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Issue No. 83

Sept/Oct 2015


St Lucia - UK Trade

John Kennedy, Honorary President of the BCCC







Bank of William

With BOSL My Way Banking I get to handle many of my business and personal transactions that would normally be needed by visiting my branch. And with the BOSL App now I get to access my accounts more quickly and efficiently.



Telephone: 1 (758) 456 6000 | Fax:  1 (758) 456 6720 | Email:

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



No. 83


Sept/ Oct 2015


35. BCCC Promoting St. Lucia - UK Trade 36. Her Excellency Mrs Victoria Dean 38. Mandish Singh 39. Randolph Cato: How Can We help You? 40. John Kennedy Speaks 42. George Alcindor 44. Canaries kids Benefit from free nutritional meal 45. Canaries School Attendance Now Over 90 Percent Following Sponsor Initiative 46. Boka Group Unveils Carnival Queen Contestant 47. Boka Group’s Investment in Water Security for Canaries and Bouton 48. British Chamber of Commerce Offering Scholarship Opportunities to Saint Lucians

04. Editor’s Focus

27.Republic Acquires Suriname Bank 28. Sagicor Group Jamaica Projects Strong Business Growth for 2015

30. WE DID IT!!! 31. Becoming a Total Person

50. Must Reads 52. Caribbean Metals Ltd. 58. Beyond Limits Design & Construction Ltd.

Economy & Trade 60. Courts Breaks Ground on New Multi-Million Dollar Mega Store at Marisule

62. Caribbean Seeks to Provide Additional Support to Existing Investors

12. Nokia Profit Grows as Networks Division

65. Cuba and Saint Lucia Sign Trade Agreement

Data Initiative!

16. LIME Paves the Pathway in Mobile Data 17. Digicel Group Records a Net Loss of US$31.4 Million for First Quarter 2015

18. CWC to Divest TSTT Stake by End of 2015 19. CBU Opens Membership to Other Forms of Media

20. Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority

Requirements Amidst Smuggling Scandal

81. The National Water and Sewerage

64. St. Lucia Closer to Launching Citizenship

15. OAS Assessing Saint Lucia’s Open

79. Antigua to Introduce New Visa

34. How to Register a Business Name


Increase Broadband Uptake

Transparency Standards


63. 2015 SLISBA Awards Honors Courage

14. ECTEL Calls for Constructive Engagement to

78. OECD Report Commends BVI

32. Digicel

08. CEO Succession 10. Beyond Connectivity

Leads Turnaround

77. Did You Notice?

and Determination by Investment

Commission Engages Stakeholders on Utility Regulation

82. Martinique to Host First Female

Entrepreneurship Awards in the Caribbean

83. Canada Changes Entry Requirements for Visa-Exempt Travellers

84. Using Dogs for Home Security

Youth In Focus 86. Cuban Scholarships Awarded to St Lucian Students

87. Chef Ed Harris Jr. Takes Home The Title 88. BOSL Hosts Student Open Forum 89. ECLAC: Caribbean Youth Jobless Rates Alarming

66. LIAT Sells Two New ATR Planes

Tourism Focus

67. IMHO: Free is Nice

90. CHTA to Focus on Strengthening National

68. St. Lucia Co-operative Credit Union League Ltd.

91. Caribbean Airlines Enters Deal With Emirates

Environmental Focus

92. Sandals Resorts Awards Almost US$35,000

70. Caribbean Insurance Industry Advised To

Offer Innovative Natural Disaster Protection

72. CDB Advances Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Agenda

73. CDB Promotes Financing for the Development of Sustainable Energy

Hotel & Tourism Associations

in Scholarships to St Lucia Staff

94. Fun Time…. Family Time…. with SPLASH ISLAND WATER PARK!!!!

95. United Airlines to Begin Flights to St. Kitts and Nevis in December

Health & Wealth

Money Matters

74. St.Kitts-Nevis Launches Biodiversity and Climate Change Projects

96. Your Weight Matters

24. IDB Approves US$130m for Jamaica’s

75. The Calm Before The STORM

98. Events 2015 100. Major Moves 102. New Company Registrations 104. Advertisers Index

Structural Economic Programme

25. Heritage Bank to Acquire CIBC

FirstCaribbean’s Operations in Belize

26. Republic Acquires Suriname Bank

In The Know 76. Harris Paints: Selecting The Right Colour For Your Beautiful HOME!

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Caring and Sharing! The recent passage of Tropical Storm Erika has resulted in a national disaster in our island neighbor Dominica with major loss of life, damages to the national infrastructure, dislocation of businesses and communities and extensive damage to the environment. We all sympathise with the Government and people of Dominica in this period of distress and support the rallying call from all sectors of society to render urgent assistance. As an island nation, we and all of the other islands in the region and the wider world are exposed to the vulnerabilities that can be caused by natural disasters in the forms of earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, etc.

Lokesh Singh Publisher/Managing Editor

The call on the first world to engage Small Island Developing States on the issues of Climate Change and the resultant negative impact on our vulnerable islands and communities must generate the expected results of financial support and investments to facilitate our growth and development. This is imperative as current Government revenues and loans cannot support national development and repairs after the impact of such natural disasters. In our daily lives, whether through initiatives of government, business, charitable groups or personally we continue to reach out to our less fortunate members of our communities to provide assistance to ensure they receive the necessary support to ensure a better life. This is a message which we must continue to perpetuate. In today’s business world, it is imperative for us all to give back in some way shape or form through the many opportunities of Corporate Social Responsibility. We salute our international and local investors as they prosper and thrive with their business efforts. We also remind them that their continued prosperity is based on the success of our people and the development of our communities. In this issue, we Focus on the establishment of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and growing the important trade links between St Lucia and the UK. We recognize the significant investment of the Boka Group and moreso their focus on a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme and Community Development with positive results. Congrats to the management and staff of Caribbean Metals Ltd as they celebrate 25 Years of business and we wish them many more fruitful years ahead. We hope that you will enjoy reading the other stories in the pages of this Issue of Business Focus and be inspired into action to be the best you can be and enjoy the rewards for your efforts. Happy Reading! BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh Creative Designer: Cecil Sylvester Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - Hudson Myers - Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Cecil Sylvester | BCCC | stlucia cruise tours Contributors: Lokesh Singh | Alex Holder| Rashmi Menon Dr Chris Bart | Bevil Wooding | Brian Francis Harris Paints | Pilaiye Cenac Trudy Glasgow | Dr Takira Glasgow | Lyndell Halliday Brian Ramsey | Trudy Edgar-Louis | Dawn French Kezia Preville | Samuel Rosenberg | NRDF Trinidad Express | Trinidad Guardian | Jamaica Observer Antigua Observer | Carib Journal | CaribbeanNewsNow

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. Issue No. 83

Sept/Oct 2015


Trade St Lucia - UK

On The Cover:

John Kennedy, of the BCCC Honorary President

cus. comcom ciafo focus. .stlu stlucia cus. com www www. www .stlu ciafo

John Kennedy, Honorary President of the BCCC


• Our backup generator power has been tested on all sites, including automatic switchover, and generator fuel levels. • All of our vehicles which would be required in the event of a recovery are fully fueled in anticipation of any shortages. • All fuel bulk storage tanks are at sufficient levels.


• All standby equipment has been verified with all critical spares in stock in our warehouse. • All our network nodes have backup systems in place if required for recovery. • Remote VPN access to all network nodes are verified and equipped.


• The Digicel teams have been briefed on the upcoming hurricane and are on standby to provide support in the case of recovery once Government Emergency Services grants the all-clear when the hurricane has passed and it is safe to proceed. • Local sub-contractors have also been briefed and are on standby to assist with recovery. Again, these will be engaged once the Government gives the all clear that it is safe to work.


• Ensure that your back up system is prepared – run the generator, check fuel levels and test power systems.


• Clear surrounding drains and any debris from the exterior of your business location. • Run failover scenarios covering all areas (power, communication, water). • Brief all staff on your emergency communication and action plan.


• Ensure your response team understands the action plan and is capable of reacting in the case of emergency.

To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact Digicel Business at 1 758 724 6001 or Complete solutions for your needs

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



BUSINESS BRIEFS Barbados to Establish Caribbean Renewable Energy Centre

Barbados is to establish a Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Energy Minister Darcy Boyce has said. Boyce, who held talks with Paolo Serpi, Italy’s Special Envoy to the Caribbean, said that the Centre, which is expected to be inaugurated at the end of October, would ensure that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries all had the same standards in respect of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as similar technologies and the necessary legislation is in place. He said the Centre will also ensure that there is no wastage of resources by coordinating donors and providing one place where technocrats can meet and make decisions about the way forward. The Energy Minister said that the European Union and in particular, Austria, had provided the funding for the first two years of operation but told the Italian diplomat that there might be a need for further financial assistance in the future. Serpi said that renewable energy and climate change were areas in which Italy was keenly interested in sharing experiences with the Caribbean. He said Italy had been allocated funds by the European Union to support projects in the region and he was very interested in hearing about the kind of projects that needed assistance.

Jamaica – Rated the Caribbean’s Most Entrepreneurial Country What’s the most entrepreneurial country in the Caribbean? It’s Jamaica, according to the Approved Index, which examined entrepreneurship in more than 100 countries using findings from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Entrepreneurship is defined as the “percentage of an adult population who own (or co-own) a new business and has paid salaries or wages for at least 3 months.” In fact, Jamaica ranks seventh among all countries in the world, topped by Angola and followed by Bostwana. Among the other Caribbean countries rated, Suriname was the world’s least entrepreneurial country, while Puerto Rico was the world’s second-least entrepreneurial country (or territory).

Scotiabank Concludes US$ 320M Bond Transaction For Sagicor Financial Corporation

Scotiabank has successfully completed a US$320m 8.875% 7-year bond transaction on behalf of Sagicor Financial Corporation (Sagicor), the Caribbean’s leading provider of insurance products and related financial services. Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. and JP Morgan Securities LLC were joint book - running managers on the transaction, with Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited and Scotia Investments Jamaica Limited serving as broker dealers for Caribbean investors. “This transaction is an affirmation of the breadth and strength of Scotiabank’s international footprint to expand the range of financing solutions available to our clients,” said Franco De Nigris, Director of Debt Capital Markets for Latin America and the Caribbean, Scotia Capital (USA)

Inc. “Scotiabank has a strong 126 year history in the Caribbean. We are committed to the region and are pleased to be able to bring this bond to Caribbean investors,” said Anya M. Schnoor – Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited. “It is important to note that not only was the bond very successful overall, there was a robust demand for it within the region, and this is a testament both to the highquality of the company and the depth of the capital markets here,” Schnoor continued. Approximately a third of the bond’s takers were Caribbean investors. The transaction is rated B/B by S&P and Fitch. Despite a difficult market environment that had seen little issuance from Latin America and the Caribbean, the transaction was well received by investors. Proceeds from the transaction are targeted to refinance Sagicor’s entire capital structure including the company’s outstanding US$150m 7.5% 144A/Reg S bonds maturing in May 2016.

