policies that place learning about clusters and new-wave industrial policies at the heart of regional integration. ¤



Richard Branson

Say Yes Then Learn How to Do it Later! by Richard Branson If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later! When Crystal Palace got into the FA Cup Final in 1990, with Virgin Atlantic as their sponsor, it was so unexpected that we were completely unprepared for things like getting merchandise together. The airline was running around to see if anybody could make t-shirts and promotional material to take to the stadium for fans. We bumped into a guy called Miles Peckham and asked him if he made shirts. He said no. Then he paused, then said yes. Despite having no previous experience, Miles immediately started a business making shirts – Watermark. He saved the day, worked day and night, and his shirts went down a storm at Wembley. Since then his Watermark has developed into an event management company, organising all manner of party promotions for Virgin, from the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer to the Aquada Cross Channel, and many other businesses. They have gone from strength to strength. A lot of businesses start with somebody pretending to do something they can't. Next time opportunity knocks, just say yes! ¤

It can be said that there is something magical about the eerie glow of fire. As children, we were always cautioned about playing with matches, but curiosity got the best of some of us. Memories of the all too familiar, ’Zot pa ne bon tet? Pas jwe epi zalimet; Ou vle bwile la kaye ou ti bwoy ‘, (translated to English from Creole, ‘You don’t have good understanding? Don’t play with matches, you will burn your house down little boy’), brings us back to childhood days and fun with our cousins on a Saturday, playing in all the hotspots in our backyard. As adults, we all know how the old adage goes. Where there is smoke, surely there is fire? But, are we truly prepared when it happens to us? Are we safe at work or even in the privacy of our homes? Faulty wiring, water damage to appliances or a simple ember from a birthday candle can turn any jubilant celebration into a morbid one. The dreaded fire eater devouring everything in its path and leaving a burnt trail of paper, furniture and scarred walls newly branded with layers of black soot. A cautionary, albeit expensive tale if you will, to remind us to be better prepared! Safeguarding property and personnel although high on everyone’s priority list seldom involves fire protection until the unfortunate strikes. An overheating electric kettle, exposed wires in an air conditioning unit or a faulty power supply powering a refrigerator – all time bombs. But, preparedness is a mere call to a qualified electrician to check wiring, unplugging appliances when not in use and changing faulty bulbs immediately! Seek professional help or call your local fire service and stock up on fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment for home and your work place. Be educated! Be prepared! ¤

Always... -

Plan for an emergency Provide staff with fire safety training and information Carry out regular risk assessment checks of premises Contact your local fire department for more information when in doubt

About Author Kezia Preville is the Business Development Manager at Regional Fire & Security Ltd which operates offices based in St. Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago; the location of its parent company. She currently manages the St. Lucia office and can be contacted on or Tel: 1(758) 451-3473 for more information.

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec





in Your Future Self

by: Fern Smith When we hear the word investing, we usually think about money. But just as important, is investing in yourself and your future. Your future is your responsibility. Don’t expect someone else to take care of it for you. We put measures in place to gain and protect our current and potential future fortunes. Do we do the same for our own personal development? Good job, house, car; this is what the majority aims for and seem quite satisfied once attained. For some, there seems to be no drive to reach full potential. If we are not careful, our current successes can stifle growth. I would say to you, be wise and make sure you are prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities. However, will you be ready to spot these opportunities when they present themselves? Your future self is the individual you would like to become by doing specific things today. I can only wish for you a future filled with wealth, health and success. Are you committed to investing in yourself? Investing in oneself can encompass improving your health, enhancing your personal development, pursuing education and as many other factors people deem important for overall improvement in their lives. Let’s focus on the subject of education. It is indeed one of the best investments anybody can make for a productive future. Acquiring education is important for both your personal and professional BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



development. It builds self-esteem and gives you a certain kind of authority to take on the world. It is important to expand your knowledge, improve your skills and attitude if you are going to remain competitive. Many people who have been in stable jobs for a long time are now finding themselves on the unemployment line because their skills have become obsolete. Don’t let that be your plight. What are you willing to sacrifice to contribute to your future potential? Your future success will not come without a price. Anything worthwhile requires time and effort, so the earlier you start to make investments in yourself, the better off you will be. When one has pursued and attained education, chances for success are significantly improved, together with determination of course. One is able to find or seek opportunities which may have been difficult to come by, with lack of education. Yes, many people do get ahead with “street smarts”, but acquiring an education should never be ruled out. It has now become necessary to improve skills and talent, just like it is important to build monetary reserves for the future. Let’s look at a few questions which can help you determine if you are on track towards investing in your future self:

• Does your current knowledge cause you to stand out? • Can you be easily replaced in the workplace? • Do you have “specialized knowledge” in your field of work? • Are you procrastinating about furthering your education? • Do you feel like everyone else is moving forward while you seem to be stuck? If you are not happy with your answers to the above, perhaps it is time to seriously consider making that investment now to move forward. This article is just a reminder, in case you have put your education goals on the back burner. As mentioned earlier, be prepared for when your opportunity comes knocking. I leave you with the words of Benjamin Disraeli: “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes”. Many people have missed their opportunity, simply because they failed to make that investment or to pay the price. Decide today that you will not let another opportunity pass you by. ¤ 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.

Branson Centre to Expand Regionally


& BROKERAGE SERVICES LTD. “Your Cargo is in Safe Hands With Us”

Projecting to Accept Participants from Barbados, Trinidad and St Lucia. The Branson Centre Of Entrepreneurship aims to rocket the number of businesses it mentors from 60 to 400 annually. The centre expects the expansion to have an "exponential impact" on job and revenue growth. It aims to accomplish this growth by accepting participants outside Jamaica -- from Barbados, Trinidad and St Lucia. "We see the need and the capacity for entrepreneurship development in these islands." stated Melissa von Frankenberg, Partnerships and Communication Manager, in a recent Observer interview. "In addition, we are able to leverage existing relationships with partners on the ground. This has been critical to our success in Jamaica, and we see it as important in the additional islands, as it will be a hybrid model." The hybrid model entails accommodating additional recruits starting March 2014 via its online virtual platform, along with offering some level of mentoring and training within individual territories. The centre, a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs, offers business insight, training, networking and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs. It's the latest expansion for the Branson Centre which began with a branch in South Africa followed by an additional one in Jamaica in 2011. The Jamaica branch since opening two years ago has accommodated 85 entrepreneurs -- in batches of 20 -- for its 12week training programme otherwise dubbed “Launchpad”. Of that figure 55 graduated to its mentorship or take-off programme which resulted in jobs generated for every participant. "Of this 55 we supported 57 jobs (entrepreneurs), and 54 new jobs were created with 182 per cent revenue growth from those companies," she said. The centre is currently accepting applicants for its next batch of 20 entrepreneurs. Von Frankenberg indicated that many applicants are in the fields of fashion, jewellery, natural products and food. But that trend is shifting towards technology. "In fact we are getting a lot more technology and innovative people developing apps in education," she explained. The centre will seek applicants it believes can operate ethical businesses. "We focus on the triple bottom line--people, profit and planet. So when we recruit we look for people with some social conscience. We like to look for social enterprises, businesses that like to give back," she stated. The centre was opened in Montego Bay, Jamaica, by charismatic UK billionaire Richard Branson In September 2011. It views entrepreneur-ship as a vital method to develop societies.

Import & Export Services:


Winner of “Most Outstanding Youth in Entrepreneurship Award” at the St. Lucia Youth Awards 2011

We provide hassle free transportation services using our global network coverage. Contact us today: Tel: (758) 451-6321 / (758) 451-6323 Fax: (758) 451-6322 US: (347) 722 8712 Email: Website:

ECONOCARIBE USA BARRELS MIAMI - 305 693 5133 NEW YORK -718 244 7447 ATLANTA, GA--866 326-6648 CHICAGO, IL-630 315-5000 BOSTON, MA-(908) 925-8858

P.O. Box GR 5211 Grande Riviere Gros Islet, St. Lucia, W.I. Mobile: (758) 485-7444 Email:

• PC Maintenance & Repairs • IT Hardware & Software Procurement • Wired & Wireless Network Design, Installation & Maintenance • Onsite & Remote IT Support • IT & Project Management Consultancy


Courtesy: Jamaica Observer BusinessFocus Nov / Dec





Caribbean Investor of the Year Award launched by: Caribbean Export. Caribbean Export Development Agency, in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), has announced the launch of the first Regional Investor of the Year Award for the members of CAIPA. Member countries include: St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands. A regional investor is being defined as “an investor into one or more of the aforementioned territories in the region.” The Regional Investor of the Year Award has been developed to recognise and promote the contribution of both local investors within the region and foreign investors to the region. Their contributions include the creation of new jobs, adherence to high standards of corporate social responsibility, capital spending and largely fiscal support to economies through payment of corporate taxes, inter alia. The Regional Investor of the Year Award will also seek to recognise investors in strategic areas of importance to the region, e.g. green energy, research and development, projects that involve a high degree of innovation and creativity and those that are championed by women. The awards to be presented include: Local Investor of the Year, Foreign Investor of the Year, and Special Awards will be presented to investors based on the assessment of the evaluation committee. An overall Regional Investor of the Year BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



will be selected from the winners in these categories. It is believed that “these best practices should be heralded as role models, demonstration projects or success stories within the region and promoted with the view to attracting similar investment,” expressed Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director for Caribbean Export, host of the CAIPA Secretariat. “At this moment, the Caribbean as a whole is not experiencing the significant inflows of investment that it had prior to the global crisis. However, there are a few investors whose resilience has been evidenced despite the challenges and whose commitment to the growth of our local economies must be applauded. “This initiative seeks to do just that – to highlight the good things that are happening in our region. I am confident that it will be a resounding success and Caribbean Export is proud to be a partner in this effort.” Investors from the region are encouraged to apply through the investment promotion agency (IPA) within their country of residence. Application forms can be found on the Caribbean Export website, where there are also full details of the award categories. The deadline for submission of an application was 11 October 2013 and announcement of the runners-up in each category (local, foreign investors and special awards) was to be made on 4 November. The winners were announced at the hosting of the CAIPA General Assembly on 22 November in Belize. The evaluation committee for the awards includes: Professor Alvin Wint, chairman

of the Regional Investment Promotion Steering Committee for CARIFORUM and adviser to the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Fernando Gutierrez, international account manager, fDiIntelligence of the Financial Times Ltd; Percival Marie, director general of the CARIFORUM Directorate, CARICOM Secretariat; DavErnan Kowlessar, representing the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce; and Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of Caribbean Export Development Agency. The Regional Investor of the Year Awardee will be featured as a regional success story on both the CAIPA and Caribbean Export websites, and in future promotional materials. The winning investor will also be invited to accompany CAIPA on at least one outward investment promotion mission in 2014. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to highlight the significant contribution of investors to the regional economy. As president of CAIPA, I fully endorse this initiative and know I can count on the investment promotion agencies of the Caribbean to each year submit excellent recommendations for the award,” noted Ronald Theodore, president of CAIPA and vice president at the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation. This activity is implemented as a part of the work programme funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme that is managed ¤

UWI Seeks Global Accreditation of its Business and Management Programmes The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine has signalled its intention to pursue international accreditation of its Business and Management Programmes. Recently, Prof Clement Sankat, Campus Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of UWI St. Augustine, signed the University’s joint application on behalf of its Department of Management Studies and the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Lok Jack GSB) to pursue accreditation from AACSB International—the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Lok Jack GSB currently holds global accreditation with the Association of MBAs (AMBA). However, in the field of business, AACSB is the largest and the longest standing specialised accrediting agency for business programmes in the world. AACSB accreditation will therefore place UWI as a premier institution in the world in the field of business and management education. AACSB recognises institutions that uphold its mission and core values, work to advance the interests of global management education, and participate in AACSB’s community Bottle 7.5 x 5 half inch bleed.pdf 1 6/17/13 of leadingValvoline BusinessBaby Schools. AACSB focuses on continuous quality

improvement in management education through innovation, impact and engagement. According to Prof Sankat, this accreditation process is vital not just to attain another accreditation but it provides a platform to elevate existing standards at UWI and Lok Jack GSB and invest in the human capital where gaps are determined through the AACSB evaluation process. He also added that the fundamental purpose of this AACSB accreditation journey will be to hold the institution accountable for improving business practice through scholarly education and impactful intellectual contributions. The achievement of the AACSB accreditation will put The UWI’s Department of Management Studies and Lok Jack GSB on par with some of the world’s best known business schools, including the London Business School, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, EDHEC Business School, Warwick Business School, and the University of Toronto that are among the more than 596 business schools in over 37 countries accredited by AACSB. ¤