St. Jude Hospital Signs Partnership Agreement with AmeriCares

St. Jude Hospital (SJH) will serve as the distribution centre for medical supplies earmarked for public health facilities in St Lucia through a new partnership agreement signed with the International Aid Organization – AmeriCares. AmeriCares is a non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs and supports long-term health care initiatives in the United States and around the world. This organization, based in Stamford Connecticut, USA, will provide medical supplies, drugs and equipment for public health facilities in St. Lucia. St. Jude Hospital will receive, store and distribute these supplies to the public

BUSINESS BRIEFS health facilities, including thirty-three (33) health centers. SJH has worked closely over the past eighteen months with Ms. Catherine Sealys, Mrs. Petra Nelson, Ms. Laura Jn Pierre and Ms. Leola St. Claire of Women in Action (WIA) to build this partnership and secure this gift in kind donation. Shipment of the donated medical supplies was made possible through the support of the Prime Minister’s office which facilitated an exemption from VAT duties for their importation. AmeriCares has worked with WIA and St. Jude Hospital to design a system of accountability and reporting for the expected donation. A test shipment is expected to arrive on the island by October, 2015. AmeriCares will provide and ship additional supplies every eighteen (18) months to St. Jude Hospital. St Jude Hospital is pleased to partner with AmeriCares and envisions that with this donation we will be able to provide better healthcare to our citizens who require additional assistance.

St Vincent Getting $5 Million Loan from Taiwan to Complete International Airport St Vincent and the Grenadines is getting some additional help to fund the construction of its long-awaited Argyle International Airport. The country is securing a loan of $5 million from the government of Taiwan to “assist in the financing of the construction of the Argyle International Airport,” according to a statement. The project, when completed, will allow larger passenger jets to fly into the country for the first time. St Vincent’s existing E.T. Joshua Airport, can only receive regional flights from neighbouring islands. In a presentation on the loan, St Vincent and the Grenadines Foreign Minister Camillo Gonsalves said the international airport was a “basic requirement for the development of a modern society.”

InterCaribbean Airways, British Airways Sign Interline Agreement InterCaribbean Airways and British Airways have teamed up to launch an agreement that will provide new options for European travelers to the Caribbean. The new inter airline agreement will

rose to the occasion and made their family members and loved ones, who joined them for this momentous occasion, proud. At the graduation ceremony held at the Calabash Conference room of the St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, all the graduates were rewarded with their certificates of completion from the TVET unit. In addition the following persons received honorary awards: • • provide single-ticket purchasing for journeys combining flights with British Airways, its affiliates and InterCaribbean Airways. “InterCaribbean Airways’ new interline ticketing agreement with British Airways increases the travel choices of travelers coming to the Caribbean, whether for a two or three island trip, travelers can pick their choices,” said Trevor Sadler, CEO of InterCaribbean Airways. InterCaribbean currently serves 12 cities in six Caribbean countries, and is preparing to launch several new cities by the end of 2015. “Over the last 18 months InterCaribbean retimed its schedule to create convenient ‘to and through connections’ giving many travelers in the region choices never before available,” Sadler said. “With this new agreement we are proud to be able to partner with British Airways.”

• •

Peterson Nurse - Best Cook Odilia Lawrence - Best Academic Performer Tiecha Octave - Most Outstanding Student of the Class Davis Plummer - Most improved

IMF says Grenada GDP Growth Quickening

St James Club Morgan Bay Chefs Graduate with Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ)

On Friday the 7th August, 2015, eleven chefs from the St. James Club Morgan Bay, graduated after a tough, challenging and rewarding experience. The employees in collaboration with the TVET council successfully completed their Caribbean Vocational Qualifications. Though it was a tough journey, they all

Grenada’s economy is on the rise. The country’s GDP growth forecast has been revised upward significantly by the IMF, following the organization’s latest visit to the country. While Grenada had initially been projected to growth by 1.7 percent earlier this year, the island’s 2015 growth projection is now 3.1 percent. That’s come from a variety of factors, both lower oil prices and stronger tourism receipts, according to the IMF. “The fiscal performance is also positive, with the Government on track this year to deliver its first primary surplus in over a decade. Tax revenues have recovered to pre-crisis levels and expenditures are being kept under strict control,” said Nicole Laframboise, who led the mission to the country. “The Government has continued to repay its budget expenditure arrears and is expected to clear them fully by the end of this year.” BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



CEO Succession: The Board’s Biggest Decision


By: Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA

f all the decisions that a Board of Director has to make, the most important and far-reaching unquestionably is the Board’s selection of its CEO. This is because the CEO is the “leader-left-in-charge” to run the organisation when the Board, as representatives of the shareholders, is not there to directly supervise and oversee the company and its operations. Accordingly, if there is an unexpected and/or forced change in command when the CEO is either fired or suddenly resigns or dies, and there is no solid succession plan in place, a Board can quickly find itself in the unfortunate position of having to temporarily run the place while they desperately look for a replacement – and typically very expensive – CEO. As a result, mediocre and inadequate CEO succession planning often erodes shareholder value and can even threaten a business’ continuity. Perhaps this is why a recent National Association of Corporate Directors study found that CEO Succession was the #1 issue for Boards today. Yet, surprisingly, only 48% of Fortune 1000 directors in another survey felt their Boards were effective in planning for CEO succession. So while succession planning for the CEO’s position is clearly a Board imperative, it appears to be done either not very well or even not at all, leaving the succession decision to either chance or circumstance, none of which is a smart move! BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



To help Caribbean Boards make CEO succession both more effective and efficient, let me share with you the key lessons I have learned during my work with hundreds of Boards as the Founder of the Directors College of Canada – and now providing 21st century Board governance training through the Caribbean Governance Training Institute and its unique three-day Chartered Director Programme.

prepare – and keep current – a slate of two or three names for the Board’s consideration. However, should an emergency replacement be required, and there is no such short-list, boards are strongly encouraged to strike a “special committee” of 5 to 7 individuals (not all of whom have to be board members) to

Fail to Plan. Plan to Fail. First of all, CEO succession planning has to be more than a list of names tucked away long ago in some file – or hastily written on the back of the envelope – naming senior employees to be considered for succession in an emergency. It must be planned deliberately and when done well, it becomes a source of competitive advantage if for no other reason than preventing an interruption in business continuity.

Who’s on Top? The first step is to figure out who should be in charge of the process. Naturally, it’s the board that gets final say on who the next CEO is going to be. But there is a lot of work that must be done in advance of this decision. And so the CEO succession pre-work is typically assigned to a committee, usually the board’s human resources and compensation committee (“HRCC”). It’s their job to

Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognized governance authority and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The Institute is the first to offer throughout the Caribbean an intensive 3 day governance program leading to the prestigious and internationally recognized Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute. com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500

take on the multitude of time consuming ‘search activities’ that need to be accomplished in short order looking for a replacement. But let me make this clear: when a special search committee is required, the HRCC (which is made up exclusively of board members) must remain in charge of the succession and selection process. Accordingly, the HRCC should outline the special committee’s activities – or terms of reference – as if the HRCC itself were conducting the search, and then later both oversee the special committee’s performance and vet its candidate recommendations before they are presented to the full board.

What to Look For? Critical to the process is to identify the “CEO profile” or criteria that will be used for the purposes of finding potential successor candidates. These criteria should be used regardless of whether the candidates being considered are either internal to the organisation or externally recruited. And they should include not just the usual list of required competencies (i.e. leadership, visionary, communicator, proven track record, blah, blah, blah), but also the qualities missing in the incumbent and most importantly the skills and attributes required to take on both the current strategy-in-play and any ones identified as being needed in the future. These latter criteria are usually not easily arrived at and require thoughtful consideration before being presented to the Board for approval.

Finding Nemo The next major step in the process is to come up with a list of possible candidates and the first place to look is internally. Vetting internal candidates against the profile allows the search committee to assess each candidates’ readiness for the job. But given the enormity of the job, this vetting process should also be supplemented with some psychological testing to determine each candidate’s ethical values, their psychological needs and true cultural fit. Where there are gaps identified in the internal candidates’ profiles, and there is time available for closing them, the HRCC and the current CEO should create a development plan for each executive where leadership training is combined with strategy execution. Such plans typically include cross-functional and

“stretch” assignments, special projects which involve reporting to the board, and educational upgrades. Naturally, if the organisation’s strategy changes, the succession plan will have to be updated to make sure alignment between the candidates and the company continues. Over time, however, the HRCC should have readily available a small pool of internal candidates to draw from whenever succession is required. Of course, this is the ideal. But it seldom goes this smoothly.

Good Enough? More often than not, time is of the essence and internal candidates are not totally ready for automatically filling the CEO position. This should not however necessarily augur their disqualification. Rather, in such a situation, the question becomes: to what extent are the internal candidates “close enough” that the gaps could be closed while “on-the-job,” often with close mentoring/coaching from one or two board members for a brief period of time. But not having a readymade, plug-in-andplay internal replacement also means that the committee must now perform an external search to see if better candidates are available. This always comes with a higher price though since it means a longer and much more expensive search period whereby good external candidates have to screened (often in secret) and convinced – usually with lots of money (salary and signing bonuses) – to take the job. So having a pool of suitable internal candidates is always the preferred route to go.

The Rules of Engagement When an external search is involved, there are several important rules to follow. The first is to use a search consultant to help you. Why? Because it’s a specialist activity that few directors and boards know how to do well. I have found that the consultant is particularly useful during the initial stage of the external search which consists of soliciting and receiving dozens of applications and then narrowing them down, using the CEO profile, to no more than 6 candidates. The most difficult task of the search, however, happens when the interviews occur. The first round is usually conducted with just the Chairman of the committee whose job it is to find out if the organisation can afford a candidate

by asking the big question: “what’s it going to take to get you?” This is followed by one or two meetings with the entire committee whereby two or three finalists should emerge for consideration by the entire board. The board then needs to schedule its own opportunities to meet the candidates one-on-one in both a professional setting (say, a presentation and Q&A at 3pm) and social setting (followed by dinner with spouses at 5:30pm). This obviously takes a lot of time in which candidates may voluntarily drop out. And so as the board moves to vetting the final list, they must do so expeditiously, usually within a total start to finish timeframe of four months. Along the way, though, references must be checked and tough questions need be asked in the interviews, such as: How do you quickly secure the respect and trust of others? How important is transparency versus confidentiality in an organisation? What would cause you to resign?