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




World Bank Releases GDP per Capita Ranking in CARICOM Country/Territory

GDP Per Capita (2012)

Antigua Bahamas Belize Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica Puerto Rico St. Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia St. Vincent & the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad & Tobago

$12,640 $21,280 $4,180 $6,460 $7,110 $3,410 $5,140 $18,000 $13,330 $6,530 $6,380 $8,480 $14,400

Guyana has secured the lowest ranking in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by GDP per capita in the recently released World Bank World Development Report 2014 with a GDP per capita of US$3,410, while the Bahamas is the richest country in the Caribbean Community, ranked by GDP per capita of $21,280. The Bahamas is followed by Puerto Rico, which has a GDP per capita of around $18,000. Trinidad and Tobago is next at $14,400, followed by St Kitts and Nevis, which, despite being the smallest country in the region, has a per capita GDP of about $13,330, according to the data. According to the Caribbean Journal, these numbers are not necessarily a reflection of development or a lack of poverty — a reason why a number of Caribbean countries have urged multilateral lenders to cease classifying many Caribbean countries middle-to-high income — which can prevent access to much international development funding. The report did not include specific data for the region’s other countries, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Barbados and Haiti, along with overseas territories and departments in the Caribbean was not included in the World Bank’s report. It did, however, place them in bands based on estimated GDP per capita. Barbados is ranked as “high income,” meaning a GDP per capita of at least $12,616. Cuba is ranked as upper middle income (between $4,086 and $12,615). Aruba, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, St Maarten, St Martin, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands are ranked as high income. No data was released on the Dominican Republic or Haiti in the report. ¤ Courtesy: Caribbean Journal BusinessFocus Nov / Dec





A Never, Better LIAT Takes to Skies The acting head of the Caribbean airline, LIAT, in a message to staff, declared the comfort and well-being of passengers will be her overriding priority. "At the new LIAT, we are working to build an airline which places the customer, our loyal passengers, at the center of our focus," stated Julie Reifer-Jones, who was recently appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer by the airline's Board of Directors. Reifer-Jones underscored the importance of the airline's focus on the security of its passengers: "Today marks another significant milestone for LIAT - 57 years of continuous service to the peoples and countries of the region. We can also proudly say that these have been 57 years of safely serving the Caribbean." Pointing out that for many destinations LIAT remains the major carrier, transporting more passengers than any other airline, she added: "LIAT continues to contribute to the economic and social development of our region, providing important linkages for inter-regional travel as well as for connections to international, particularly trans-Atlantic, travel." Recalling LIAT has evolved from a single Piper Apache to its present fleet of 14 aircraft, she asked for patience, "As we go through change once again, we promise to serve our region better and in more efficient ways." She thanked customers and stakeholders for their patience and support as LIAT transitions from its Dash-8 fleet to new ATR aircraft, "This change of fleet is a major investment for the company with a cost of US $107 million." She was pleased to note, however, that on several routes, "our passengers are already experiencing the comfort of our new ATR 72s." In addition to the introduction of new aircraft into the fleet, the airline has been able to stabilize its flight schedules throughout the Caribbean. "By the end of this year, we will have six new aircraft and this should improve our operational performance considerably,” she reported. The LIAT acting CEO proclaimed the fleet modernisation which continues into 2014 will improve schedules. "By the end of next year we expect to have a completely new fleet. In addition, we are actively working to improve on-time-performance and our customer service." On its 57th year of service to the Caribbean, Reifer-Jones saluted all LIAT employees "who, throughout the years, have helped to build this outstanding Caribbean institution. As we move forward, we encourage everyone to keep the LIAT flag flying high." LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. ¤



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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Call for New Law to Fight ‘Black Market Gold’

Signs MoU with Caribbean Shipping Association The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Lok Jack GSB) and the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) was one of the hallmark agenda items of the 43rd Annual General Meeting and Conference of CSA. The signing of the MoU took place on October 7, 2013 at the 2013 CSA Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Panama. Both institutions signed the MoU that brings to the CSA the online Master of Port and Maritime Management Programme offered by the Lok Jack GSB. Professor Clement Sankat, Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal, UWI, St Augustine and Chairman of Board of Directors Lok Jack GSB along with Nirmala Maharaj, Director Internationalisation and Institutional Relations, Lok Jack GSB and Grantley Stephenson, President of the CSA signed the MoU in the presence of 300-plus delegates. CSA as an association is recognised as the voice of the region’s shipping industry and a major regional forum in which matters are discussed relevant to the growth and development of the Caribbean shipping. “CSA considers the online Master of Port and Maritime Management Programme to be beneficial to the development of the human resource professionals for the port and maritime industry. CSA through the signing of this MoU agrees to endorse and promote this programme amongst its members,” said CSA President Stephenson. PVC and Campus Principal and Chairman Board of Directors Lok Jack GSB Professor Clement Sankat commented, “This symbolic signing represents UWI’s commitment to provide relevant programmes for the region. At the UWI - Lok Jack GSB, we recognised the urgent need to have a post graduate programme for the Port and Maritime Industry. CSA membership including its 12 national shipping associations and over 100 individual member entities across the entire Caribbean area as well as South, Central and North American ports can now benefit from a quality online Master of Port and Maritime Programme.” The programme was carefully customised for the region through a stakeholder approach for instance in academia and the port and maritime industry. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



In a bid to address the illegal sale and purchase of gold and other precious jewelry in Saint Lucia, the Opposition Lucian People's Movement (LPM) has called for the enactment of tougher legislation. According to the LPM, much of the gold and precious jewelry currently in circulation on the island are a direct result of home break-ins and street robberies, which are frequently underreported. It says, “On a daily basis, thieves and other criminally-minded persons are finding ways to invade the privacy of law-abiding citizens and engage in the illegal trade of selling gold for cash. “While both the citizens of Saint Lucia and visitors deserve the right to feel secure in their dwellings and on the streets of the country, the government should consider passing legislation that is not simply aimed at protecting them, but which is also designed to help victims recover their stolen possessions. The legislation should include severe punishment for perpetrators of these crimes, as well as those who aid and abet them.” In a series of recommendations that could help in the enactment of tougher legislation in dealing with the problem, the LPM has proposed creation of “trained and paid groups of auxiliary police” empowered to patrol streets and authorised to arrest. The small opposition party also wants the government to require “cash-for-gold” dealers and pawn shops “to demand personal ID from persons attempting to sell gold and other precious jewelry.” The LPM wants “a waiting period of 10 business days before a sale of gold and precious jewelry is finalised and payments are disbursed to a seller;” and to make it “mandatory” for the purchasers to photograph the jewelry and “immediately turn over all documentation on the proposed sale to the police for thorough scrutiny and verification.” The new legislation, the party proposes, “should make it an offence for anyone to purchase gold and other precious jewelry on the streets without prior knowledge of the true identity of the person making the sale.” The LPM wants to see “anyone caught with stolen jewelry in their possession should be held liable and be subject to a lengthy prison sentence in accordance with the new law.” The party feels adoption of these measures “may serve as a deterrent to home break-ins, street robberies and other socially deviant behaviors that encourage the illicit sale and purchase of gold and other precious jewelry on the island.” It also hopes that these same measures can be applied across the board to include laptops, phones, tools and other construction equipment, as well as the sale and purchase of many other items considered "hot" commodities on the black market. ¤

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Protecting Your Investment BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Protecting Your

Investment Over time as we progress with our personal development, we begin to dream of what it takes to improve our lives and achieve the goals as we set out to climb the ladder of personal success. In most cases, our aspirations follow a traditional path of human evolution where we develop singularly or as a family pooling our resources and making those decisions and investments in our early years which will result in accumulating wealth and assets leading to an improved lifestyle with continued success and long term security as we head towards retirement and the end of our active working lives. Included in this process of growth and development, we are faced with making bold and difficult decisions based on our personal financial situations and in many cases taking major risks and making significant sacrifices as we follow through to finalise “ the largest single investment” we may ever make in our lifetime being “Purchasing Our Own Home”. The value of this investment and the reality of home ownership brings pride and satisfaction to every home owner especially if you are a first time home owner. The additional expense and time which is put into converting this house into “Your Beautiful Home” is driven by the challenge to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family and to ensure that you add value to your investment. Apart from general maintenance there are many elements which can be executed to add value to your property and enhance the surroundings and its appeal. In many cases, if we are so inclined and skilled we may be able to execute a lot of the work personally which would save on expenses or you may have to contract the services of skilled labour to undertake and execute the many and varied activities that go with home ownership. In today’s world there are many guides which teach you the art of “Do It Yourself” allowing you to read and educate yourself on how to execute the most challenging of projects if you are so inclined. You may also wish to access your computer and search the specific activity on “YOUTUBE” where you may be lucky to get an actual visual guide on executing the specific task or activity. Locally , there are several merchants who offer a number of skilled and experienced staff who are available in the various departments to discuss your project and the scope of works and guide you with purchasing the right tools, equipment and supplies to successfully undertake your personal “DIY” projects around your home. Generally when you purchase a home, you will encounter many changes and additions which need to be made as you take possession and move in. In addition there are many things you can add which will give you the added security and comfort and of course add to the value of your home. The reality of home ownership is that once you become a home owner, you will have to continue to invest in the maintenance and improvement of the property as there will always be something that needs to be done. So be prepared to make the sacrifice, by spending the time, energy and money and doing the right things to “Protect Your Investment”. ¤ BusinessFocus // Dec BusinessFocus Nov Nov Dec | | 6666

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The Harris Paints

St. Lucia Story

By Stan Bishop As far back as the mid-1980s, the Harris Paints company had set sight on Saint Lucia becoming part of its extended family. The company was soon able to cut a deal with Mikey Pilgrim, a Saint Lucian businessman who ran a small retail operation – Colour World of Paints – in Castries. By 1988, Harris Paints had formed an alliance with Pilgrim and his business colleague, Keith Smith. Initially, the joint venture was used as a means of gauging what impact the Harris Paints brand had in the Saint Lucian market. It soon turned out that venture would prove to be the starting point of what would catapult the Harris Paints brand into a household name in Saint Lucia! Since then, there has been nothing but up as far as the Harris Paints story in Saint Lucia is concerned. With the immediate success of the Harris Paints brand on the Saint Lucian market, customers – and the competition – stood up and took notice that the brand truly lived up to its reputation. Two years later, Harris Paints became the official paint used for all road marking projects undertaken by the Ministry of Communications and Works! Despite the limited floor space the company had to make do with, sales of Harris Paints products escalated. But the biggest challenge came from competitors realizing the strengths that lay within the Harris Paints brand. The time had come for Harris Paints to position itself as a market leader. In an effort to adequately and readily fill out customers’ growing orders, Harris Paints decided to set up a manufacturing plant in Saint Lucia. The ambitious plan meant that Saint Lucia would no longer be just a hub for distributing the company’s prized products. After applying to the Saint Lucian government in November, 1993 for fiscal terms and incentives, the company was soon able to set up its modest factory at Massade, Gros Islet. The plant consisted of one disperser, a warehouse, and four production staff under the leadership of Keith Smith. These were small steps that would later paint a colourful history for the local company. Recognizing that the domestic market was driven by the demand for economy paints, the company decided to be the game-changer by offering customers premium quality paints. It paid off – big time! By September, 1994, when the plant finally opened its doors, it began producing a small quantity of Harris Boss Emulsion. A year later, the plant’s production capacity was augmented with the implementation of two additional dispersers. This critical change in plant structure resulted in the company being able to double its production levels. The plant was also able to expand its range of products to include medium and top-grade emulsions, such as Duratone and Durashield brands. By 1996, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited was able to increase its production capacity to 100 000 gallons, which accounted for some 33% of the estimated domestic market needs. At that rate, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited had positioned itself as a market leader, as well as a profitable undertaking. But market pressures BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



brought with them some game-changing measures for Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited as well. This included relocating to its current Bois d’Orange facility after recognizing that increased production called for increased factory space. In July, 2001, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited opened the doors to its spanking new 15 000 square feet facility at Bois d’Orange. The new factory came with an additional high-powered disperser and semi-automated filler. Just two months later, however, the world economy was thrown into chaos when the 9/11 attacks changed the face of global commerce. Nevertheless, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited was able to produce between 200 000 and 300 000 gallons of paint per year! Other major changes in the company’s structure included the acquiring of the Colour World of Paints operation, as well as heavy investment put into an additional customer service centre at the new factory. Despite ongoing challenges posed by the still-fickle global economy, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited continues to beat the odds by posting positive sales figures. Keen emphasis is placed on developing the best quality products and offering excellent customer service – two of the company’s hallmarks. Such a commitment to growth has resulted in Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited stamping its authority in the paint industry by implementing the ISO Quality Management Systems. This meant that the company was now operating on an international level as far as its quality standards are concerned. In March, 2012, Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited also walked away with five awards at the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association’s first-ever biennial Quality Awards! These awards included: • • • • •

Diamond Award for Leadership Diamond Award for Implementation of Standards and Best Practices Diamond Award for Product and Service Quality Platinum Award for Social Responsibility Platinum Award for Human Resource Development

Marguerite Desir, who began working with Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited in 2006 as the Regional Human Resource Manager, is now Senior Vice-President (Human Resource) for the region and also manages the Saint Lucia and Dominica operations. At Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited, Desir leads a team of 35 full-time staff members committed to making the Harris Paints brand build on its many successes. “The Little Man” in the Harris Paints logo, she says, has surely worked wonders for Saint Lucia. “The Little Man stands for not just a quality product but quality service,” Desir affirms. “We strive for success in both quality product and quality service.” Maybe that explains the reason why Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited seems so confident and poised to continue painting its way into the hearts and homes of its many valued customers for many more years to come. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Our Mission


Robert Jones President / Director

Ralph Johnson Chairman / Director

Ian Kenyon CEO / Director

Marguerite Desir Senior Vice President / Director

David Tindale Director

Michael Pilgrim Director

• To ENRICH the lives of people wherever Harris chooses to market its products and services. • We will achieve this by producing ideas and inspiration that enable our customers to decorate, enhance and protect their living and working environments with OUTSTANDING products and solutions that bring superior LASTING DELIGHT and LONGER CARE to their surroundings.

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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



The Harris St. Lucia Leadership Team BUSINESS POLICY We at the Harris Group of Companies are committed to satisfying our internal and external customer requirements through continual assessment and improvement of our business management system and processes, to deliver products and services of the highest quality while practising good corporate citizenship.







Marguerite Desir, Harris’ Senior Vice President of Human Resources (HR) and Head of Business Units Dominica & St. Lucia she would surely agree with the

great American statesman Colin Powell: “Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.” That is the key, she believes to accomplishing outstanding achievements. Since joining the company in January 2006, Mrs Desir has guided HR development policies and programs for approximately 250 Harris staff members company wide. While plants are run by primarily country teams Harris has a multinational team of departmental managers that work broadly across the region. The Regional HR department has developed management plans that can be categorized in three broad areas that relate to individual, career and organizational objectives. Activities include assisting in identifying employees’ strengths and areas of potential development through the use of performance reviews, training programs and testing; matching individuals with the most suitable jobs and career paths within the organization; and organizational BusinessFocus Nov / / Dec Dec

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development incorporates aspects such as change management and focuses on aligning human (and other) resources with the wider business strategies and objectives. But there is more in the mortar than the pestle and you can find Mrs Desir behind any number of company activities that extend beyond the traditional work focus. She particularly enjoys bringing people together through shared experiences which she believes is essential to promoting understanding, a culture of friendship, cooperation and productivity. Mrs Desir and the HR team have organized many social outings and inter-company exchanges and they continue to spearhead programs aimed at enriching the lives of people wherever Harris markets its products and services. Mrs Desir understands that people are often motivated through the quality of their relationships and that recognition and appreciation on a job well done are important to maintain a positive performance. Since joining Harris, Mrs Desir is currently not only the company’s most Senior HR executive but is Head of the Business Units in Dominica and Saint Lucia and is also a Company Director for all of the group companies. The multi-talented professional is further distinguished by attaining 14 years banking experience prior to joining Harris and a portfolio that included retail and technical customer service management in Saint Lucia for a large regional company. Mrs Desir holds a masters degree in management and is also a certified trainer. Among her current ambitions are developing Harris’ Training Academy which was launched to assist in educating and training employees across the region and establishing Harris as an employer of choice and a magnet for top Caribbean talent. The endlessly energetic Mrs Desir credits her positive and courteous attitude for her success both personally and professionally. Her advice to young professionals is that above all “a person’s attitude determines his or her altitude on success in business and career growth, more so than their qualifications - their degrees and work experience.”

A Jamaican national, Ms. Elaine Patricia Matthews joined Harris Paints St. Lucia in January 2011 as Finance Manager. In her current role, Ms. Matthews under the directive of the Regional Finance Team ensures that the finance and planning policies of the company are effectively implemented. She also plays a vital role in ensuring the company’s strategic goals are achieved. Ms Matthews is a Chartered Accountant and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica. She is a good team player who works across organizational departments for the common good of the company.

“My Attitude determines my Altitude” is the motto that drives Victor Price, Production and Technical Manager with charge of the Quality Management System (QMS) as Harris Paints prides itself as being an ISO 9001:2008 Certified company and a focus on remaining customer centric. Mr Price started with Harris Paints as Assistant to the Production Manager and Laboratory Technician 18 years ago and is proud of the company’s achievements over the years. He feels privileged to work with a company which is customer-focused and which continually strives to improve its processes, procedures, production and most importantly, its quality. Price notes that his organization encourages constant re-certification and training of its staff members. He is also a certified ISO Internal Auditor and has successfully achieved his RAB/ QSA/IRAC Certification as Quality ISO Lead Auditor and also trained as a Occupational Health & Safety Officer.

Christopher Joseph joined Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited in 2010 to take on the role of Sales & Retail Services Manager. Mr Joseph's role is to manage and evaluate the activities of the sales, Retail service and marketing department, to establish and maintain local marketing networks and to increase the visibility and sales of Harris Paints products, offering quality service to customers by being the leading centre for coatings information, service and related products in St. Lucia. Mr Joseph's diverse background in Paint coatings, colour advice and colour schemes has enhanced the Harris Sales team. He is Customer Service oriented, and is a firm believer in the value of networking and relationship marketing. Mr Joseph has a hands-on approach to Management and is a mature Paint Products Professional. He has undertaken training with Dewey Color Certification Group and has achieved awards in Color Coordination and as a Color Consultant. He has been involved in a number of construction projects both locally and regionally and continues to play a key role within the construction industry where paint coatings are concerned. Mr Joseph is currently pursuing his degree in management.

Ennatha Angel Fessale has been employed

with Harris Paints for Fourteen years. She started as Inventory/Warehouse Supervisor a position she held for three years. She also held the position of Senior Customer Service Representative/ Accounts Clerk after which she became a full time Accounts Clerk for six years. Ms Fessale is currently the Retail Services Supervisor at our Bois D’orange branch, a position she has held for the past five years and also recently qualified as a Customs Broker.

In 2007 Peter Constable begun his employment with Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Limited as Manager Retail Services and IT. In this role he was responsible for managing all aspects of the company’s local retail business and Information Technology. Presently Mr Constable is the IT Business Analyst for Harris Paints St. Lucia. This role has expanded to include full time duties with the Regional IT department of the Harris Group of Companies where he is involved in developing and managing the Regional information systems and infrastructure along with a highly dynamic team. Being one to always acquire new skills, Mr Constable has acquired the skill of maintaining, calibrating and provisioning of the company’s Colour tinting machines regionally.

Nadia Asgill-Simei joined the Harris Paints team in 2008 in the role of Human Resource Officer for the Harris Group of Companies, where she played a vital role in HR across the region. In her current role of Human Resource Manager for Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Ltd, one she has held since 2010, she has passionately contributed to both the development and growth of the Human Resource Departments across the region. Ms Simei holds a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Theresa Bretney Hall has been employed with Harris Paints St. Lucia in the capacity of Retail Services Supervisor for Colour World of Paints located on Brazil Street, Castries. Mrs Hall is also the company broker. She joined the company in June 2007 with a wealth of experience in Customer Service, Customs Brokerage, Leadership and excellent Communication Skills. During the first four years of service at Harris, she attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

After gaining an Associate Degree in Business Administration from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Nickson Alexander was employed by Harris Paints St. Lucia Ltd as an Inventory Clerk, assisting the inventory’s supervisor in October, 2006. Three years after, he was given the additional duties of overseeing the purchasing of raw materials and finished goods for the company as purchasing assistant. Presently, he is the Acting Inventory Supervisor for the company, using the knowledge and skills which he acquired throughout the past seven years working with the company to run the Inventory department in an efficient manner with the help and support of staff and management.

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Administration & HR Dep.

Retail Services-Bois D' Orange

Production Dep.

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Retail ServicesColour World Castries

Inventory Dep.

Finance Dep.

Sales Dep.


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Regional Staff

As the Caribbean Champions of Colour our paints and solutions are used across the region to protect and enhance the beauty of Caribbean homes and buildings

The Paint Choice on Commercial and Industrial Projects for Over 40 Years

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Staff Recognition, Development and Educating Stakeholders

OUR VALUES • High Ethical Standards • Customer Service and Quality • Development of People and Team Work • Business Efficiency • Safety, Health and Environment

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The Leadership Team One of Harris Paints’ core values is the Development of People and Team Work. The Management Team at Harris St. Lucia consists of highly skilled individuals who are always willing and able to demonstrate the company’s values through their behaviours. The team has extensive industry experience and management depth and has responsibility for the day-to-day operations and success of the company. Harris Paints St. Lucia is well managed as the best performing business unit of the Harris Group of Companies across the region. The Harris Paints St. Lucia Management team comprises the following persons:

Benefits At Harris Paints employees benefit from a range of Incentives as per the company’s Employee Recognition and Incentive Scheme: • A contributory Group Medical / Health Insurance Plan • 100% paid Life Insurance • A Group Pension Plan • Annual Free Paint • Employee Discounts • Performance Awards • Planned recognition Awards • Immediate recognition Awards • Annual Performance bonuses • Annual Cost of Living Increases • Allowances • Annual Medical Check-up • Uniforms • Work Gear • Continuous staff training • Leave of Absences • A performance Culture where people who perform get rewarded, which includes the chance to learn more, get promoted and move up through the company

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Q&A with Marguerite Desir of Harris Paints Business Focus Magazine: Can you tell us about Harris Paints: the early days. Marguerite Desir: Harris Paints has been in business in the Eastern Caribbean for over 40 years. However, we’ve been in business in Jamaica for over 50 years. We acquired a company called BH Paints in Jamaica in 2006. We’ve been operating there with the BH Paints and Harris Paints brand, and have the Harris Paints brand for the rest of the Eastern Caribbean where we operate.

Business Focus Magazine: Harris Paints came to Saint Lucia some years ago. Can you tell us a bit more about the move to the Eastern Caribbean?

Marguerite Desir: Harris Paints came to the Eastern Caribbean over 40 years ago. We

started in Barbados. From there, we moved over to Dominica. (In fact, October 2013 we celebrated 35 years of operations in Dominica.) We later moved into Guyana and later Saint Lucia. In 2014, we will be celebrating our 20th year of operations in Saint Lucia, as a local manufacturing company.

Business Focus Magazine: As an entity, you started with household

paints as the foundation, right? Marguerite Desir: Initially, we started operations in Saint Lucia as a distributor for Harris Paints products which were manufactured in Barbados. Soon after, under the leadership of Keith Smith and Mikey Pilgrim, who actually started Harris Paints here, we opened a manufacturing plant in Saint Lucia. Since then, we’ve been manufacturing paints for the region. We also export paint products to Barbados, Guyana, Dominica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, among other islands.

Business Focus Magazine: So Saint Lucia is a manufacturing base for regional export/distribution? Marguerite Desir: Yes, we manufacture for both local and regional consumption. Business Focus Magazine: How many staff members are currently on the Harris Paints payroll? Marguerite Desir: In Saint Lucia, we have approximately 35 full-time staff members. But we also take in casuals as the need arises. On average, we usually have about 5 casuals on a month-to-month basis. Across the region we have about 230 employees. Business Focus Magazine: Over the 20 years you’ve been in Saint Lucia, what are the qualification standards you’ve established as a manufacturer? Marguerite Desir: Harris Paints (Saint Lucia) is an ISO 9001:2008 company. In fact Harris Paints International is ISO 9001:2008 certified. We actually live and breathe by that standard. Our quality management system is of an international standard and all of our processes and procedures have to be guided by that standard. Since starting business in Saint Lucia in 1994, we have been guided by ISO 9001:2001. Recently, we were recertified with absolutely no findings, which is a record achievement for any company. It was reported by the auditor, that of the 33 countries in which he has done lead auditing globally, Saint Lucia was one of the 17 companies to ever emerge with a zero finding. This simply means that we were operating at an almost perfect standard in terms of our quality management systems. Business Focus Magazine: Speaking of the standards that we know about in the region, there is the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, which is essentially local certification. Then there’s CROSQ, which is the regional certification. Then, of course, there are the international certifications. Essentially, since you’re qualified as ISO 9001, it is assumed that you’ve certainly satisfied the requirements of local, regional and BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



international standards, right? Marguerite Desir: Definitely.