Who’s Hiring Whom? But beware. During the interview process, the candidates will also be interviewing the Board and trying to find out if they may be creating a hazardous situation for themselves. So Boards need to give candidates reasonable assurance that the board knows what its job and role are and how it is separate, different and distinct from the CEO’s. In conclusion, effective CEO succession planning is an essential component in an organisation’s success and continuity. Yet many boards either fail to address this need or do so poorly leaving their firms and themselves vulnerable. So here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: to what extent does your board have the assurance it needs regarding your organisation’s readiness for dealing with CEO succession? If you think that there is room for improvement in the way your board carries out this allimportant governance oversight function, you might want to consider sending them to one of the corporate governance training programmes currently available in the region – like the one currently being offered by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct






The Future of Caribbean Broadband By Bevil Wooding


Connecting Broadband to Development

igital dreams are too often shattered by unreliable broadband connectivity. Attempts in the education sector to integrate technology into the classroom are frustrated when broadband speeds are too slow. Similarly, business and government sector attempts to realize the benefits of video conferencing, mobile apps and cloud computing fall short when broadband service is inconsistent or unaffordable. Broadband is the fuel for the modern, digital economy. Yet for many countries, devising a structured approach to national broadband development remains quite a challenge. Studies have shown that the Internet and the broadband access that connects us to it, generates tangible economic value for almost every sector at a national, regional and global level. Investments in broadband at a national level have also been linked to growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the Caribbean, however, reports from agencies such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Telecommunications Union reveal that progress in providing faster broadband access varies significantly across the Caribbean. This is in spite of the fact BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



that the economic and social benefits are well acknowledged. Further, even though broadband proliferation is expanding rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region still lags behind the world’s most advanced nations in terms of coverage, access and adoption of information and communication technology services delivered through fast networks. There are also great differences in the level of broadband planning and implementation across the region. States are facing challenges in achieving greater coverage and uptake. In fact, the majority of English-speaking Caribbean countries have no documented national broadband plan at all. Even among the few countries with a published national plan for broadband development, implementation is inconsistent at best.

Market Realities At the regional level, CARICOM has developed a Digital Strategy master plan, and more recently has been promoting the notion of a Single ICT Space. However, neither initiative has sufficient detail, resourcing, or momentum to guarantee coherent implementation. For instance, there are no official broadband speed definitions or broadband penetration targets for the region. One reason for this dilemma is that integration across the critical areas of infrastructure

Bevil Wooding is an Internet Strategist at Packet Clearing House, a US-based technology research firm. He is also and Chief Knowledge Officer at Congress WBN (C-WBN) a faith-based based international non-profit organization and is responsible for C-WBN’s technology education and outreach initiatives. Twitter: @ bevilwooding Instagram: abrightpath

development, consumer pricing, and affordable access to devices remains largely a national issue. With most countries recording cellphone penetration rates in excess of 100 percent, mobile-broadband has been touted as the future of ubiquitous broader access. Mobile broadband, however, is no panacea. Conversion of spectrum allocation, a necessary technical prerequisite to achieve faster mobile speeds, has been slow across much of the region. This highlights the continued importance of fixed broadband networks as a supplement to mobile networks. Although prices have been falling in recent years, cost remains a major hurdle for consumers. Broadband users in Caribbean pay far more for slower service than consumers in OECD countries, where households have more disposable income. In some cases, high trade tariffs make imported access devices such as computers, smartphones and wireless devices more expensive for businesses and individuals, further limiting the expansion of broadband usage. These market realities have the combined effect of creating unhealthy turbulence for consumers, innovators and entrepreneurs to realize the promise of the digital economy.

Capacity to Execute A more holistic approach that must be taken for the region is to keep pace with global trends. Each country starts with different competitive advantages and disadvantages in terms of how it can utilize broadband to create economic and social progress. While most analysis would reasonably focus on those differences, the most critical variable in my opinion is the difference in leadership approaches. All countries should have a well-defined strategy for broadband development. However, it is not sufficient to just have a plan. A plan must be complemented by the capacity to execute. Good execution can correct for deficiencies in a Plan. Conversely, a great plan with poor execution will ultimately fail. The countries that have done well, like Korea and Sweden, have demonstrated a long-term commitment to building a broadband based economy. They are constantly studying, reconsidering, course correcting and moving towards that goal. Enabling The Future The Caribbean Telecommunications Union and the Caribbean Network Operators Group have been on related campaigns to raise awareness of critical internet infrastructure to Caribbean Internet Economy. The CTU in particular has highlighted the urgency of updating outmoded regulatory policy and reducing the barriers to roll off infrastructure and the introduction of new market players. Their efforts need to be joined by more consistent action and resourcing from the region’s governments and private sector actors. The major telecommunication firms have all announced multi-million dollar infrastructure investment plans for the region. Not unexpectedly, these plans prioritise investments where returns can be best guaranteed. It is left to public policy to ensure that access to broadband is equitable and affordable. The challenge is to accelerate to a future where the equity and affordability of broadband access paves the way for economic growth and social progress. Only then can we have an environment in which our students, entrepreneurs, innovators and citizens can truly leverage the opportunities afforded by broadband to shape the future of the region. As the writer William Gibson noted, “The future is already here. It is just not evenly distributed.�

The Sponsor of EUFA Champions League BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Nokia Profit Grows as Networks Division Leads Turnaround


ech Firm Nokia enjoyed a solid 60 per cent rise in net profit in the second quarter, with a good performance in its core networks division suggesting the Finnish company is succeeding in turning its business around since selling its handsets operation to Microsoft in 2013.

The profit of 347 million euros (US$383 million) beat expectations. Overall sales in the period increased 9 per cent to 3.2 billion euros, helped by currency fluctuations but also increased demand for software in mobile broadband and global services. Hannu Rauhala, senior analyst at Pohjola Bank, said the figures had dispelled fears among investors that Nokia would suffer from a general sluggishness in global network business. “It was a good performance for Nokia, and I think markets had been worried that it too would have shown signs of the general slowdown in the industry,” Rauhala said. “But it’s a long-term business and we’ll have to see what happens next year.” Nokia said that the networks unit, which accounts for 85 percent of total revenue, was expected to see growth of some 8 to 11 percent for the full year. It also expects improvement in the other two remaining sectors, HERE mapping services and Nokia technologies, which manages the lucrative licensing portfolio. CEO Rajeev Suri says he was “particularly pleased” with the performance of the networks sector, but noted that improvement in all three units has made the Finnish company “well positioned to deliver on our full-year 2015 commitments.” However, he warned that telecom infrastructure conditions would remain challenging requiring further savings, and said that although Nokia will focus on software sales as “the industry continues its hardware to software migration,” harder times lay ahead.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



“Despite these underlying improvements I would caution against any assumptions that software share would be at a similar level in coming quarters. We are starting to see more difficult seasonality patterns with stronger quarters in Q2 and Q4 offset by weaker first and third quarters,” Suri told analysts during a conference call. “We remain highly focused on reducing costs and improving efficiency in order to mitigate the impact of market conditions,” he said. Suri noted that HERE mapping services had done “excellent work,” expanding its real-time traffic service from 44 to 50 countries with voice-guided navigation in 53 languages. He didn’t comment on rumors that its maps unit was being sold to auto companies, but said that the “strategic review of that (HERE) business is now in an advanced stage” and that Nokia would focus on “the best interests of its shareholders and the long-term future of HERE.” After being the No. 1 global mobile phone maker for 14 years, Nokia seemed to run out of steam and was unable to meet the challenges of Apple’s iPhone, Samsung and Asian phone makers. It has, however, managed to stage a turnaround since selling its unprofitable handset unit to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros in 2013. The new, scaled-down company launched a tablet this year and says it is seeking a partner to return to the cellphone business. Earlier it announced the upcoming launch of a virtual reality camera, an innovative ball-shaped video-cam with eight synchronized shutter sensors and integrated microphones for spatial audio. In its biggest move since teaming up with Microsoft in 2011, Nokia bought the ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent in a 15.6 billion-euro deal, which was recently approved by the European Union.

My Granny has had a stall at the Castries Market for 20 years now.

If her business

does not close on Saturdays, why should her bank?

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ECTEL Calls for

Saint Lucia Government Installs New Telecoms System

Constructive Engagement to Increase Broadband



anaging Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Mr. Embert Charles has emphasized the need for a constructive engagement of telecommunications service providers, consumers, regulators and policy makers to address the factors, which hinder the slow uptake of broadband in the region. Mr. Charles cited a recent study undertaken by ECTEL, which found that in addition to the high prices for broadband, many consumers are unaware of the levels and quality of broadband connection they receive from their providers. In a presentation to the 31st annual conference and trade exhibition of CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Operators), the ECTEL Managing Director stated that notwithstanding the numerous initiatives and projects on broadband innovation in the wider Caribbean, the region lags in its broadband penetration. He said “all stakeholders including the telecommunications service providers and regulators must arrive at common ground on entry levels and prices for broadband services”. On Wednesday 29th July, Caribbean regulators addressed the CANTO conference, which is being held in Miami, USA under the theme “Improving Lives Through Broadband Innovation” Chairman of the ECTEL Board of Directors, Mr. Isaac Solomon and Managing Director Embert Charles are representing ECTEL at the conference. Other regulators at the conference come from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Montserrat, St. Marten, Turks and Caicos Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. The CANTO conference and exhibition is an annual gathering of telecommunications service providers, Ministers of telecommunications, vendors, and regulators from the Caribbean and Latin American region.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




he Government of Saint Lucia is to realize savings of up to EC$4 million in recurrent expenditure in the area of telecommunications services as a result of the introduction of the state of the art Unified Communication System (UCS), which will facilitate improved accessibility to government officials and departments. The official award and contract signing for the USC took place on Thursday, July 30, between the Government of Saint Lucia and telecommunications company Digicel. The system, according to Minister for the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, Sen. Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, will see the Government of Saint Lucia entering into the era of technology in a way that is much bigger than the mere placement of laptops and other ICT devices on the desks of employees. Signing of behalf of Digicel was the Regional Chief Executive Officer, Holly Hughes Mc Namara, who expressed the company’s delight to have been selected, through a public process, to assist the Government of Saint Lucia in its drive towards technological and workforce efficiency. The new government Unified Communication System (UCS) purchased for US$1.6 million dollars will replace the present Government telephone system which has been in place for almost two decades. It will afford greater collaboration across ministries and departments, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

OAS Assessing Saint Lucia’s Open Data Initiative


he Department for Effective Management within the Organization of American States (OAS) is currently assessing Saint Lucia’s Open Government Initiative as a result of an official request from the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting.