Business Focus Magazine: It’s safe to say that this “little man” (featured on your company logo) is now 20 years old in Saint Lucia. This signals an element of maturity to the operations of Harris Paints. Can you walk us down the road this little man has taken to where Harris Paints is today? Marguerite Desir: The “little man” concept came from one of our founders from Barbados. Deceased Andrew Phillips. Ralph Johnson co-founder was considered to be the little man. He and a few shareholders across the region had a vision. The little man stands for not just a quality product but quality service. We strive for success in both quality product and quality service. Business Focus Magazine: Can you tell us about the new products you brought to the market recently? Marguerite Desir: For the past 2 years, we’ve been reviewing and doing research and development into our new brands. Harris Paints recently introduced a new revolutionary product called Ulttima Plus. Ulttima Plus is essentially 5 new technologies in one can of paint. This is a first to market for the Caribbean because you’d often find that other companies may have one or two of the technologies. But there’s no other company that has all five technologies in one can. Business Focus Magazine: Can you tell us what those 5

technologies are?

Marguerite Desir: Those 5 technologies are CoverFast, ColourLast, MildewGuard, EasyBreathe, and SelfPrime. CoverFast means that the product gives better opacity, coverage and hide, resulting in less coats being needed for full coverage. ColourLast means that the product is able to withstand the harsh rays of the Caribbean sun with UV-absorbing extender pigments and high-performance colourants. As such, surfaces look brighter and last significantly longer than would conventional paints. MildewGuard gives longer-term protection from fungus and mould and has been formulated with unique protective biocides designed to release slowly over the life of the coating. EasyBreathe means that the product contains the lowest possible amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and is tinted with Zero-VOC colourants, thereby emitting extremely low odours and giving a better air quality. SelfPrime refers to the technology in which resins are used to allow the paint to bond and seal surfaces without having to prime first, thus saving on the cost of priming.

Business Focus Magazine: Can you tell us how you came to be part of the Harris Paints family? Also, how has your personal growth with the company been like? Marguerite Desir: I started working at Harris Paints on January 2, 2006. I learned a lot from Keith Smith who was here at the time. He was a very passionate and humble person. When I started, I was the Regional Human Resource Manager. When Keith retired, I did general management for the companies of both Saint Lucia and Dominica in terms of growing the markets and trying to merge roles. Currently, I’m the Senior Vice-President (Human Resource) for the region and I also manage operations in both Harris Paints Saint Lucia and Dominica. I’m also a Director of all the group companies across the region. Business Focus Magazine: And you’re the only woman at that level in the company, right? Marguerite Desir: Yes, I’m the only woman on the Board of Directors, as well as the Senior Executive level.

Business Focus Magazine: How does it feel to manage an entity

which – for all intents and purposes – is one of the old glass ceiling enterprises such as a construction-related company where it was expected that a man would be the leader? Marguerite Desir: One would think that managing a paint company would require a man to be in charge. But I don’t see myself as a manager. I see myself as a leader. There’s a big difference between a manager and a leader. In terms of my operations, I lead by example. From the inception, I have learnt the business, worked in every single department. I am qualified professionally. However, I don’t think my qualification got me to where I am today. I have a Master’s Degree in Management and I’m very proud of that. But I am more proud of my attitude. I think that managing people is important. However, leading people is most important. My philosophy is simple: lead by example and help people to grow.

Business Focus Magazine: What are some of the challenges you face being the sole woman at such a high level in the company? Marguerite Desir: I am very pleased that at Harris we have a female instinct on the board of directors. I’m very confident with my contribution. I don't attend board meetings without making the necessary preparations. Preparation is very important. When I attend board meetings, I represent my customers, my team and share holders. I cannot do it alone. So my challenge would be responding to any preferential treatment or prejudice due to gender. But this had never been an issue for me. Business Focus Magazine: Since your company is in the business

of manufacturing products using the latest technologies, can you tell us what level of training your employees are exposed to in order to deliver a quality product and service to customers? Marguerite Desir: We conduct year-round training for our employees, as well as for our customers to some extent. Each year, we do a product knowledge training and customer service training. What we aim to achieve by doing this is to not become complacent in the marketplace. We ensure that our products and services are kept at a consistently excellent standard.

Business Focus Magazine: What’s Harris Paints’ market

penetration like?

Marguerite Desir: We have the majority market share in Saint Lucia. Within the paint industry we have a lot of competitors in the local market, especially as it relates to international brands. However, Harris Paints is the only Regional and local manufacturer of paints and our products are all tailored to the Caribbean environment. Business Focus Magazine: How has the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) affected your operations? Marguerite Desir: The VAT did affect us initially, especially as it was introduced simultaneously with the construction stimulus package. Nevertheless, we were proactive. We met with the government and other stakeholders. Consequently, the government resolved the issue with a special arrangement for Harris Paints (St. Lucia) Ltd. in terms of the refund system of the VAT. Since then, things have been better. However, we still have the challenge of cash flow. We now have to pay VAT when we are clearing our raw materials at the ports. So that can amount to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront, but as a member of the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association we have met with the government as a group to assist. Despite all this, our sales have been buoyant despite the tough economic climate, worldwide. BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Business Focus Magazine: How has Harris Paints fared in Saint

Harris Paints do is to ensure that we take the time with you to assist you in arriving at the right decision in terms of choosing something that is appropriate for you. We do not just sell you a can of paint; we sell a solution. We visit your home, do an analysis of what needs to be done, and give advice on how to use our products. We then give you free samples to allow you to test the product before deciding on one that satisfies you. We also have a very efficient after-sales and support service, to ensure satisfaction and if there’s any challenge we take ownership of the issue with our recovery skills in delighting our customers.

Business Focus Magazine: Is there a Corporate Social Responsibility programme at Harris Paints that focuses on giving back to the local community? Marguerite Desir: We give a lot back to the community. Even if you don’t hear about it, we’re constantly giving back. We may not necessarily sponsor huge events and undertakings like cricket and jazz. However, we ensure that the projects we do undertake touch the hearts of the people. So we spread the love. Mosttimes we would repaint the homes of underprivileged people. Just last year, we did the same thing at the Holy Family Children’s Home in Ciceron. We also painted the pre-school in the George V Park as part of the “Do Something” initiative. We also do a lot in terms of education. For example, we’ve partnered with “Design Style”, in which our products are used for all their makeover projects. We also sponsored the schools’ Spelling Bee, as well as making donations to the various schools and churches. We also host educational tours for students here at our premises so that students can get a glimpse of the manufacturing industry. Harris Paints also takes on a number of graduates from secondary or university level schools for internships, year round.

Business Focus Magazine: Given that you’re a woman in a very key position in management, what would your advice be to other women who would like to aim for the stars? What would your message be to young women especially? Marguerite Desir: My message to young women would be that they need to have the right attitude. When I started working as a clerk/teller at the bank, I always tried to empathize with the customers. I was always courteous to them and always endeavoured to go the extra mile in order to assist them. Another crucial factor young women would need to have is proper communication skills. I think that quite too often people think that they only need to communicate a message verbally. One’s non-verbal communication speaks a lot: body language can give away so much about you. Learn not just from your mistakes but from the mistakes of others as trial and error cost.

Lucia in terms of recognition as a manufacturing entity? Marguerite Desir: We are one of the companies to have won five awards at the local Business Awards, including Platinum and Diamond Awards. In Saint Lucia, we’ve been able to win awards in critical categories such as Customer Service, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Product Quality. So we’re very pleased about winning those awards. But across the region, Harris Paints has won several awards. In Barbados, also, we’ve won top awards for National Service Excellence and Green Business Tier Two Awards.

Business Focus Magazine: How do you think your products fit into the scheme of things as it relates to protecting one of the greatest investments one can ever make – building a home? Marguerite Desir: Whether you take a mortgage or use your own cash to build your home, the last bit of money you would have would be for painting your home. This is where the beauty comes in. Most times and also this is where you need to use the psychology of colour to make sure that this investment – whether small or large – is one with which you’re pleased. What we at BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Business Focus Magazine: What would be your secrets to success to these women?

Marguerite Desir: Academics is very important. However, one

needs to understand what exactly one is selling. You have to know exactly what business you’re in. So you need to develop yourself in terms of training and development. You also have to be committed towards your goals by doing the right things and doing them efficiently. One always needs to have a career goal. However, things might not always turn out the way you would want them to be. You need to be flexible with your vision. Sometimes taking short-term steps needs to be the reality in order to achieve longterm goals. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Harris Customers Speak Builders Choice As a distributor of Harrris Products and Paints, we can highly recommend the Harris Products particularly the premium line Harris products to our customers. With proper knowledge of product preparation and application, we have had no doubt they are of high quality. Therefore we feel confident in selling these products. Mrs. Theresa Vitalis

Fred’s Lumber Company LTD.

Construction and Industrial Equipment Ltd (CIE) I have been using Harris Paints products for all my projects for over 15 years, and I must say that the quality of the products is superior. The customer service is also great and Harris employees are always flexible and willing to go the extra mile to assist customers. My most recent housing project (La Manage) was beautifully painted with Harris Paints and not only the quality is of high standard but the colours are very welcoming and attractive. Harris’ new revolutionary product Ulttima Plus is a great addition to the Harris brand and it performs “best by test”, as Harris has proclaimed. Mr. Rayneau Gajadhar, Managing Director

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From 1999, I was introduced to Harris Paints products . To this present time, I am very satisfied with the quality of products, services and product knowledge. I love quality and I sell quality in my store that’s why I choose Harris Paints. I will recommend Harris Paints products to every customer who walks in my establishment. What I love the most about Harris Paints is that they do continue to make improvements to their products and services. What I love the most about the new Ulttima Plus system is that it allows you to use other bases to tint if you are short of a particular base. Harris Paints is the best in service, best in quality and best in product knowledge and after sales service. Their recent introduction of the Ulttima Plus products prove that Harris Paints listens and cares about the concerns and needs of its customers. All the attributes from the products to the new color tinting systems makes me one satisfied customer and I am willing to share the joy. Mrs. Beverly Fredrick

Stephen Francois, head painter; Since 2004 I have been using only Harris Paints product at the hotel until today. I have not encountered any major problems. The durashield, duratone, and duracote were the best products on the island, also the cuprinol wood stain. I love the new ulttima plus the standard is good, because of the low odour we are able to give up the room quickly for the guest to occupy. Mr. Stephen Francois, Head Painter

We at Coco Palm Hotel have been using Harris Paints Products from the inception with no complaints. I am of the view that Harris Paints Products are of a very superior quality and having the assistance of a Sales Representative with whom I can touch base whenever I need any assistance is an added bonus. We have been enjoying a very cordial relationship with this company over the years and I am certainly looking forward to many more great experiences with Harris Paints. Ms. Jean St. Rose

“Harris Paints has been very supportive of True Value from the time we started carrying their line. They helped expand our department when they brought in our tinting machine, allowing us to mix all of Harris’ available paint colors for our customers. We carry almost all of their products to ensure our customers’ satisfaction. And if there is a problem with any of their paint products, Harris Paints personally visits the customer’s site with us. We are excited about using the new Ulttima Plus paints line which is specially formulated to make the best of the various environments that the paint will be used in. The new colors are also very attractive!” Ms. Deborah Tobierre

Bradley Paul Associates We at Bradley Paul Associates have been involved in many projects as both Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers where the main contractor’s preference for paint supplies has been Harris Paints. The cost, quality and service given by Harris Paints has always been of top quality and we are always happy when their products are used. Recent projects where Harris Paints are been used is the LAPA development in South Hills, Westview Residence in Beau Estate and Villa Marigot in Marigot Bay. Mr. David Piper

Brent St. Catherine I am a very demanding customer who refuses to cut corners or go for anything other than the best. That’s why when it comes to paints, sealants and bonding agents I trust only Harris Paints. The assistance and personal touch I get from the staff is second to none, from choosing the perfect products right through to applying the last coat of paint I am supported every step of the way!

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Harris Paints – The Award Winning Company St. Lucia Manufacturers Association Awards

St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture 2013 St. Lucia Business Awards

ride and celebration followed the announcement of the Saint Lucia Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) Quality Awards in March 2012 when Harris Paints St Lucia dominated, winning 5 top awards in the following categories: two Platinum Awards in the categories of Human Resource Development and Social Responsibility, and topped this off with three Diamond Awards for Implementation of Standards and Best Practices; Leadership; and Product and Consumer Service Quality.

In January this year, Harris Paints St. Lucia was thrilled to be nominated in the Corporate Leadership category of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture 2013 St. Lucia Business Awards. The award for corporate leadership recognised an individual currently leading a corporation successfully and who achieved excellence in all key areas of the business. Although HPSL was not named the winner, the team was proud to be nominated from amongst over 30 companies.


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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Harris and the Community On March 6th 2013, HPSL conducted a customer service workshop on various topics - attitude, professionalism, effective communication, team dynamics, conflict resolution and change management to staff members from The Holy Family Children’s Home. Marguerite Desir, together with Human Resources Manager Nadia AsgillSimei, Sales & Marketing Executive Cathilda Charles and Human Resources Officer Chiddi Charlemagne conducted the training session that allowed the staff from the children’s home an opportunity to improve themselves and to better comunicate in their organisation and home environment. The training was of such great significance that several local media companies covered it, namely: Calabash TV, Choice TV and Daher Broadcasting Service (DBS). HPSL has also embarked on several projects that have contributed to the development of St. Lucian lives. We have adopted the Holy Family Children’s Home and donated clothing, personal items and lunch box items to the children of the Home. We have also placed 25 drums on public beaches across the island and repainted the St. Helen Day Care Centre and numberous schools and churches around the country. Painting St. Helen Day Care Centre. We have also assisted the under privilege by bringing colour to their surroundings on several home makeovers.

Harris bringing colour to schools around St. Lucia

Harris staff bringing cheers to the sick with room makeovers and gifts BusinessFocus Nov / Dec

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The St. Helen Day Care Centre, St. Lucia

Harris Donating to schools to improve the environment for children In a colorful way

Painting St. Helen Day Care Centre

After repainting the Holy Family Children Home Harris brings more gifts and cheer To the children We bring colour to enhance and protect every investment

Harris Staff Painting The Holy Family Children Home

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The Harris SHE Programme Safety, Health and the Environment


ringing colour to the Caribbean is a mission founded on cherishing the environment in which we live in. It follows Safety, Health and protecting the Environment (SHE) initiatives that is activated in every aspect of the way we do business, be it through training, the promotion of healthy practices, and the development of environmentally conscious products or support for community projects.

SAFETY, HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT SAFETY Never sacrificing safety for profit or service.

HEALTH Continually improving products for employees and users.

ENVIRONMENT Protecting the communities we live in and work in is both a corporate obligation and a personal responsibility or every employee. Harris introduces wellness program to its employees

Harris Engages National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to train its employees in disaster preparedness

Harris engages Ministry of Health Officials to train employees in health care

Harris donating drums to keep our beautiful St. Lucia clean

Guadeloupe Group does Harris Paints site visit

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



INSIDEOUT On decorating your home………

When it comes to decorating your home, there can be a lot of stress as to where to start. Choose furniture that is never so today that it won’t be tomorrow. You may really like that sofa with the funky shape now, but in a few years you’ll probably be ready to toss it out because it’s already out of style. So, when buying furniture try to choose timeless pieces. They will always remain in style. Also, buy the best you can afford. A good sofa can last 10 years and be the most comfortable seat in the house. It’s much easier and economical to change out your accessories, such as accent pillows and draperies, than it is to buy a new sofa set. Personalize your space to make it uniquely yours BusinessFocus Nov / Dec

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Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize: It’s the key to creating that finishing touch plus it allows you to take advantage of the trends without throwing out your existing furniture or budget Get personal and trust your instincts… your house should reflect your personality. Books and collections are always in style; so use them to show your interests. Add an architectural detail if you can it’s what gives home bones, but be consistent otherwise the look will be ruined. Symmetry is a lesson from classical architecture that helps bring a room together making it seem more calming. So generally speaking purchase furnishings in pairs. Focal points are important. It’s the main piece in a room, such as the bed in

a bedroom. It is the first thing people will notice when they enter a room. So choose wisely. The focal point sets the tone for the rest of the room. Collections. It doesn’t matter what you collect; once they are unified in by material, colour or theme it can work. Just make sure you display them together. Lots of objects scattered around a room lose their effect. By placing them together you give them substance and weight. Also, buy things that speak to you. Those are the things that will give you pleasure every time you walk in the door, at the end of the day. Contrast is important when decorating a room. It’s prevents everything from blending into one another. Adding a touch of black can be just the thing to give your

room a dramatic look. Black and white photography or an accent piece of furniture in black can be all that’s needed to take your room from ho hum to va va va voom! Having said that, some of the most inspiring rooms are monochromatic, meaning predominantly one colour. Ever heard of the phrase “beige is boring”. Well nothing could be further from the truth if it’s done right. Be sure to mix in different textures to add depth to a space. At ‘Insideout’, we carry a large selection of decorative items, furniture, pots, art, rugs and soft furnishings to help you achieve the perfect look for your home whether inside or out. More than just a store, complete design services are also available. Insideout is located just north of the Rodney Bay Village in the Massade Industrial Estate just off the Gros Islet Highway.

Be sure to stop by and visit us soon! Email: Web: Tel: 1(758) 450-0122

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Ashley Furniture is a household name around the globe. Courts, as a retailer of furniture & appliances, is a household name across the Caribbean. It is therefore no surprise that a branding match of recognition and quality was made when the two companies joined forces. From Kingston to Kingstown, customers have been introduced to the style, quality and value of Ashley’s exquisite range of sofas, sectionals and recliners, with handpicked accessories, occasional tables and dining furniture to create the perfect ‘signature’ statement in every home. Consumers in the market for ultimate comfort, contemporary style and world class construction are making a beeline

to Courts branches in every corner of the Caribbean to sample what makes Ashley a world class lifestyle brand. So what does in fact make Ashley “a world class lifestyle brand?” By no means are we able to give you an exhaustive list, but we can surely list the top four reasons: 1. Number 1 Selling Furniture Store Brand, approaching 30 million pieces BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



of furniture sold annually, supported by an extensive distribution chain from Wisconsin to California, China and Vietnam. 2. Largest Furniture Manufacturer in the World 3. Largest Upholstery Manufacturer 4. Number 1 Searched Furniture Website on Google Ashley furniture lovers have selected their special purchase at over 20,000 retail stores in more than 113 countries around the globe, from a vast and ever-refreshing range of styles, colours and price points. Apart from the statistics, what every Ashley aficionado and Courts store

employee will tell you from first hand enjoyment, is that the level of comfort in every lounge suite is unparalleled, and once you sit in an Ashley chair, everything else pales in comparison. No matter whether the style is traditional with wooden accents, contemporary with clean lines or a timeless motion recliner, the body sinks right into a cocoon of comfort formed from plush, luxuriant fabrics over low melt fibre and high quality foam for

the right degree of support in all the right places. Courts offers different styles in different countries, but favourites include: • the elegant Bradington Truffle, in rich earth-toned upholstery with accents of chenille and warm wooden facings • the Gale 2pc suite plus accent chair is fully upholstered in a russet fabric with floral accent pillows creating a warm and inviting atmosphere into your home • the Darcy sectional is a contemporary design, rich Durapella Sage upholstery.

Visit your local Courts store to experience the beauty and comfort of the latest styles and check out the combo deals which offer the entire Ashley lounge for a special price and includes a suite, coffee and side tables, rugs, lamps and even perfectly-matched accessories to make it easy to upgrade your life to Ashley! Visit Courts and upgrade your life to Ashley today.

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



The Psychology of Colour BY: Cathilda Charles-Johnny Colour holds immense significance in our lives, it is at the heart of Harris’ philosophy, it can inspire, uplift, and calm us. Be it a beautiful sunset, a traffic light or a woman in vivid orange dress, colour speaks to us once our eyes are open to see it. We engage and connect with colour on a fundamental level and studies have shown that when combined with quality design it creates environments in which we can prosper. This is evident here in the Caribbean where we bask in the rich fauna and exquisite flora that brightens our daily lives as we continue to be a progressive people. Colour has the power to evoke very deep emotions when you enter a space. When choosing the right colour for your space it is important to know what effect the various colours have on us. Your colour preferences reveals certain aspects of your character, explore your favourite colour/s below and how their significance affect our lives.

Orange: Adventurous, Gregarious, Friendly Effect: encourages movement • invites friendliness • playful attitude • provides rhythmic feeling Areas for use: active environments • entertainment areas •healthcare environments • fast food facilities

Red: Optimistic, Energetic, Impulsive Effect: creates vitality •promotes achievement • increases pulse rate • nurtures passion • prompts action Areas for use: active environments • Physical therapy rooms • fire protection • Restaurants • sport facilities

Yellow: Curious, Imaginative, Intellectual Effect: advocates innovation • expresses caution •inspires creativity • raises alert level • promotes surprise Areas for use: educational area • public areas • stairwell areas •industrial safety colour/caution

Green: Moral, Stable, Persistant Effects: cultivates tenacity • offers balance • enhances concentration •renews spirit • security Areas for use: conference facilities • courtrooms • operating rooms • industrial safety colour

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Tel: 1(758) 450-0704 • Fax: 1(758) 453-7751 P.O.Box 308, Castries, St. Lucia West Indies Email: All our pieces are hand crafted by skilled and creative joiners and hand selected by our experienced in house buyer. Made from the best solid hardwood, our furniture isn’t just strong and beautiful, it’s strong and beautiful for a lifetime. We also do a wide range of indoor and outdoor accessories, ideal for sprucing up any living space.


(Quote purchase code and get 20% OFF on all full priced merchandise. Promotion runs from 1.11.13 - 31.12.13)

Take the hassle and stress out of shopping. Try our services today!

• LAYAWAY PLAN • CREDIT SERVICES • PREFERRED CUSTOMER LOYALTY SCHEME 10% OFF on all full priced merchandise with your loyalty card.

Located on the main Massade/Gros Islet Highway Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am—5:00pm, BusinessFocus Sat: 9:00am - 2:00pm Nov / Dec | 95

Landscaping Adding Value To Your Investment

When planning your exterior décor you should be sure to keep in mind easy landscaping designs and photos that can help simplify your task. The outside design of your home is just as important as the interior décor. If planned properly, the front of house landscape can really increase the curb appeal of your property. Some of the best landscape and garden ideas include adorning your yard with trees and plants that require little maintenance. Incorporating plants that do not require watering or trimming every day and will make it easier for you to maintain. Plants and shrubs that do not need frequent maintenance and cheap to buy can become a great addition to both your front and backyard landscape designs. Because there are many different types of trees and plants to choose from, a visit to the plant nursery will help you make a decision. Whether you have a lot of money to spend or very little, there are many options for cheap landscaping on a budget to help you design your dream home. In order to retain the easy upkeep of your garden, you will want to choose low maintenance landscaping plants. These can grow and prosper with little water and do not require much trimming. Another easy outdoor design is to plant a flower garden in your yard. There are numerous types of flowers that you can choose from with a wide range of colors. You can visit your local nursery, hardware store or look on through photo galleries for great ideas for flower bed designs. Planting flowers in your yard can be an easy way to spruce it up and add some color. If you don’t have a fence, there are many landscape edge ideas that incorporate plants to create a wall around your home. Trees and shrubs are great plants to be used as a fence around your property to give BusinessFocus Nov / Dec

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your yard more privacy. An easy to use for seclusion are fast growing trees that will reach their maximum height within a few years. Some popular privacy fence ideas for backyard gardening include using thick hedges to create a wall. Using plants as a privacy fence will create a great outdoor living space that can be an easy solution to keep your yard secluded without the hassle of installing a fixed fence. Some modern landscape design trends incorporate items other than plants into the yard, such as rocks and other stone. Hardscape design is where bricks or pavement is used as decoration in landscaping such as sidewalks, patios, or a front walkway. Other garden decorations include adding a retaining wall to your exterior design. This is a brick or stone wall that can be the edging to a flower bed or added into hills to prevent erosion. A rock garden is also another way to incorporate stones into your landscaping plan. Landscaping rocks of all sizes can be placed in various areas of your yard. Small stones can be used as mulch in tree beds or under bushes as a decorative touch. You can also strategically place large rocks throughout your yard to add some ornamentation to your outdoors. Other rock garden ideas include creating Japanese style designs. This is where you place rocks strategically in your yard to promote relaxation and meditation. If you have an outdoor deck there are also some plants that can be used to decorate this space. The best designs for landscape patio ideas include hanging plants from the edges of your railing or placing potted flowers around the area. You can use colorful flowers or small shrubberies throughout your patio space to add an easy beautiful decorative touch. ¤

“WORKING TO BUILD A STRONGER NATION” Your home is the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. Caribbean Metals Limited ensures that your home will be secure from foundation to roof, with our commitment to the strength and quality of the products we sell. Is it time to replace your leaking/outdated roof? Or you’re searching for a top quality – yet affordable METAL ROOFING SYSTEM? Our roofing systems are designed especially for those who want the very best in modern roofing and are tested in the harshest environments from sun, rain and winds.