OAS Consultant Enrica De Pasquale said the purpose of the visit is to gather information and exchange ideas and experiences between experts from the collaborating countries and public officers from Saint Lucia. The OAS consultant said,“This visit will deepen the knowledge of some public management issues specifically open data, citizen participation and access to public information. “We are here with a group of experts including a representative from the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico and a representative from the Ministry of Public Administration of Trinidad and Tobago.” The analysis will engage various government departments in an attempt to increase access to public information and provide greater transparency within the public service. Minister for the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, said Saint Lucia’s Public Service Ministry is completely committed to this initiative. He explained, “This comes on the heels of a very successful collaboration with the World Bank on open data initiatives, followed by an open street mapping initiative. “It is all geared towards opening up government to the public, so that they can be confident in what we are doing, and there can be greater transparency,” Dr. Fletcher said. The public officers involved in the analysis are experts in public information access, open data and citizen participation. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




ECTEL Launches Two New Industry Publications

LIME Paves the Pathway in Mobile Data


IME St. Lucia, the fastest and most reliable 4G Network is leading the way in Mobile Data. Being a company that keeps abreast of the times and listens to its customers, LIME has introduced Data Wednesday, an exciting new weekly campaign focused on mobile internet and data education. Mobile technology enables rapid two-way sharing of information, improves education and expedites the decision making process. With Data Wednesday, LIME is leading the way in educating our customers on how to make wise and efficient use of their mobile devices and data plans. Customers get free and valuable information from our “Tech Experts” on how to save money by choosing the data plan that’s ideal for their smartphone or tablet. They are also taught how to manage their data subscription and settings and LIME updates them regularly on the best apps available online. Data Wednesday is perfect for the youths and students heading back to school. They can use their LIME data plan to easily download lots of free educational apps, such as, Wikipedia, Coursera, Studious and more, which can assist them with their studies and help them stay ahead of the class! Customers can always look forward to something new and exciting on Data Wednesday. Customers can win grocery and fuel vouchers along with the best and most affordable data plans and world-class handsets at the lowest prices so they can fully optimize the LIME superfast 4G experience. Customers will also receive demos on our FREE Deezer App. What’s more, they have lots of fun whenever they visit a LIME store, or the LIME St. Lucia Facebook page or tune into our LIVE radio program on Blazing FM on Data Wednesday. Cheryl Francis, LIME Commercial Lead said, “Our customers want to know that they are appreciated. Data Wednesday rewards customers for taking advantage of our low-cost data plans, which we have made simple to choose and easy to use, and for using our fantastic 4G service. Customers also get the chance to win up to $1000 in cash in our Big Money draw, free groceries, free fuel vouchers and more! It’s a win-win situation all around!”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Cheryl Hector Director of Economics & Finance

renada and St. Kitts & Nevis are the only ECTEL member states that have reached international standards for broadband affordability to date. That’s according to ECTEL’s Director of Finance and Economics Cheryl Hector, who was speaking at the launch of a 2014 Broadband survey that was conducted by ECTEL Member States recently. Hector notes that from the survey results, TV was the most popular ICT device used within the household and TV services were accessed mostly via digital or analog cable TV. Telephone coverage was relatively widespread among the member states, as less than 10% of household respondents indicated that they had no access to fixed or mobile telephone service. The percentage of households with fixed internet access varied widely among the Member States with the most prevalent mode of access being via an ADSL modem. The main reasons cited for not having fixed internet access by those households were that the cost of access was too high and the fact that they could access the internet on their mobile phones. These households would be more inclined to sign up for fixed internet, if the monthly fee was more affordable. Reliability and price remained the two most important factors considered, when households selected their internet service and very few households switched service provider, in the two previous years. The Broadband Access and Use in the ECTEL Member States were two publications formally launched by the multi-state regulator, as activities to mark its 15th anniversary continue. The media launch in Kingstown, St. Vincent also saw the release of the annual Electronic Communications Sector Review. The main highlights of the Review indicate investment in the sector topping $110 million, fixed broadband penetration up to 17%. The launch of 4G mobile broadband in all ECTEL Member States and local voice call volumes being recorded at 1.1 billion minutes. Both the Broadband Access and Use in ECTEL Member States and the annual Electronic Communications Sector Review can be accessed on the ECTEL website at

Digicel Group Records a Net Loss of US$31.4 Million for First Quarter 2015 Denis O’Brien Digicel Chairman

in Haiti and Papua New Guinea, compared with 100,000 net reductions for the three months ended June 30, 2014. The company operates in 24 Caribbean markets, six in the South Pacific, and two in Central America. The group, controlled by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, as at June 2015 listed its total debt at US$6.53 billion -- far higher than its US$4.62 billion in total assets, financials indicated. “Digicel is in the process of evolving from a pure mobile telecommunications company into a leading total communications and entertainment provider, while remaining focused on improving its competitive position in each of its markets by providing customers with access to better mobile technology, more innovative products, a superior customer experience, and better value compared to Digicel’s competitors,” stated Digicel. Digicel posted a US$157.6-million, net loss for its March 2015 year end as its subscriber base and total revenues remained flat. The group, earlier this year, announced preliminary plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Digicel intends to use the net proceeds of its Initial Public Offer for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditure, acquisitions, and to repay existing indebtedness. The company has not revealed a timeline for listing.


igicel Group, the Irish-owned telecom provider, suffered from flat revenues, but still slashed its net loss nearly in half, according to June first-quarter 2015 financials.

O’Brien founded Digicel in October 2000 and launched its initial mobile operation in Jamaica in April 2001, then quickly spread into other territories. Digicel Group now holds interest in some 143 subsidiaries with most owned 100 per cent by the group.

The group recorded a net loss of US$31.4 million for its June first-quarter 2015, or 40 per cent better than a year ago. The big saving came with the reduction in finance costs at US$129.9 million compared with US$184.6 million a year ago. “Finance costs declined mainly as a result of no redemption premiums or deferred financing fees expensed on the redemption of debt being recognised for the three months ended June 30, 2015, compared to US$59.9 million being recognised for the three months ended June 30, 2014,” Digicel explained. Revenues totalled US$669.7 million or 1.3 per cent less than a year ago, led by declines in the French West Indies, Papua New Guinea, El Salvador, Haiti and Jamaica. These declines were mainly due to exchange rate movements in all the territories mentioned -- except El Salvador which suffered from a rate reduction and increased competition. Revenues in all three of its major markets declined, including Haiti down 4.1 per cent to US$113.8 million; Papua New Guinea down by 7.0 per cent to US$112.7 million; and Jamaica down 2.7 per cent to US$98.6 million. Despite the revenue decline, Digicel’s total mobile subscribers increased by 2.3 per cent to 13.6 million as at June 2015. “New additions of subscribers for the three months ended June 30, 2015 were 300,000, largely as a result of subscriber growth

Mongiraud, Gros Islet, P.O. Box 8330 Choc Cell: (758) 484-9007 Tel: (758) 721-7201 • 452-8022/32 Fax: (758) 452-0030 Email: Web: BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




CWC to Divest TSTT Stake by End of 2015


nvestors are being sought for TSTT as plans are on target for completion of divestment of Cable and Wireless Communications’ (CWC) stake in the company by year end. Chris Seecheran, CEO of the Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT), told the T&T Guardian that there were no longer any CWC directors on TSTT’s board. He said this meant the two companies were now separate from an operational stand point. Seecheran said one of the conditions which TATT had requested before approving the merger of CWC and Columbus Communications late last year was frequent updates on the divestment process. “CWC and NEL (National Enterprises Ltd), on behalf of Government, appointed financial advisors who are working with them in order to put together—I am using the word prospectus—in order to attract a suitable investor into TSTT,” he said. In the interim, he said: “TSTT is involved in producing revised plans/forecasts. Some sort of a virtual library as it were, has been created where potential investors can go in and look at documents, look at forecasts. “The current schedule is that by December 2015 Thereabouts, they should have received proposals which hopefully could then be reviewed. Early into the new year we will see a way forward in terms of identifying a potential investor.” Seecheran said the process had been ongoing “behind the scenes” and TATT had given CWC a time frame of one year to complete the divestment with a possible extension of up

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



to six months. “So far they are within the processed timeline. The process has started and it is going well from what we understand. As you know we are not part of the process. We wanted to be informed. Seecharan said TATT would make an announcement when the divestment process was completed. In an immediate response, the Communications Workers Union (CWU), the union that represents TSTT workers, said it would make a statement on the matter. CWU president Joseph Remy said the union wanted an opportunity to make recommendations on the investment of the 49 per cent shares. As though highly critical of TATT’s handling of the CWC/Columbus merger, Remy said he was pleased with TATT’s approach to TSTT. In late March 2015, TATT gave conditional approval of the merger, saying it would depend on CWC’s readiness to suspend its shareholder rights with regard to its 49 per cent stake in majority state-owned TSTT, among other conditions. At the time, TSTT, this country’s largest telecommunications service provider, was jointly owned by NEL on behalf of the Government (51 per cent), and and Cable & Wireless (49 per cent). TATT had said then that an “in-depth economic and legal analysis” of the implications of the transaction on the local telecom market “found that substantial lessening of competition or adverse effects may reasonably be expected to result from the proposed acquisition of Columbus by CWC.” Plans for the CWC/ Columbus were first announced on November 6th 2014 and on March 31st 2015 the two companies announced its finalisation.

CBU Opens Membership to Other Forms of Media


Shida Bolai President CBU he 45-year-old Barbados-based Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) has agreed to open up membership to media forms other than the traditional radio and free-to-air television systems.

The amendments to the CBU by-laws will now make it possible for on-line publications, as well as newspapers and magazines to be full members of the regional broadcasting group. Re-elected CBU President Shida Bolai said the media sector is “very different than it was forty-five years ago. “The rapid and extreme changes in media audiences, ownership, markets, professional capacity and technology have made broadcasting a totally different sector to that of 1970. “These changes have been agreed by the CBU’s members to ensure it maintains its relevance in the media sector and in the region, while staying true to its original mandate of promoting development through regional integration,” she said. CBU Vice-President Gary Allen told the media that the CBU thinks the change is “a significant step forward for the organisation. “We are being relevant and remaining relevant in not just being opened to broadcasting in the traditional form, but making sure that we are open to all the various media forms that are now converging on sections of what was traditionally known as broadcasting.” Allen, who was also re-elected to his post, said that the CBU believes that the changes will serve both the organisation and

Gary Allen Vice President CBU the media industry well, adding that media convergence has meant that there are number of changes with which the CBU must come to terms. “Our commitment to development and to making sure that information is available to the wider Caribbean community and to keep them informed and appraised of different activities has led us to move away from simply one view that the tradition broadcasting approach is the only approach we can take to an all encompassing approach of inviting membership from other players in the media landscape, all being redefined by what is happening digitally,” he said. But even as the CBU made the announcement, it also expressed concerns about moves in the telecommunication space, which Allen said would “marginalize access that broadcasters have and the use that we have without potential interference to our spectrum”. He said that CBU learnt during its annual assembly that some Caribbean governments have “actually decided to take a course of action supporting one path that should see some of the UHS spectrum used by broadcasters in the region reassigned to telecommunications users, and specifically mobile users. “And we consider this as something that is a serious threat to the broadcast industry if certain safeguards are not ensured in any change that is contemplated,” Allen said. He said the CBU has passed a resolution on the development asking regional governments to protect the spectrum, which he said, offers the least interference to radio and television broadcasts. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Grace Parkinson Director of Information Systems