EMAIL: WEBSITE: /caribbeanmetalslimited

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



How To Insure

Your Home

Homeowners insurance protects your home, its contents, and, indirectly, your other assets in the event of fires, theft, accidents or other disasters. A standard homeowners’ policy will protect you from things like fires and fallen trees. Notice we didn’t mention floods or earthquakes—those events are specifically not covered by a standard policy and require additional coverage. Homeowners in some areas of the country may be required by their mortgage company to carry these kinds of policies. A standard policy will also protect your possessions from said disasters as well as theft. But a standard policy is not a blank check: there’s a limit to how much you’ll be compensated. If you have specific items of value, such as jewelry or artwork, you can pay a little extra each year to insure them for their full replacement value. Now, if someone is on your property and slips and falls and sprains his ankle, he might sue you for his medical expenses . Homeowners Insurance covers your liabilities in this situation as well. And like the examples mentioned above, you can pay more for extra coverage. Homeowners insurance isn’t required by law, like auto insurance. But mortgage companies usually require you to obtain a policy before they’ll give you a loan. How Much Coverage Do You Need? Your home-insurance policy should cover enough to entirely rebuild and furnish your home were it wiped off the map. Ask a home builder to walk through your home and give you an estimate of what it would take to rebuild; that figure should be the basis for how much replacement coverage you’ll need. Be sure to point out any unique and/or expensive details that would add to the replacement cost. One last thing: The law requires you to have flood insurance if you live in an officially recognized high-risk area. When it comes to protecting your possessions, you may want BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



more coverage than your standard policy allows. If you have anything of exceptional value (a family heirloom, a piece of art, jewelry, etc.), you should insure it separately. It pays to be covered. Also keep in mind that there are two different kinds of coverage when it comes to personal articles. There’s “actual cash value” and there’s “replacement cost.” You want coverage for replacement cost. Actual Cash Value Insurance is what you’d get if you sold your valuable today — a lower amount than what you initially paid. Replacement Cost Insurance pays you the amount of money you’d need to buy a brand-new item to replace your old one. Liability Coverage Say a guest stays at your home and slips on the floor and sprains his ankle. He decides to sue you. Your homeowners policy includes liability coverage in case you lose the court case. . Your Deductible Like auto or health insurance, your homeowners insurance has a deductible (the amount you must pay before coverage kicks in). Like those other policies, you should opt for the highest deductible you can afford. If you do, the cost of your insurance premium (the monthly bill you pay) will surely be lower. Plus, a low deductible forces your insurer to cover more of your costs — costs they pass on to you in the form of increased premiums. Remember: You should not use insurance to cover every conceivable expense, just the big ones. If reinstalling a gutter will cost you $200, pay the $200 — don’t start filing claims for it. Insurers hate it when you file too many claims, and may raise your monthly premium or even cancel coverage because they’ll view you as too risky. It’s not about gutters—you want the insurance when you have to pay for a whole new roof. A good rule of thumb to follow: If you can fix anything for less than $1,000, don’t file a claim. ¤

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Keep the Pests

Under Control

Protect Your Family and Property You love your home and you have to continue trying to make it, “just right,” for you, your family, and your pets. Unfortunately your home is also attractive to a host of six legged creatures, namely insects, in all their varying forms, that will take over if you let them. It is a constant conflict with the many popular species that prey on our homes irrespective of whether they are built of lumber, concrete or other material. It is important to execute pest control treatments with some frequency to control their presence and any damage they can cause to your property. When building a home it is recommended that the soil and foundation works be treated. You will need to contract a professional exterminating company. This process should be executed when the construction is completed and with a frequency based on the recommendations of the exterminator. In addition, there are some common sense and simple practices that you can follow to try to keep one step ahead of an insect invasion. These tips will help you identify ways products can help control insects in and around your home. Always read the product label carefully and follow label directions.

Indoors • Spray under sink, cabinets and large appliances in the kitchen. • Spray around baseboards, exit door thresholds, cracks and crevices. • Spray under bathroom sink cabinets and around bathroom baseboards. • Leave the spray undisturbed for long-lasting effects that provide continuous control against pests for up to 12 months indoors (always read and follow label directions). BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Outdoors Because many insects that enter the house live just outside your door, you can treat areas adjacent to the house to help prevent the pests from entering. • Treat exterior surfaces, especially walls covered with vines or other areas where pests might hide. • Treat the soil, lawn or walkways adjacent to your house. • Apply solution where insects can hide inside cracks and joints on siding or building materials. • Spray around door and window frames, behind gutters and around openings where utilities enter the house. • Apply along the house foundation as well as under porches and decks. Outdoors, granules offer longer residual protection than sprays. Use granules as a barrier treatment around your home, garage and outbuildings. • Treat around woodpiles, storage sheds and outdoor trash bins. • Apply to anthills and along any ant trails leading to the house. Having pests cause damage to your [property is no fun. A really bad infestation can drive you to thoughts of flea floggers, moth balls, rat poison and antibacterial products. But we advise keeping a cool head. There are plenty of ways to drive out the pests without fouling your nest. ¤

Towards a brighter future

FINANCE • Investments through the replacement of term Deposits (flexible interest frequencies) • Loan Financing – Commercial & Consumer – (Consumer/personal, Vehicles, Machinery, Equipment, Commercial Mortgages, Land, Debt Consolidation • Lease Financing (for vehicles) • Premium Financing (for vehicles) Sagicor Financial Centre Choc Estate, Castries, St. Lucia Tel: 1(758) 452-4272 or 1(758) 285-5868 / 70 Fax: 1(758) 452-4279 Email: Web:

NORTHERN ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES St. Lucia’s First Electrician Store


Of Lamps, Lighting Fixtures, Cables, Circuit Breakers, Panels and other electrical items for Industrial, Commercial and Domestic usage.

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Flexible Conduit, EMT Pipes and Accessories, Metal Trunking, Cable Trays and Baskets, Armored Cable, Cadwelding Mould and Shots, Threaded Rods of various lengths, and the list goes on. We stock over 1800 different items.

Bois D’ Orange, Gros Islet, ARP Warehouse, Box CP 5305 Castries Tel: 1 (758) 450-7866 • Fax: 1 (758) 450-7867 • email: BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



“Do It Yourself�

Home Improvement A Great Way to Save and Gain Experience Home improvement is one of those terms that covers just about anything. Do it yourself home improvement is the process of renovating, remodeling or making additions to one's home without the use of a contractor. Do it yourself improvements are often performed to increase the value of a property before it is sold. Home remodeling can be a costly affair that necessitates some type of financing, however, do it yourself house improvement can often be achieved quite inexpensively.



Do it yourself improvements can include remodeling of a room, a garden or an entire house. A remodeling project, regardless of the size, requires planning and some major decisions, so if you're not up to d-i-y structural remodeling, consider a smaller project such as building a storage shed or adding an outdoor deck.. These small improvements can make a huge visual impact and improve the overall amenity and living space of the property not to mention the increase in its value.

Home improvements can cover adding new flooring such as carpets, tiling, linoleum, wood flooring, or solid hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is a popular option as a do it yourself home improvement as it is durable, cost effective and easy to install. Vinyl or ceramic tile flooring can be costly. Vinyl laminate flooring is ideal for a small budget home improvement job.

Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovations A thoughtfully planned, well decorated kitchen is a sound investment in your home. Obviously, kitchen remodeling can be a major renovation project, however there are many doit-yourself improvements that can be done in the kitchen. Do-it-yourself kitchen remodeling can encompass kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances. Upgrading cabinets, fixtures, and sinks in the kitchen can be daunting but can often be tackled by the home handyman, with a bit of expert advice. And, remember, kitchen (and bathroom) remodeling usually brings greater returns than modifying or adding leisure amenities.

Projects Often a simple remodeling project can make an ordinary room beautiful. Do it yourself home improvement projects can be as simple as a small repair or repainting a room. Another small, or inexpensive project can be replacing the linoleum, carpet or laminate floor. Generally people categorize home improvement projects by the area where the improvement is located. Subject to the extent and scope of works you may need to request expert advice. BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Loan A small do-it-yourself house improvement plan usually does not require financing, however, larger projects often necessitate additional financing, or a house improvement loan. Refinancing refers to paying off the old loans and taking out a new mortgage on your home. The cost of obtaining unsecured loans is comparatively lower than secured loans and an unsecured loan is often advised for small home improvement projects. Secured home improvement loans are usually secured against your home.

Work to a Plan Remember the old adage, "if you fail to plan you're planning to fail"? Well, it applies to do it yourself home improvements as much as any other area of life. So take the time to draw up plans and a timetable to achieve your goals. If you find that you need to engage a contractor for any of the remodeling work review the plans and specifications prior to signing any contract. Get formal bids from a short list of three contractors on the same plans and specifications. Do-it-yourself house improvement is more than just a new coat of paint and can have long term benefits for you and your family. Home improvements are a real investment, producing both a better house in which to live and an increase in the potential resale and value of your home. ¤

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Guardsman Limited The Total Security Package

By Stan Bishop

For the past eight years, Guardsman Limited has offered a stateof-the art and professional security service in Saint Lucia. From the provision of armed and unarmed services to CIT (cash in transit) services, 24-hour monitoring and response for homes and businesses, canine security service, deposit processing and medical alert services, Guardsman Limited seems to do it all. “We’re the largest security company in the region,” says Timothy J. Augustin, Regional Manager for Guardsman Limited (Eastern Caribbean). “We have branches in Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Tim Augustin Lucia. But we employ about Managing Director

7,000 people – 6,000 of whom are based in Jamaica. We’re actually the largest employer in Jamaica outside of the Jamaica government. We also do airport security in Jamaica. So we’re fairly experienced in the security business.” In Saint Lucia, Guardsman Limited does deposit processing for all branches of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, as well as on-site cash processing at its John Compton Highway headquarters. In fact, Guardsman Limited handles security detail for most banks operating locally. Guardsman Limited also does offsite ABM servicing for several local banks and intends to commence doing payroll for companies shortly. “We run a very sophisticated operation,” Augustin tells Business Focus Magazine. “This is not child’s play. In Saint Lucia, we have 4 armoured trucks and about 240 members of staff and run a training programme that is above the rest. Our security guards undergo rigid training, which includes CPR and first aid. We have about 70 armed guards and spend a lot of money BusinessFocus Nov / Dec


may be slightly higher than the competition, mainly because Guardsman Limited has a higher level of service and risk insurance. “When you give us your cash, it’s secured,” says Augustin. “We also pay close attention to deportment by ensuring that our security guards are professionally attired.” Despite the competition that exists in the field, Guardsman Limited ensures that it provides a high level of consistent service that its clients can appreciate and depend on. And with its soon-to-be constructed offices, other key services will be added to Guardsman Limited’s already impressive and undisputed portfolio.

Cleavy George Financial Controller

Such services would include Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS). Get the total security package today! Get it from Guardsman Limited. ¤


St. Lucia Ltd.

Comprehensive Security From a Single Source

GUARD SERVICES Armed, Unarmed & K-9 Jeanine Henry Chief Operating Officer (Manager of Overall Operations)


Member of

ATM MAINTENANCE & SERVICING John Lorde - Manager Training & Customer Relations

to train them to ensure that they have the best possible training for the job.” Rest assured, your property is safe with Guardsman Limited. Pricing for services



Guardsman Group

GUARDSMAN (SAINT LUCIA) LTD. Unit 15, Colony House, John Compton Highway, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: 1(758) 451-9911/3 • Fax: 1(758) 451-9914 Email:

•• • • •• • •• •• • •• • •• • • •• •• •• • • • • • • • •• •• • ••• •• • • • • •• •• • • •• • • • • • •• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Investment Never Looked Better … Over the past forty years, the National Development Corporation, now trading as Invest Saint Lucia, has engineered the framework and conditions that were required to attract and retain some of our most successful businesses on island (both local and foreign). Some of these businesses have added tremendous economic and social value to Saint Lucia. Throughout the four decades of facilitation an estimated 215 investors (local and foreign) from as many as three continents and as many as twenty five countries have contributed and continue to contribute to the sustainable development of our country. Managing seven (7) industrial estates, housing twenty six (26) factory shells strategically placed throughout the island’s economic hubs, has been a vital component of the facilitation process, making business set-up much easier. Further complementing the facilitation capabilities of Invest Saint Lucia is its portfolio of strategic real estate and a duty free shopping complex to meet the varying needs of investors. With each era of investment facilitation, there has been an evident shift in the nature and types of investments that Invest Saint Lucia has attracted and facilitated.