Modernization of Saint Lucia’s Seaports Charting the Way Towards Future Development


aint Lucia’s Seaports since the early eighteenth century have played a major role in the development of Saint Lucia, facilitating trade in various commodities from coal to sugar cane and more recently bananas. Today, Port Castries is a bustling multi-purpose port catering to thousands of cruise passengers annually, as well as handling cargo from around the world. Complementing Port Castries is Port Vieux Fort in the south of the island which is undergoing transformation of business development and diversification. Therefore, being an island state means that everything from the food we eat, clothes we wear and vehicles we drive are facilitated through our Sea Ports, under the management the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA). In the past decade, tremendous gains have been realized in the efficiency of ocean transport, and ports have played a significant role in the global supply chain. Additionally, seaports worldwide, in an effort to remain competitive and relevant have focused on improving port operational efficiency and effectiveness. The end result of this strategic repositioning is a reduction in operational costs and by extension handling cost and the integration of seaport services/systems with other components in the global distribution network.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



SLASPA’s short-term strategic pillars speak to an organizational focus on Business Development, Customer Centricity and Operational Efficiency. In so doing, our focus not only points to operational efficiencies, cost reduction and institutional strengthening, but also takes into consideration ensuring full understanding and appreciation of who our customers are, their needs and how we can better respond to those needs. A key component of the aforementioned is embracing the Government of Saint Lucia’s vision of improving the Ease of Doing Business on the island. Naturally, our hope is to ensure that by becoming more customer centric, stakeholders will benefit from enhanced customer service supported by a welltrained, motivated, informed and equipped team functioning in a safe modern environment. A key component of the aforementioned is utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in support of improving the current operations of the Castries and Vieux Fort seaports. Grace Parkinson, SLASPA’s Director of Information Systems and her team, working closely with the Seaport Operations Department, has led the charge of systems integration to optimize business processes and to improve efficiency levels.

Some of the key projects implemented by the Authority include the implementation and upgrading of its Seaport Management System and the development of a Central Statistical Database.

Ships manifests are received from the Customs and Excise Department via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) making the trade facilitation process more seamless.

In the early 1990’s SLASPA implemented the Seaport Cargo Management System – Unitrack and has made several upgrades to enable the system to fully manage and track containers, general and break-bulk cargo from arrival, warehouse and release. The system also interfaces with the Customs Asycuda World to allow for the electronic exchange of data. Invoices are now automatically generated as the port tariffs have been incorporated to make for easier processing.

Shipping Agents are now able to log in to SLASPA’s online container release portal to authorize containers for release. This electronic data interchange allows SLASPA’s Cargo Management System to be updated in real time to process customer cargo deliveries.

Using electronic data interchange, SLASPA also receives electronic Customs releases from Asycuda World into its Cargo Management System – Unitrack. The intention is for Customs to eventually eliminate the physical copy of the Customs Release thereby enhancing the delivery time of goods from our ports.

SLASPA now provides Wi-Fi access throughout its Port facility allowing secure internet access to customers who transact business at the Seaport thereby creating a onestop-shop for trade facilitation.

SLASPA’s Statistical Management Information System is the Authority’s central database which was developed to produce current and consistent cargo, cruise, ferry and yachting statistics in a single system. SLASPA went a step further in enhancing its customer service delivery by allowing access to industry partners such as the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries as well as the Saint Lucia Tourist Board to have access in support of retrieving relevant statistical information in real time. Additionally, stakeholder access to real-time information has been a key focus with the following notable achievements: •

An electronic application for berth and port services now replaces the manual process of customers physically coming to SLASPA’s offices to apply for port services. The electronic process automatically updates SLASPA’s Cargo Management System in real-time.

The introduction of a container tracking system now allows shipping agents to track their container movements in realtime through direct web-based querying of SLASPA’s Cargo Management System. Customers are no longer required to call SLASPA’s offices to enquire on the location of their containers that have been discharged and delivered. They are now able to access online tracking of the container movements from vessel discharge to gate exit and re-entry into the Port. Electronic trucker turnaround activity of container delivery at the Port is also available.

Beyond the aforementioned, Management has embarked on the road to achieving a paperless environment, and thus far has made great progress. To this end, SLASPA has automated the request for extension of storage which allows a customer to log in to SLASPA’s website and submit such a request for consideration and approval. Automatic workflows have been built in to allow the requests to route to the relevant managers for appropriate action, and to inform the customer of progress and completion. The global economy in which ports operate is constantly evolving necessitating an organization sufficiently flexible to identify and embrace timely evolution and change. SLASPA has therefore, positioned itself to meet those demands through ICT, world class customer service, employee development and technological advancement. Mrs. Parkinson notes, “SLASPA has and will continue to utilize technology to develop and implement business solutions for increased operational efficiencies and improved customer service throughout the organization. We at SLASPA will continue to focus our energies on understanding our customer’s requirements and equally important, responding to those needs on a timely basis. We will Complement Your Every Move”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Redeveloping Hewanorra International Airport


he global world has witnessed the demand for air travel advance rapidly in the last decade and economic and demographic evidence allude to this trend continuing well beyond the immediate future. A period of tremendous growth is on the horizon for the island’s tourism and travel industry and the redevelopment of the airport is certainly geared towards ensuring infrastructural and operational advancements in support of an increase in passenger arrivals and aircraft landings. The aforementioned is underpinned by an extensive master plan which provides a strategic vision for the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) for a period of thirty (30) years from the year 2015. This Master Plan outlines forecasted growth in passenger traffic within that 30 year period, clearly signalling an increase in passenger traffic for the airport, with a forecasted facilitation of approximately 700,000 passengers at the airport, by the year 2017. Currently, the airport’s operating capacity is challenged, thus necessitating a strategic intervention in support of the overall development of the airport and its facilities as a national asset. Research has revealed that airports worldwide are undergoing a modernization of the operating plant all in support of a global consumer who seeks to function well beyond sovereign borders. This modernization not only seeks to embrace rapidly evolving aeronautical industry trends, but equally factors in international environmental standards and the growing trend of airports functioning as commercial hubs offering passengers convenient and modern retail experiences all within an aesthetically pleasing, safe and comfortable environment.

Keigan Cox SLASPA General Manager

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct

SLAPSA’s vision for HIA’s development embraces such industry trends and best practices all within the context of embracing Saint Lucia’s unique cultural heritage and tourism product. Mindful of Saint Lucia’s fiscal limitations and equally considering the need to manage liability considerations all within the context of international best practice for the development of state assets such as airports, the Government of Saint Lucia, as a policy directive, has opted to pursue the development of HIA through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). |


In light of this, the Government of Saint Lucia, through SLASPA has engaged the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister entity of the World Bank, as the lead advisor to SLASPA and the Government of Saint Lucia on the HIA Redevelopment Project. As the lead on this transaction, the IFC has ensured the creation of an enabling environment for PPPs and the adoption and application of international best practice and transparency throughout the project’s various stages. The World Banks states that, “PPPs are typically medium to long term arrangements between the public and private sectors whereby some of the service obligations of the public sector are provided by the private sector, with clear agreement on shared objectives for delivery of public infrastructure and/or public services within a performance driven matrix.” As part of its mandate, the IFC has completed a detailed technical, legal and financial analysis of the airport, a comprehensive due diligence report and a recommended transaction structure which has been approved by SLASPA and by extension the Government of Saint Lucia. The IFC is currently overseeing and providing assistance to SLASPA in the tendering process which is currently at the pre-qualification stage for the identification of a suitably qualified private sector partner for the development and management of the Hewanorra International Airport, as guided by the thirty (30) year Master Plan. As business markets change both regionally and internationally, airports are increasingly being viewed as incentives for local economic development. Their ability to generate jobs and generate commercial activity is a consideration of many Governments, as they seek to pursue a national development mandate. The implementation of a PPP as the preferred module to redevelop HIA, has numerous potential benefits to Saint Lucia. While the typical focal point for capital investments tends to be fiscal risk, governments look to the private sector not only for risk management and transfer, but equally the adoption and integration of proven commercial performance driven practices in support of enhancing competitiveness and growth opportunities. The integration of Private Sector into the development and management of a state asset seeks to introduce private sector know how and innovation in providing improved public services in support of greater efficiency and effectiveness.

A PPP can also serve as a way of gradually exposing the public sector to increasing levels of private sector involvement, particularly from foreign investors; as well as the structuring of PPPs in a way so as to ensure transfer of skills. It also has the potential to create diversification in the economy by making the country more competitive in terms of its infrastructural capacity as well as giving a boost to its business and industries associated with infrastructure development such as construction. Very importantly, such an arrangement, as mentioned previously, promotes appropriate risk transfer to the private sector over the life of the project – from design, to construction, to operation and maintenance. The economic importance of the redevelopment of HIA to Saint Lucia includes the potential to become a major generator of economic activity and source of motivation for a wide range of trade and industry activities. The modernized HIA can act as a strategic development catalyst by attracting new foreign investment from internationally established and financially secure corporate entities, retaining and securing the expansion of existing local businesses in the face of competition and promoting the success of businesses, particularly those located in the south of the island. The airport development will also enhance the competitiveness of the economy through the efficient and safe processing of passenger and freight services, possibly providing a legitimate opportunity for the creation of value-added services and opportunities for the island’s private sector. The Government’s strategic decision to pursue this project of national significance through a Public Private Partnership signals the thinking that projects of this nature cannot be pursued in absentia of the country’s broader economic and social considerations and must be underpinned by an extensive development plan fused with international best practices and opportunities for Saint Lucian Private Sector participation. SLASPA, with the oversight of the IFC has ensured that, through an established pre-qualification criterion, the bidding process has attracted the participation of established, experienced, legitimate and financially secure entities, all within a transparent bidding process. Upon release of the Request for Quotation (RFQ), the IFC has received no less than thirty –two (32) expressions of interest, wishing to obtain copies of the formal RFP document. The public opening of bids is confirmed for September 7th at 4pm at SLASPA’s Headquarters in Castries. The process will be overseen by the IFC and will continue over a period of one week with the bid evaluation process. SLASPA is working steadfastly with the support of the IFC and other stakeholders within the Saint Lucian context to ensure the successful conclusion of the development of the island’s international airport. We are certain that the process has been transparent, all-encompassing and in keeping with international best practice. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




IDB Approves US$130m for Jamaica’s Structural Economic Programme


he Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced that it has approved a US$130-million loan for Jamaica so as to strengthen its structural programme for economic growth. It said that this is the second operation of a policybased loan series, providing budget support for the Government’s fiscal policy reform. The first operation was approved in February last year. The Jamaica Government has been improving its public finances in recent years in order to set the stage for stronger economic growth. Under its economic reform programme, Jamaica approved key tax reforms aimed at broadening the tax base while correcting a distortionary tax system. Among other measures, the programme targets strengthening of Jamaica’s pension system, and most specifically, efforts to ensure that the pension fund is financially sustainable. This includes reforming the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). In addition, a fiscal rule has been established. These reforms will contribute to maintaining and enhancing Jamaica’s sound fiscal programme. “The IDB has been a consistent partner in this programme of economic reform on which we have embarked and we have made considerable progress because of the support received by the IDB. We don’t always agree on everything, but when we don’t, we can discuss and emerge with an even stronger bond of collaboration and are better off for having these discussions. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



“This approval, on the eve of Jamaica’s celebration of the 53rd anniversary of Independence, is appropriately timed as we strive to ensure the unfurling of all the opportunities that Independence represents. Our sincere thanks to the IDB for a partnership that is helping us to deliver on the legitimate expectations of the people in Jamaica for a better life,” said Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Peter Phillips. The Vice President for Countries at the IDB, Alexandre Meira da Rosa, said the agreement had the full support of everyone on the IDB Board. “This is a credit and tribute to the efforts of Jamaica to carry out the reforms necessary to achieve economic and social growth. We believe that Jamaica is about to turn the corner and harvest the results of its efforts. “This agreement is the fulfillment of a commitment that IDB President Moreno and I made to Minister Phillips last year, to walk hand-in-hand with Jamaica on the reform journey. We celebrate the fulfillment of that promise and reaffirm the full commitment of the IDB to Jamaica.” The IDB loan has a 20-year maturity, a 5.5-year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR, which is currently about 1.2 per cent.

Heritage Bank to Acquire CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Operations in Belize


eritage Bank and CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank recently announced that they have entered into an agreement that will see Heritage Bank acquiring the assets of the Belize operations of CIBC FirstCaribbean. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and the requisite applications have been submitted to the Central Bank of Belize and the Central Bank of Barbados. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the coming months. In announcing that the applications had been made, Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Stephen Duncan, described the acquisition of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Belize assets as an excellent opportunity for Heritage Bank. He noted, “We are excited about the opportunities that this addition will provide and the ability to further cement our place in the Belize market. In addition, we are happy to be part of the first-of-itskind bank consolidation to take place in Belize.”

“Our Bank’s mission is to maximise shareholder value by providing superior and innovative banking services tailored to meet the needs of our clients in a cost effective way by utilising technology and the skills of a highly trained cadre of employees. The scope that this acquisition will give us will certainly assist us in delivering on our mission” Mr. Duncan noted. The CEO of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Regional Operations, Mr. Rik Parkhill noted, “We have a strong team in Belize and these decisions are never easy, however it was necessary to sharpen our focus on the growth opportunities we have in other markets where we operate. We conducted a strategic review of our business across the region and given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to sell our Belize operations. This decision was made easier because of the credible and respected partner we have been able to identify for this transaction – Heritage Bank.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean is very keen to minimise the impact on its employees and its customers in Belize and intends to work diligently with Heritage Bank to ensure as seamless a transition as possible. Mr. Parkhill asserted, “We have met with our staff in Belize to apprise them of our decision to sell our operations in Belize, and have shared information about potential opportunities for them with Heritage Bank moving forward. We are satisfied that we are turning over our Belize operations to a financial institution that understands our customers and their financial needs. We are fully committed to supporting our employees and customers through this process.” The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Tier I and Total Capital ratios.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Republic Acquires Suriname Bank


EPUBLIC Bank Ltd has welcomed a new territory into its expanding financial Group. Republic Bank (Suriname) NV will begin operations immediately, having acquired RBC Royal Bank (Suriname) NV from RBC Financial (Caribbean) Ltd, through the purchase of Royal Overseas Holdings (St Lucia) Ltd. The Suriname bank has a network of five branches in the capital of Paramaribo and one in Nickerie, and assets of approximately US$525 million (as at October 31, 2014). This brings the Republic Bank Group’s strategic expansion to nine territories, including Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, and more recently, Ghana, the bank said. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to be part of the future development of Suriname and intend to hold true to our tradition of adding value to the countries in which we operate, both on a commercial and community level,” Managing Director of Republic Bank, David Dulal-Whiteway stated. “Undoubtedly, at our core is a culture of providing excellent, innovative customer service. We believe in organic growth and have a well-established institutional track-record of successfully entering new territories, ensuring compliance and integrity, while investing in technology and the development of the country’s human resource capabilities.” The Group’s regional corporate social investment programme, The Power To Make A Difference, focuses on strategically building successful societies through poverty alleviation, health care and youth development in the areas of sport, culture and education. The Group has already begun to look for new opportunities in Suriname, the statement said. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



St Kitts-Nevis Passes Controversial Banking Act Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr.Timothy Harris presented the Banking Bill to the Parliament (Photo courtesy Willett’s Photo Studio)


n early August 2015, The House of Assembly in St. Kitts passed into law without amendment the Banking Bill 2015, which seeks to reform the region’s banking sector to give more regulatory muscle to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Critics of the Act have expressed concern that only the ECCB will determine whether a licence is granted, can revoke that license, veto the appointment of directors, and will command the proceeds of the annual license, thus removing control of the banking sector from the finance ministers of individual territories. Speaking in Parliament, former Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs Patrice Nisbett expressed similar sentiments. The new banking Act provides for the regulation and supervision of banking business, the establishment of a single banking space, the ownership structures for licensed financial institutions, the licensing of financial holding companies, the corporate governance of licensed financial institutions, the framework for the official administration of licensed financial institutions and for incidental and related matters. The Bill is divided into fourteen parts. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, in supporting the legislation, underscored the importance of the banking system to the financial health of the Eastern Caribbean.




By: Brian M. Francis

n a previous column, I lamented the fact that an economy comprises various distinct components with massive amount of interactions among them so much so that developments in one segment tend generally to affect outcomes in others. And that is particularly true in the case of the financial sector, which this author deems the heartbeat of the economic life of a country given the nature of activities undertaken within that imperative element of our economy. Consequently, the widespread changes taking place within the financial sector in the OECS have not gone unnoticed by me and hopefully would not have escaped the attention of all and sundry, particularly those charged with the responsibility of regulating, promoting and protecting this vital sector. For example, walking through the smaller towns in the OECS highlights the changes that are about to happen. Buildings which used to house prominent banks are now left vacant with hundreds of unemployed bankers in the region. The bad news is that the number is growing. In the prevailing environment we as a people have an important decision to make. Do we want to continue with the status quo or do we demand change – change that is designed to restore stability in this critical sector that can redound to the benefit of individuals, businesses, governments and the economy as a whole? To demand change, we have to recognise and accept that banks in the OECS and indeed the wider Caribbean are in desperate need of a real “shake-up.” This means we have to undertake a comprehensive re-evaluation of the existing banking models in the region, who those institutions serve and, equally important, how they serve. In short, our banks are faced at the moment with the simple choice of “innovate or die.” What is amazing in the present environment is that the USA’s financial sector is experiencing an incredible change following the 2008/2009 global financial crises that witnessed the “crash” of key banks in that country. Today, as a result, banking is no longer just for “banks.” Financial technology firms known as Fintech are now popping up and fast becoming major players in the financial sector. The importance of the Fintech tale in the context of the financial sector in the OECS and wider Caribbean is that new innovation is allowing banks and other financial institutions to unlock the resources needed to be mobilised to the sectors which need

Brian M. Francis (Ph.D) is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados them mostly. But for such successes to be replicated here in the region, progressive thinking, visionary bankers who will lead the sector beyond rubber-stamping and bureaucracy must rise up and be counted. After all, our banks ought not to forget they are working for the people who are entrusting them with their hard-earned money. Service levels which are abysmal in too many instances and the almost complete neglect of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector have to be addressed as a matter of urgency before any real changes can be realised in our banking system. You know, as often as we dare, any calls made for meaningful changes in the OECS and wider Caribbean, irrespective of the nature of the changes; talks of all sorts of constraints emerge and occupy front pages. Clearly, with respect to the creation of a new banking era in our region, the critical factor cannot be one of limited financial or other resources; it’s a matter of will, period! In recent discussions with a hard working small entrepreneur, your humble servant was told not only has this person been waiting for two months to get a bank account opened, but when he went to a credit union for a small loan which was secured by two vehicles and excellent cash flows, he was declined for no good reason. Is that how banking should be conducted? Is that how risk takers ought to be treated by our financial institutions? Is that scenario a model for success or clear failure when it comes to entrepreneurship and the advancement of such innovations? Operationally, it is quite evident that banks in other parts of the world remain open late hours to facilitate customers. They make it simple and easy to transact. And, most importantly, they demonstrate they want their customers’ businesses. Do the banks operating in the OECS and the wider Caribbean function in such manner? Are those practices the norm in the region? No wonder why the banks here are closing down one after the other. Where do we go from here, Mr. Banker? Are you not aware that we are indeed in a new banking era? What changes are you prepared to undergo in order to remain relevant and make your rightful contribution to national development through effective services to your customers and by extension the countries of the OECS? BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Sagicor Group Jamaica Projects Strong Business Growth for 2015


AGICOR Group Jamaica is anticipating strong business growth in the latter part of 2015 based on Jamaica’s positive economic indicators and the Government’s buy-back of PetroCaribe debt.

Concurrently, the group posted net profit of $2.3 billion for its second quarter ending June 30, or 25.4 per cent higher than profits of the comparative quarter last year. “The Jamaican economy continues to perform well in respect of all indicators except GDP growth, which remains low. Factors such as higher business confidence, improved ratings, and the buy-back of PetroCaribe debt at a discount will support continued positive economic trends,” Sagicor Group President and CEO Richard Byles said in a statement to shareholders. “All of the driving factors will not remain at the same level but we anticipate good business growth and improved expense efficiencies as the year unfolds,” he added. The financial conglomerate’s profits for the quarter was strongly subsidised by net investment income, which climbed to $5.03 billion up from $2.53 billion quarter over quarter, or 98.7 per cent higher than earnings in 2014. Byles stated that the 2015 numbers included the recent acquisition of RBC Royal Bank of Jamaica Limited (RBC), recovered interest on an impaired loan, along with other organic growth of the conglomerate.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



“This strong performance was principally driven by significant capital gains on sale of investment securities, the inclusion of the RBC portfolio in 2015, higher than expected recoveries on delinquent loans in Sagicor Bank, and overall good earned premiums and favourable insurance benefits experience,” he stated. Last June, Sagicor acquired RBC Royal Bank for $9 billion. Postacquisition losses of the company were $558 million which included rebranding and restructuring costs. Despite the setback, Sagicor made $8.5 billion in net profit for its December year end 2014. For the current quarter, all segments produced profits for the six-month period, which were better than the prior year, except for the employee benefits division where the 2014 results were assisted by large annuity contracts recognised in the first quarter of 2014. The commercial banking division reported the highest profit, which grew to $813 million – up from $206 million over comparative periods – followed by investment banking. The results were achieved despite much higher asset taxes being fully expended in the first quarter. Total assets of the company grew to 289 billion up from 258 million, while stockholders equity stood at 47.5 billion, or 15.5 per cent higher than the previous quarter.