Tourism investments account for 63%

of businesses facilitated; manufacturing accounts for 33% (this comprises food and beverage, apparel, electronics assembly, paper and chemical related manufacturing); and ICT and other sectors accounted for the remaining 4% of investments during this period. Invest Saint Lucia remains committed to expertly and efficiently promoting and facilitating potential investors’ access to business development and investment opportunities on the simply beautiful island of Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia’s most important resources are its natural beauty; rich biodiversity; economic and technological openness;

social and political stability; and the

warmth, friendliness and enterprise of its people. Those attributes create a magical allure that underpins the offerings and promise of this island State. We therefore welcome investments and business development opportunities that serve to burnish the image of Brand Saint Lucia, while promoting the best attributes of the island and supporting the country’s sustainable development objectives, through overall wealth creation, social equity and environmental sustainability. BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




Sugar Beach Completes $100 Million Upgrade

TOPS 2013 WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS Makes Forbes Travel Guide Hot 20 Hotels Imagine a four-poster bed with crisp white linens and dreamy voile draping, your own plunge pool and a private walled garden. Oh, and did we mention personalized butler service? All this luxurious goodness awaits you in a basic (yes, basic) room at the newly renovated Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort on St. Lucia. The $100 million upgrade took place over three years, transforming the iconic Jalousie Plantation resort once popular among British aristocracy into a modern and picturesque Caribbean respite. Among the changes at the luxury resort — which sits among the Piton volcanic plugs and offers breathtaking views of calypsoblue seas and emerald vegetation — is the revamping of its two restaurants and four bars. The Great Room is the resort’s most elegant dining experience; its new menu features fresh, Caribbean-inspired dishes like chilled watermelon gazpacho and sautéed mahi-mahi prepared with a local carrot purée. Cane Bar is the resort’s chic, whitewashed lounge in which you can sample St. Lucia specialty rums, assisted by the house “rummelier.” There’s even a Late Night Bar — all charcoal walls and sleek, oversized white day beds, with an outdoor terrace for enjoying your libations under the stars. Still to come is The Terrace, a new breakfast spot that overlooks the resort’s lily pond and 18th-century sugar mill ruins. Other updates include a new Kids Club, with a theater and stage for karaoke, and seven tree-house treatment cabanas at the resort’s Rainforest Spa, where you can detoxify with the help of an Amerindian steam dome known as a temascal. For the ultimate in luxury travel, book your stay in one of The Residences. These posh homes-away-from-home feature multiple bedrooms, chic and fully equipped kitchens and, of course, sun terraces to take in clear skies and stunning sand and sea views. ¤ Article Courtesy Forbes Travel Guide Photos Courtesy of Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



For the fourth year in a row, Caribbean Airlines has been named the “Caribbean’s Leading Airline” at the annual World Travel Awards function in September 2013 at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa. Accepting the award on behalf of the airline, Alicia Cabrera, Senior Manager Marketing at CAL said, “This fourth win really cements our position as the region’s premier carrier. That the category is judged based on travel industry professionals voting makes it even more prestigious as our customers and travel agent partners clearly recognise the tremendous effort put forth by the staff to make each flight special.” Commenting on the title, World Travel Awards founder Graham Cooke said, “I am delighted Caribbean Airlines has been recognised by our voters as the Caribbean’s Leading Airline for the fourth consecutive year; an honour of which they are truly worthy. “It was to recognise outstanding tourism stakeholders such as Caribbean Airlines that we founded World Travel Awards in 1993. Now, as we celebrate our 20th year, WTA continues to reward those who continue to drive our industry forward.” Caribbean Airlines took the win for Caribbean’s Leading Airline over other regional air carriers, Air Caraibes, Bahamas Air, Cubana and Liat, whilst American Airlines took the title of North America’s Leading Airline. ¤ Headline Caribbean Awards Winners included: • Grace Bay Beach, Turks & Caicos Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination • Jamaica - Caribbean’s Leading Destination • Sandals Resorts International Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand • Hermitage Bay, Antigua - Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Hotel • Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic Caribbean’s Leading Golf Resort. Caribbean Airlines has been named the WTA “Best Airline to the Caribbean” in 2010, 2011, 2012 and now for 2013.

Completes EC$6.75 Million Month-Long Renovation Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Vieux Fort has reopened with a fresh face and an upgraded dining experience after a monthlong, EC$6.75 million refurbishment. The resort now boasts more premium rooms and suites; additional live cooking stations; new furnishings; organic greenhouses; a magic soufflé oven and more. “We continue to make improvements we know our guests will recognize and appreciate, completing an amazing upgrade in just four weeks,” said Mark Adams, CEO of Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa. “We doubled the number of Junior Suites and Premium Oceanview rooms

and fourth-floor rooms to the Premium Oceanview category, was completed. New furnishings include two queen beds or one king as well as a trundle bed with two twins. The Splash wing now boasts two wheelchair accessible Gardenview, in addition to the three available in Harmony. While the third and fourth-floors in both Splash and Harmony saw big room conversions, all of the resort’s 218 Gardenview, Oceanview and Premium Oceanview room bathrooms were updated with larger mirrors, modern lighting and blue tile accents. Harmony’s second-floor Oceanview rooms were also updated with new or refreshed furnishings.

an awning in a cheerful blue and white color palette and stone wall accents. Fewer walls let the ocean breezes flow through this inviting indoor and outdoor area. Cuisine at all four of Coconut Bay’s restaurants will soon be fresher than ever with organic vegetables and herbs grown on property in newly installed greenhouses and guests with a late-night sweet tooth can head to Peter John’s Lounge to indulge in all new treats at the Friday night Chocolate Buffet. Pool renovations begin at the Swim-up Pool Bar with new menus and bars: one for adults and one just for kids complete

to meet demand, particularly for our weddings and honeymooners, and guests will find our range of dining options rival any all-inclusive resort.” Coconut Bay now offers a total of 27 Junior Suites with the conversion of 13 fourth-floor rooms in the adults-only Harmony wing. The Junior Suites have all new bathrooms featuring glass shower enclosures, vanity countertop with vessel sinks and recessed lighting. Contemporary furniture and décor create a romantic feel with the clean lines of four-poster beds as the centerpiece along with a sitting area, loveseat and stocked mini-bar. Outside, the Junior Suites as well as all Harmony Premium Oceanview, room balconies were decked out in all new teak furniture adding sophisticated tropical comfort. In Splash, Coconut Bay’s family friendly wing, the conversion of all 64 third-

Enhancing the resort’s overall dining experience was another important aspect of the month-long refreshment. A new menu at buffet-style Coconut Walk and eight independent stations -- five of which are live-cooking stations -- mean guests have an extensive range of menu choices. An extended beverage station manufactured locally from coconut tree wood is an added feature to the bright, user-friendly layout, with new color scheme, linens and flooring. By day, the Beach Grill’s new Earthstone oven is making quick, crisp and bubbly pizzas and made-to-order grilled items. In the evenings, Capri greets diners with a revamped menu and a large new antipasto station. The Earthstone oven cuts down the long wait for a chocolate soufflé to a magical 10-minutes -- no pre-ordering required. Design features now include booth seating; new furniture, new linens,

with a new slushy machine churning out frozen flavor. The serving area has been resurfaced and new equipment installed. The Harmony and Activity pools were completely resurfaced and along with the Splash pools were framed with new coping and tiled decks as well as colorful new LED lighting. Waiter-service at the adults-only Harmony pool is also new. The resort staff now welcomes guests from a remodeled Front Desk with a rock façade and a blue mahoe wood counter top, handcrafted by Coconut Bay’s own carpenters, while the lobby staircase flooring is made with renewable bamboo wood. What hasn’t changed at Coconut Bay is the outstanding array of all-inclusive features, amenities, activities, friendly staff and stunning location on Saint Lucia’s south coast, just minutes from the international airport. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




100% Local Wellness Village Highlights Saint Lucia's Medical Tourism Potential

Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s Health & Wellness event product sets out to attract a new visitor segment, while increasing arrivals in a low occupancy period. Where Jazz & Arts required major work in building on what was already in place indigenously Saint Lucian however, Health & Wellness only needed to link Saint Lucia’s name internationally with an idea that already has traction across the globe – wellness, nature’s way. Saint Lucia’s ample natural features and resources are authentic, and with due care, inexhaustible. Then there is the island’s award-winning tourism plant, which commands top ranking in some very influential areas – weddings, honeymoons, cuisine and Festivals. With a promising and steadily expanding community of manufacturers and service providers of naturopathic and aromatherapy options on island, the rationale behind a Health & Wellness Retreat is also multi-pronged. Another justification is the strong potential to exploit the logical linkages that catalyze research and development towards the creation of new locally manufactured products; new markets for producers; and business innovation to continue to build upon these opportunities. A partnership between the Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s and the OPSR-TEPA for the 2013 Saint Lucia Health & Wellness retreat is specifically about leveraging the Health & Wellness Retreat platform for the exposure and marketing reach of locally based producers and service providers. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s core mandate is destination marketing, while that of the OPSRTEPA is Trade and Export promotion. The key outcome of this collaboration is a wellness village, maximizing visibility for local businesses, in the hopes of developing export-ready products and services that can find their niche within the fast growing global wellness industry. A number of established, experienced and in some instances – awarding producers are on the list. Critically, most are export certified, with levels of quality management and capacity to supply which will satisfy prospective buyer requirements. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) Reorganizes Under New Leadership

A release from CARICOM said that Springer, a public health practitioner, brings to the position 20 years of experience in the health sector, focusing on HIV and mental health. The release said that prior to this appointment Springer served as Strategy and Resourcing Officer, in the PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat . He also had responsibility for the management of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit’s component of the Global Fund Round

9 Grant. Asked about his immediate priority, the Director said in the release that it was providing leadership to create a supporting environment for eliminating stigma and discrimination. Building consensus around the principles of human rights is also a priority, he said. Springer said he plans to utilise persuasive public health and economic evidence to make a case for prioritising HIV and obtaining the commitment required for country ownership and shared responsibility. Springer called on the wider Partnership to join him and the PANCAP Executive Board in their resolve to deliver on the Caribbean region’s commitments including stopping new HIV infections, keeping people alive, stopping stigma and discrimination and broadening the scope of the response. Springer began his public health career as a Volunteer Counsellor at the Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic, Guyana, and the release says he has a deep understanding of, and sensitivity to the current issues that PANCAP is grappling with and is deeply committed to a Partnership which translates evidence to real change for people on the ground. In addition to the Master of Public Health degree which Springer earned from the University of Nottingham, England, he also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug and Alcohol Policy and Intervention from the University of London, England. Springer succeeds Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland. PANCAP was established by regional governments in 2001 to coordinate the Caribbean response to HIV and AIDS. ¤

The Truth About Kale Super-Rich in Vitamin K Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese. Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health. But too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet. Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems. ¤ Move over Popeye and make room for the "queen of greens," kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor. Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol. Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. What makes kale so exceptional? Here is why it's a superstar vegetable -- and ways to work it into your diet.

Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron,

manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.


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BusinessFocus Nov / Dec




The East Caribbean Financial H o l d i n g C o m p a n y L i m i t e d (ECFH) has announced the appointment of Mr. Lisle Chase as Chairman. He replaces o u t g o i n g Chairman Mr. Victor Eudoxie. Victor Eudoxie served as Chairman over a collective 16 year period, initially at the predecessor institution, National Commercial Bank of Saint Lucia limited (NCB) from 1997 and at ECFH following the merger in 2001 to present. Mr. Eudoxie has made an invaluable contribution to the ECFH Group and the banking industry in general both domestically and within the wider Caribbean. The Board of Directors and Management of ECFH sincerely thank him for his stewardship as Chairman over the many years. The new ECFH Chairman Lisle Chase has been a Director on the Board since 2008 and was Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee for the last 2 years. Commenting on his appointment Mr. Chase reaffirmed his continued commitment to the ECFH Board, “Mr. Eudoxie has given many valuable years of service to this organization, I accept the appointment to succeed him with humility. I am committed to making my own contribution in the capacity as Chairman. “ Mr. Chase is a Chartered Accountant by profession with over 30 years’ experience in Saint Lucia and the OECS. ¤ The East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (ECFH) announces the appointment of Mr. Hadyn Gittens as General Manager (GM) for Bank of Saint Lucia Limited (BOSL), the ECFH Group’s largest subsidiary. Mr. Gittens, a Trinidadian by birth has 28 years of banking experience having worked throughout the Caribbean, leading and managing teams in competitive and results oriented environments. His areas BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



of expertise i n c l u d e Commercial and Corporate Banking and Credit Risk Management. He holds a Master of B u s i n e s s Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management. In announcing the appointment of the new GM for BOSL, Chairman of ECFH, Lisle Chase informed that this recruitment of a separate GM for BOSL forms part of the restructuring of the organization in keeping with the Group’s Strategic turnaround plans. Mr. Gittens recognizes the significant contribution that BOSL has made to the economy and looks forward to making his own contribution to the ongoing efforts to better serve the needs of BOSL customers and stakeholders. The Board of Directors and Management are confident that Mr. Gittens’ experience coupled with the strengths of the existing BOSL Team will allow for effective implementation of strategies that will ensure future success of BOSL and the ECFH Group in general. ¤

CHTA Appoints New Director General / CEO Jeff Vasser to Replace Alec Sanguinetti as the New Voice of the Caribbean Hospitality Industry The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) has named hospitality industry leader Jeff Vasser to the position of Director General/ CEO of the organization. He assumes his

new post on November 18. Vasser joins the CHTA after serving since 2002 as the President of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA). While there he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the authority's management/ administration, convention sales, marketing, media relations, and tourism divisions, as well as its approximately 60 employees, the 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall and the 500,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center. In his new position, Vasser will be responsible for helping to manage and grow CHTA's role as the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive environment of international tourism. He replaces Alec Sanguinetti who retired at the end of January after 19 years with the organisation, nine of which were as Director General/CEO. According to Richard J Doumeng, CHTA's President, Vasser was chosen after a comprehensive search that saw interest from more than 100 well-qualified candidates. “We have only had two CEO's in our 51-year history, so obviously the selection process was very important,” said Doumeng. “Jeff brings a wealth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and optimism to our association and we are all delighted that he is joining us. We are eager to get to work on the future of this organization as it plays such a vital role in the region.” During his tenure in Atlantic City, Vasser helped oversee consistent conventions sales production growth and implement several initiatives that impacted the development of the city as a tourism destination. These included sports activities that brought the A-10 college basketball tournament, ECAC Men's College Hockey championship, American Hockey League All-Star and regular season games, and an NBA preseason game to historic Boardwalk Hall. Vasser is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University with a concentration in Public Finance. He has also earned the Certified Hotel Administrator designation issued by the American Hotel & Lodging Association. ¤


Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC), the parent company of LIME, recently announced the appointment of Phil Bentley as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Tony Rice, with effect from

January 1, 2014. Bentley was previously Managing Director at British Gas, the UK’s leading energy and services provider between 2007 and 2013. Prior to this he was Managing Director, Europe and Group Finance Director at Centrica plc and served on its Board since 2000. Rice has decided to step down as CEO, ahead of the establishment of CWC’s new executive office in Miami, Florida, and will leave the Board at the end of 2013. Bentley will take the Company’s strategy of establishing CWC as the leading provider of mobile, fixed line and broadband communications services in Latin America and the Caribbean region forward, the release also said. CWC is investing in its operations in the region, particularly in mobile data, high-speed broadband and customer experience systems, as well as considering strategic acquisition opportunities. It has also committed to reducing operating costs by US$100 million over the next two years. ¤

First Citizens Investment Services has appointed Nicole Mc Donald as their new Administrative and Marketing Officer. Ms. Mc Donald, who joined the First Citizens family on 29 April 2013, has had a long career in communications and has worked in different areas of media, from TV to Print Journalism. She was previously employed with the Star Publishing Company Ltd. for

over 12 years where she served as the Managing Editor. She holds a Certificate in Sales and Marketing and is currently pursuing her Degree in Marketing and Communications. First Citizens would like to officially welcome Nicole Mc Donald to the family. ¤

Andy Pryce is St Lucia’s new Resident British Commissioner. He formerly served as Deputy Consul General, British Consulate in Houston, Texas from 2009 t0 2013, responsible for promoting UK interests in South-Western USA and was Deputy Head of Consulate. His main achievements to date include: Development of in-depth relationships with key political, academic, media and business figures across the region; strategic design and delivery of UK Day in Austin to promote EU/US Free Trade Agreement; design and delivery of separate, objective hitting, UK inward trade delegations; ensured “Buy America” legislation in the Texan House of Representatives did not pass; and ensured the passage of Texas’ first climate change law. Before that (2008 – 2009) he served as Head of Public Affairs, British Embassy Washington, responsible for the UK’s public profile and medium to long-term communications in the US. His main achievements in Washington included: Modernisation of UK outreach in North America, moving to US political campaign style targeted e-mails to impact key influencers in Washington and outreach on social media platforms. Before that he was assigned to Helsinki and had other experiences in Karachi. Mr Pryce formerly lectured on Foreign Policy analysis and strategic analysis in the FCO and Fulbright School, University of Arkansas, as well as at Tulane, Rice and UT Austin. He is also a trained workshop/ seminar facilitator and had the distinction of developing the first interactive webpage in UK Government (code and style still in use). ¤

Kirby Allain Appointed St Lucia’s Director of Information Services Former News Anchor and up to recently a Government Consultant Kirby Allain, has been appointed to the position of Director of Information Services (DIS) with the Government of Saint Lucia. Allain is well known in local media circles where he performed the functions of a News Anchor on local Radio and Television and was more recently involved in private enterprise in the production of television and radio commercials and documentaries. He was formally introduced to the staff of the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting recently and is expected to be an integral member of the soon to be reorganised GIS and the anticipated launch of the much publicised National Broadcasting Network earmarked to be an amalgamation of all government owned and operated media and information networks. ¤ St Lucia Appoints non-resident Ambassador to PetroCaribe and ALBA Hippolyte Eustace Vitalis has been appointed to serve as Saint Lucia’s non-resident Ambassador to PetroCaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA). Vitalis, who is an Agricultural Economist by training, is well versed in both Spanish and Portuguese, having studied in Cuba and Brazil. His role as Ambassador involves coordinating the operations and activities of the company that will be responsible for PetroCaribe, preparing projects for financing by PetroCaribe and ALBA, as well as providing supervision and overall management of these projects in Saint Lucia. Vitalis will also be tasked with providing policy advice and decision making support to the Prime Minister and Minister with responsibility for energy on matters pertaining to PetroCaribe and ALBA. ¤ BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



events 2013-14 8TH ANNUAL CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE ON COMPREHENSIVE DISASTER MANAGEMENT 2 – 6 December, 2013 - the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is pleased to announce the staging of the 8th Annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management, which is being held t in Jamaica. CDM 8 will be convened under the theme: "CDM for Resilient Development: A Good Investment" The annual Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) is the region’s premier event on disaster risk management. Organized by the Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in collaboration with its partners, the Conference is the Caribbean region’s largest gathering of professionals in the field of disaster management as well as professionals from sectoral and thematic fields who have specific responsibilities in this area. For further information contact:

CARIBBEAN TRAVEL MARKETPLACE 2014 Jan 12-14, 2014 - Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica The most important tourism marketing event and Trade Show in the Caribbean bringing buyers and sellers together who qualify to attend and participate. With pre- scheduled appointments, the main objective is to conduct negotiations with industry specialists in negotiating contracts and rates for selling the room inventory of Caribbean properties. For further information contact:

CCTA's 2014 Annual Meeting and Trade Show January 27 to 29, 2014 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan. The Caribbean Cable TV Association was founded in 1983 and was launched with just nine members. Since that modest beginning the CCTA has grown to 109 members: 18 cable operators (four in U.S. jurisdictions and 16 on other islands or adjacent countries in the Caribbean), and 91 program, hardware and software suppliers from around the world. The Association holds an Annual Meeting each year, bringing together cable operators and vendors to discuss trends in the industry, devise solutions to common problems, and provide a forum for information exchange and education. The theme for the 2014 Annual Meeting is 'Trade Winds: Cable in the Caribbean." All of us realize that our industry is evolving rapidly (think gale-force winds), so our speakers for the Annual Meeting will target new directions and expectations. For further information contact:

MIAGREEN EXPO & CONFERENCE 2014 – 6th Edition February 27 & 28, 2014 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. This is the only event in the United States providing access to the ever-growing, non-stoppable green, renewable and sustainable markets for ALL of the Americas. This annual, well-established, business-to-business event is one-of-a-kind and grows bigger and better every year. With its unique marketing mix of USA + Latin America & the Caribbean, MiaGreen has developed as the one-stop, all-inclusive, interactive conference and marketplace for SUSTAINABILITY, combining a major trade show with front edge extensive educational and networking programs. For further information contact:

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec






Eulion Investments Inc.

Property Investments

David Jordan

VK Engineering Company (St.Lucia) Ltd.

Air Conditioning

Paula James Paul St. John

Caribbean Offshore Outings Ltd. (COOL)

Touring Services, Charters or Various Types of Touring Services

Richard Devaux Maran Devaux

Wine & Beverage Connoisseur of St.Lucia Inc.


Martin Jagroop

Exotic Events Inc.

Planning Parties & Events

Rowald Derrick Zinaida McNamara Krystal JnBaptiste

Sweetdeal Ltd.

Retail of Clothing, Stationary, Cosmetics, Home Appliances, Electronics. Hardware, General Merchandise, Pherapheel

Harischandra Roserie

Eastern Caribbean Wind and Solar

Supplying Green Energy Solutions in Wind and Solar Power

Keifer Vitalis Theresa Vitalis

Yun Enterprises Ltd.

General Merchandising

Jiang Yun Fan

Timber Dwellings Inc.

Importation and Sale of Prefabricated Structures

Gyanchand Rayman Marcellinus Jeremie

Professional Contractors Inc.


Lindon Kert Elibox Junior Ricardo Joseph

CGG Supplies Inc.

Production of Bottled Spring Water

Camillus Plummer Gordon Alcindor Dyleon Joseph

Ultra Dimensions Construction Ltd.


Sabina Promesse Noelius Promesse Mozious Promesse

Emerald Vista Inc.

Real Estate Development

Miller Tobierre Debra Tobierre

Marketing & Distribution (St.Lucia) Ltd.

Distribution of Food, General Merchandise, Alcohol, Pharmaceuticals, Agricultural Products and Industrial Products

Ian Mc Dowell Earl Boodasingh David Affonso

Chrysalis Capital Management Ltd.

Capital Management for Projects

Peter Ethan Morgan Greene Lopez

Ha- Shem Touring Company Ltd.

Boating Adventures

Linus Castang Lawrence Antoine

758 Motorsports Inc.

Repairs of Vehicle, Customs Orders

Craig Jelani Gustave Miguel Louisy Brian Beepat Young Enterprise Equity Fund

Sandy Brown West Indies Ltd.

Engineering Consultancy

Stennett Bent

Pheonix Garden Restaurant Ltd.


Emily Elcock

Aeroprint St.Lucia Ltd.

Commercial Printing, Graphic Design and Signage

Keifer Vitalis Theresa Vitalis

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec






Dura Villa Homes Ltd.

Green Building Technology and General Construction

Iean James

CPJ (St.Lucia) Ltd.

Trading Company

Anthony Mark Hart Thomas Norman Tyler Jan Polack Richard Du Boulay Dunstan Du Boulay Anthony Du Boulay

Love At Mind Body And Soul Resorts Inc.

Provide Medical and Management Education, Nursing and Allied Services Education

Raju Saravanan Babu Paul Patel

Marine Mile Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Co. Direc. Ltd.

Southwell Investment Group (SIG) Ltd.

To Carry on the Business of Investment Company

Niles Ferdinand

Jetovator St.Lucia Ltd.

Rental of Water Sports Equipment

Wesley Paul

Family and Youth Mentoring and Mentoring and Empowerment Services

Non Profit Organization Dedicated to Empowering and Mentoring Families and Youth by Providing them Educational and Other Support Services in the Areas of Parenting, Monitoring, Education, Counseling and Management of Transitional Life Issues.

Priscilia Clement aka Sr. Marie Therese Fr. Sstephen Albert Quinlan Fr. Ignatius Dominci Savio Catoute

Building Technical Services & Management Inc.

Building Maintenance

Francis St. Clair Dudley A. Gould Shawn R. Cigobin Dale Leon Peter Leonce Melvin Henville Diana Sydney

New Ocean Ltd.

Retail & Wholesale of Dry Goods

Mrs. Jinwan Huang

Bengy’s Inc.

Retail of Car Parts

Beverly Edmunds Lucas Frederick

Jams Construction Company Ltd.

Construction & Related Works

John Samy Melvin Alcee

TLL 2013 Ltd.

Property Holdings

Peron Schouten

Auto Village Ltd.

Auto Repairs

Eden Biroo

Seaway Marine Services Ltd.

Maintenance of Marine Vessels

Lira Marcio Arthur Brown

Roots Inc.

Food Vendor / Café Shack

Philip Devaux

Round Rentals Inc.

Watercraft Rentals

Lord Dennis George Boon

MBC St.Lucia Ltd.

To Provide Computer and IT Services Support

Lindhal Ghany Annissa Baksh-Ghany Akiel Ghany

BusinessFocus Nov / Dec



St. Lucia Business Focus 72  

Harris Paints Committed to Protecting Your Investment

St. Lucia Business Focus 72  

Harris Paints Committed to Protecting Your Investment