Sagicor Records Net Half-Year Profit of US$22.4m


arbados-based insurer Sagicor Financial group has posted on the London Stock Exchange a net profit of US$22.4 million in the first half (H1) of 2015 versus US$5.7 million same time last year. From continuing operations net income was US$37.5 million for H1 2015, compared to US$33.2 million last year, an increase of 13 per cent. The continuing operations comprise Sagicor’s businesses in the Caribbean and in the USA. Sagicor is still bleeding losses from its discontinued UK business, and reports results separately. Sagicor lost US$15.1 million “from discontinued operations” in H1 2015, down from the US$27.5 million loss last year same period.

Republic Bank Group Posts $897m Profit


HE Republic Bank Group has recorded a net profit attributable to shareholders of $897.8 million for the third quarter ended June 30.

This represents an increase of $28.7 million (3.3 per cent) over the corresponding period last year, the bank said in a statement.

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WE DID IT!!! Valedictorian Speech AIB Programme By: Theresa Jn Baptiste Australian Institute of Business (AIB) has teaching centres throughout the world. They offer quality Bachelor’s Degree and Masters degrees to candidates who qualify, offering the option of studying part-time while in full-time employment. National Research Development Foundation (NRDF) is one such teaching centre. Recently, we had our graduation ceremony for those who successfully completed these courses. An edited version of the Valedictorian’s speech is below. Valedictorian speech by Theresa Jn Baptiste Distinguished guests, faculty, family, friends, and fellow graduants a pleasant good afternoon. It is an immense honour to address you today as valedictorian of our graduating class. Today marks a significant time in our lives. Here we are the graduating class of 2015!!! We have successfully completed this arduous programme!!!! We did it!!!! Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere There is this Chinese proverb that struck a chord with me and it says “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” To pursue further education is a commitment to expand our learning, an education not only opens and expands the mind but it brings with it a whole range of possibilities in life. It essentially opens a new door that beckons us in. A door of opportunities: improved competency and performance in our current or future jobs, increased professional mobility, ability to command a higher salary, more savings, job security BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



and overall improves the quality of life. This is only the beginning of what lies ahead, how far we walk to that door, whether we even open that door, really is up to us. This was a journey that we were each determined to make and we had to maintain our focus on the prize, the achievement of our BBA Certificate. We knew the doors we wanted open to us, and that kept us pushing on; so we looked at the mountains in our way and determined that we would get to the finish line, whether we walked over, around or through that mountain. We would press on and that we did. Set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster AAs stated by Les Brown, a famous motivational speaker: “If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” You have control over your future, your grit and determination brought you to this place today, to receive your certificate. It’s a privilege for me and all of us, to be part of the AIB family. The AIB programme has also gained significant recognition in St. Lucia. This programme has enabled us to build bonds with each other that would last a lifetime. Coming out of the programme we are equipped with the tools and knowledge to succeed in our chosen field of study to make an impact on the organisations that we serve. There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs

So as you continue on to other dreams, other mountains to overcome, remember to maintain a positive attitude and a focus on your dreams and aspirations. You achieved it once before, remember this moment, remember this success and let that propel you forward to the life that you imagined. As Steve Jobs said: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions, drown out your inner voice and most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary.” And in conclusion, a big thank you to all those who supported us throughout this journey, we would not have been able to make it without you. Class of 2015, it’s up to all of us to make a difference; St Lucia is counting on us. Remember excellence is not an accident but the result of hardwork. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” AIB has helped us build a strong foundation for that dream, now your life is yours to create. Theresa Jn Baptiste has been employed with Unicomer for the past 12 years. She recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with the Australian Institute of Business through NRDF as the teaching centre. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at the University of South Wales.

Becoming a Total Person


By Trudy Edgar-Louis

e are complex and unique individuals, and part of our complexity is the fact that we have to fill many roles in life and we possess many needs and desires that emanate from our distinctive potentials. When life is busy, or all our energy is focused on a special project, it’s all too easy to find ourselves off balance, not paying enough attention to important areas of our life. At this point, we need to take a “helicopter view” of our life, so that we can bring things back into balance. Paul J. Meyer, founder of Leadership Management International (LMI) spoke of six key areas in life that together make up the total person. These key areas include: Family and Home, Financial and Career, Mental and Educational, Physical and Health, Social and Cultural, and Spiritual and Ethical. Here are some helpful tips on the six areas of life for your consideration: •

Family and Home – Spend quality time to maintain meaningful relationships with all members of your family. The family is the foundational stage of growth and development and should be an environment for progress, support, and excellence. Demonstrating love, concern and appreciation for family members foster a sense of peace and happiness. Financial and Career – Exercise due diligence when it comes to your finances. Budgeting and careful managing of your finances can

result in great savings in the long run. Spending money unnecessarily hampers your ability to pursue career and personal goals. Get into the habit of monthly budgeting to help with managing your finances. Mental and Education – Read something every day that simulates you to think about great ideas or challenges you to research. Listen to the news both locally and internationally, be abreast with current issues. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day, as little as it may be. Physical and Health – To be successful in life, we need to take care of ourselves. A healthy body supports an active and creative mind and turns stress into a motivating force for achievement. Exercise, eat healthy and nutritious meals, get enough rest and remember to drink lots of water. Invest in your annual medical checks and vitamin supplements if necessary. Without health, you can’t achieve your goals and enjoy the fullness of life. Social and Cultural – Positive friends and acquaintances can contribute tremendously towards your success. As you develop in life, routine evaluation of your friends is important. Do your friends encourage you to pursue your dreams? Do your friends challenge you to be a better person, giving honest feedback for your improvement?

Spiritual and Ethical –Many times we try hard to understand others around us but we fail to understand ourselves. What makes us smile? What gets us angry? What triggers our fears? It is important to understand who we are, our purpose, and our values. Give back to others some of the blessings that you enjoy in life. Others are watching and waiting for you to touch their lives, with money, with words of encouragement, or simply a listening ear.

Trudy Edgar-Louis is the LMI Licensee for St. Lucia and the OECS. She represents one of the leading US based Performance Improvement Companies, Leadership Management International. Contact details: or 758-284-7736 for more information.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct





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Global Connect provides your business with the foundation for automating business processes including e-commerce, shared intranets, and extranets at your headquarters and between your branches.

• Superior quality video transport

Global Connect uses the Digicel 4G wireless network, providing mobile employees and connected devices with access to critical business information over a private wireless network that is separated from the public Internet. Digicel Business is the region’s leading full services business solutions partner. Our job is to keep you ahead of the game, solve your business problems and deliver value, innovation and partnership to your business. Stay connected and productive with Digicel Global Connect. To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact Digicel Business at 1 758 724 6001 or

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Your communications network doesn’t just keep you, your customers and suppliers in constant contact. From providing your most crucial applications to your everyday operations, it’s central to how you interact. Advanced Networking will streamline your existing IT and communications and give you the very latest, cutting-edge technologies. And, you’ll be sure of staying continuously connected as we closely monitor your systems. Our expert network consultants have created and put in place some of the most sophisticated global networks. Let us partner with you to improve your communications with Digicel Advanced Networking. GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS • Improves your communications performance • Increases efficiency across your business • Maximises your cost-effectiveness

• Closely monitored, continuous connection • Easy to manage and simple to use • 24/7 helpdesk provides continuous support


Get better results with simpler infrastructure. If your company relies on data converging from a variety of sources such as fixed, mobile or online, your IT infrastructure has to be robust and easy to work with. Structured Cabling simplifies your infrastructure and makes it more manageable, increasing your ability to respond to different incoming technologies and increased levels of activity. Make a key investment in growing your business and improving your company’s operational efficiency with Structured Cabling from Digicel. GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS • Guarantees versatile, reliable telecommunications • Optimises functionality across all systems • Minimises downtime • Maximises operational efficiency • Broadens your management capabilities

• Increases your system’s capacity to support new applications • 24/7 helpdesk provides continuous support

Digicel Business is the region’s leading full services business solutions partner. Our job is to keep you ahead of the game, solve your business problems and deliver value, innovation and partnership to your business. To get the technology you need to keep you ahead, Contact Digicel Business at 1 758 724 6001 or

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How to Register a Business Name By Trudy O. Glasgow

In my considered opinion, opening your own business is a challenge. One of the many decisions you will need to make is what to call your business; whether you should form a company or register a business name. In this article, we explore the process of registering your business name in Saint Lucia.


he straightforward way to register your business name is to visit your lawyer’s office with instructions on the nature of the business, the address, services to be provided and of course the business name. Your lawyer would assist you in setting up your business and registering your business name or company. This is especially practical if you will be travelling, reside overseas or simply do not have the time to dedicate to the registration process in person. It is important to note, that your lawyer will require a Power of Attorney for the registration of a business name and/or company. To register your business name in Saint Lucia, your first step is to visit the Registry of Companies and Intellectual Property which is now located on the second floor of the Hewanorra House Trou Garnier Financial Centre at Point Seraphine, Castries. There is a one-page form to fill out for a name search of your proposed business name. This name search usually takes about two to three working days. The name search is FREE but in order to reserve the name, the cost is twenty five dollars ($25). Once your proposed business name has been approved, that is to say it is suitable for your business and it is not BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



already in existence; the name search form can either be taken to your lawyer at this stage to continue the process or to Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) which is part of the Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs located on the third floor of the Heraldine Rock Building on the Waterfront. You will need to fill out the forms which includes an application form and statutory declaration signed before a Notary Royal or Justice of the Peace. The form includes requesting the business name, general nature of the business, principal place of business, name and nationality of the individual registering the business name, usual place of residence, occupation and date of commencement of the business, and whether there are any other names under which the business is carried on. This is in accordance with Section 3 (b) and (c) of the Registration of Business Names Act. All three copies of both documents must be signed and/or notarised and returned to the Companies Registry along with two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) in stamps. The cost for completion of the registration process is one hundred and twenty five dollars ($125). Submit the documents and pay the cashier. It is important to retain your receipt in order to collect your certificate within five to seven working days. One will also receive two copies of

Ms. Trudy O. Glasgow, B.A (History), LL.B (Hons.), B.V.C, LL.M P.C.H.E, is a practising attorney at the law firm Trudy O. Glasgow & Associates and a Court- Appointed Mediator in Saint Lucia, (and has also taught law at University level in the UK)* Ms. Glasgow is the current Vice President of the Bar Association of Saint Lucia and sits on various boards including: Chairperson of National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF), member of the Legal Aid Board, Rotary Club of Gros Islet. She writes a weekly legal column, Simply law, in The Voice newspaper and published a book which is a selection of her articles with some new material.

the statutory declaration and attached form which have been filed, with one copy being retained by the Companies Registry. The certificate and supporting documents must be taken back to Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU). A copy of the declaration and form along with a photocopy of the certificate will be retained by them. It is also necessary to submit copies of your business certificate to the Inland Revenue Department and your financial institution (if you acquired a business loan to start your business and/or to open an account in the business name). The business name must be in compliance with section 5 of the Registration of Business Names Act, Chapter 13.03 of the Revised Laws of Saint Lucia. This column is for general use only, for advice specifically for your case, please see your lawyer.


Promoting St Lucia UK Trade BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Her Excellency Mrs Victoria Dean British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

As economies around the world took a big hit after the difficulties of 2008, we are keen to encourage growth and investment, in both directions. Strengthening the economy, enhancing the tourism sector, and delivering jobs and growth is in the interests of both of our countries, and of the Caribbean region more broadly. We must work together, in partnership, wherever we can, to encourage that much needed growth. Here is to many more years of friendship and partnership between the United Kingdom and St Lucia, and the broader Caribbean region, and to developing and seeking opportunities for British and St Lucian business to thrive and to grow. British High Commission, Castries, August 2015

Mission Statement


t Lucia and the UK have, as we are all aware, deep, historic and long-standing ties. St Lucia is a place where any Briton would feel welcome; and I very much hope that St Lucians too can feel at home in the UK.

There are many strings to the bow of that important bilateral relationship: cultural and people-to-people links, tourists and travellers, our shared history and language, students studying in Britain, and stunning photographs of St Lucia’s iconic sights gracing the pages of holiday brochures and newspapers sold in British shops. One area which merits further development is our trading and business relationship. British businesses have long thrived in St Lucia; whether in the fields of construction, consultancy or hospitality. This is a link to be encouraged and grown, providing benefit for St Lucia and for Britain. The British High Commission office in Castries, and our Trade and Investment Team based out of the British High Commission in Barbados, stand ready to support that business relationship. That support can take the form of helping to match companies with opportunities, providing advice on the business and regulatory environment, or helping a business to develop its network. Get in touch at +1 (758) 452-2484 or email

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



“Growing your business, building our economies” The bilateral British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce is an exclusive membership-based network of international businesses that promotes and facilitates business, trade and cultural relationships between Britain and the Caribbean and the Caribbean and Britain. It helps British firms play a part in the Caribbean economy; and assists Caribbean companies find their place in the UK market. Founded in 2001 by the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, one of the 53 accredited British Chambers of Commerce, the BCCC is a not for profit organisation whose membership includes FTSE 100 companies, as well as small and medium sized businesses from a wide range of sectors across the UK and the Caribbean. BCCC’s has offices in Hull in the UK, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago and Rodney Bay, St Lucia, and experienced staff in each location. BCCC can provide access to key commercial and government decision makers, unrivalled reach across the UK and the Caribbean, support importers and exporters and provide up to the minute economic and business information.


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

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manufacturing to financial services, tourism and legal services. The Advisory Broad represents a broad and comprehensive understanding of the Saint Lucian business sector as well as close links to Britain. BCCC is the prime organisation for the British or Caribbean company that wants to explore and develop bilateral business between Saint Lucia and Britain. The benefits of joining BCCC are:


• • • •

That we will listen to your business requirements We can introduce you to potential partners We can inform you of business developments through our publications We can enable networking opportunities via exclusive and open, publications social and business events

Membership enquires may be directed to our Country Manager Mr Randy Cato. He can be contacted directly via the following email: On behalf of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce I warmly welcome both British and Saint Lucian companies and entrepreneurs to join us and benefit from the growing membership that brings together like-minded people with the common objective of developing good profitable business between Saint Lucia and Britain.


Mandish Singh Chairman BCCC St Lucia

he objective of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), Saint Lucia Chapter is to foster relations between British and Caribbean entrepreneurs that promote bilateral trade and business.

Trade between Saint Lucia and Britain date back over many centuries. Over the last fifty years trade between the two regions has evolved. Trade between Saint Lucia and Britain consisted of mainly commodities based exports (sugar and then bananas) from Saint Lucia and value added products imported from Britain. Today we see a growing services sector led by tourism that has become the main foreign exchange earner for Saint Lucia. With the growing services based economy there are opportunities for both importing products, services and investment from Britain as well as exporting to Britain valued added products.The BCCC is focused on providing a point of contact for the business communities from Saint Lucian and Britain. BCCC facilitates British firms to understand the ‘nuts and bolt’ of doing business in Saint Lucia and in the wider Caribbean economy. Our Advisory Board, based in Saint Lucia, have over 15 years of doing business in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean. The business interests range from property development, construction and BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS Honorary President – Mr. John Kennedy, The BOKA Group Chairman – Mr. Mandish Singh, Halcrow Deputy Chair – Mr. George Alcindor, The BOKA Group Treasurer – Mr. Rendra Gopee, Ernst and Young Legal Adviser – Mr. Leevie Herelle, Leevie Herelle &Associates Member – Mrs. Debra Worrell, Office of the British Commission Member – Mr. Kevin White, Crown Foods Ltd Member – Mr. Phil Buckley, Hotel Chocolat Member – Mr. Ross Stevenson, Hotel Cap Maison.


HELP YOU? impact on the markets, and other such information that could provide the interested businesses with a better grasp on the operations of the market.

Randolph Cato Country Manager,


British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, (St. Lucia)

he British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) is now positioning itself to be a major support organization to businesses operating here in St. Lucia, and those in the United Kingdom seeking to reach into the St. Lucian market. The unique structure of the BCCC places it in an excellent position to do so. The Chamber is a part of the regional network of Chambers of Commerce in the UK which comprises of businesses located all over the region. This enables the BCCC to provide direct connection and networking with relevant business partners, and in this way, to open new market opportunities, consolidate existing market operations, or expand into new avenues. How will this work? A member business of the Chamber here in St. Lucia, can explore the possibility of finding a place on the UK Market. The member would be required to provide relevant information on their product or service such as: product or description, composition, prices, quantities, qualities, and scope. The portfolio would then be handed over to the British Chamber of Commerce for investigating the market possibilities for that product or service; Is there a place for it on the market? Where in the UK is that marketplace? What are the delivery or placement channels? Are the prices realistic? And so on. The UK based Chamber will also be able to facilitate contacts and links with possible UK trading partners, so that business to business relationships could be developed. Advice could be provided to the local businesses on the peculiarities of the UK market, generally or specifically. This would include market trends; new, or changes to, regulations; developments that could

These are all services of which members could avail themselves, and in fact interested parties have already commenced discussions with the Chamber in this regard. The Chamber’s support to Members is not limited however to direct market assistance in the UK. It will be promoting a range of activities geared to offering its Members other ways to strengthen their business operations. Collaborative arrangements are being explored with the Trade and Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), to provide firms with platforms to improve market positions. These could involve joint initiatives in the form of market place promotions, product development, capacity building and training in important areas of product or service compliance, and other market access and penetration tools and techniques. The Chamber will readily engage with other institutions and organizations to these ends. An important aspect of the work of the Chamber will involve networking opportunities. Throughout the year, it will be able to work with UK institutions to bring important events involving high worth individuals and businesses to St. Lucia, to explore partnerships, investment opportunities, sourcing and supplying possibilities to and from the UK, and generally to facilitate, develop and concretize business relations and an overall environment conducive to business development. It will also encourage its members to interact and engage with each other to find ways in which they could be mutually supportive. All of this underscores the main mandate of the Chamber, which is to move the needle on trade between the UK and St. Lucia, to the benefit of the St. Lucian economy and society.

Contact Randolph “Randy� Cato BCCC Country Manager for an Application Form, at: P.O. Box BW425, Gros Islet Tel:758 722 3531

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



John Kennedy Speaks in a personal capacity about his views on his role as President of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Saint Lucia and CEO and Founder of Boka Group

A wide ranging interview with Lokesh Singh, Publisher of the Business Focus Magazine 1. British Chambers of Commerce are long established and assist in bi-lateral trade. Indeed Saint Lucia’s own Chamber of Commerce is over 100 years old and between two strong and traditional trading partners some say the BCCC in Saint Lucia is long overdue. One of the most valuable assets any company will need to give it a competitive advantage is knowledge and networks. Fellow members of the Chamber will have a wealth of experience, so the Chamber acts as a bridge and a compass to those with enterprise and a desire to trade and provide services to a broader client base. 2. What are the qualifications for membership in the BCCC? Anyone engaging in business who feels there could be some benefit of this network can join, particularly those working with or wanting to work with a

UK client base. That also includes Saint Lucian companies wishing to access the UK market. BCCC is there to connect business person, investor and academic professionals who are interested in getting to know more about St Lucia, people who will make a meaningful contribution in the economic development of the country through enterprise and who have all-important know-how and can share that valuable commodity. 3. What are the benefits of membership of the BCCC? BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



The main benefits, apart from the network potential I have mentioned is the chance to open up new and exciting opportunities for Saint Lucia business that are interested in entering new markets as well as British enterprises wishing to come to the Caribbean and Saint Lucia in particular. 4. What are some of your priorities for attention and action during your term as President of the BCCC? I want us to raise the profile of Saint Lucia as a place for business as well as underscore the opportunities for local entrepreneurs who have goods and services they want to get into the UK. It may sound repetitive, but this is the core on which trade and commerce will grow and is at the core of what I would like to help achieve.

obvious fact that Saint Lucia offers a gateway to OECS markets for investors interested in manufacturing where the end user is within the OECS zone. Manufacturing may be on a smaller scale but it is an area for possible expansion, from simple things such as light bulbs to other appliances that carry import duty when shipped from outside the OECS but which require modest levels of investment and low-technology to get established. 6. Are there any major activities or events planned by the BCCC to be hosted in Saint Lucia? If so, what would these be? We will have activities throughout the year and we will lend our support to other organizations. One recent example was the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism’s excellent initiative to roadshow opportunities for potential apprenticeships in the Hotel sector. We played a small role in that but it was a brick in the wall and it is already showing results. 7. We salute the efforts of the BCCC in sourcing scholarships for Saint Lucia students to attend University in the UK. Can we expect this to be an annual plan and would you be open to exploring this offer of scholarships for TVET and other professional skills training?

5. What are some of the opportunities that can be identified that would be

Every opportunity that comes along for us to be a facilitator – we will act upon,

of interest to the St Lucian business community?

annually or more frequently than that if possible. The scheme you mention was done in close collaboration with RISE and an example of how we can powerfully work with established local groups. These apprenticeships show the seeds for the future. A well-educated and qualified work force means a range of skills for the future, without which no economy can grow.

Saint Lucia is a strong emerging market where there remains abundant untapped potential. British investors have always been pioneering and have led the world in market-making and innovation. Although this is a small market for inward investment, there is also huge potential for collaboration in terms of exporting what Saint Lucia has to offer. Tourism is the main-stay, but I personally believe there is great potential for the development of agricultural produce (which is labour intensive and a good creator of employment) as well as the

8. What was the catalyst for John Kennedy and the Boka Group to become investors in Saint Lucia? I came to the Island for the first time in 1992, it has always been my favourite

Caribbean island. When I was looking at some investment opportunities here 4 years ago it quickly became clear that now was the time to focus on the huge potential that exists and so began this intensive commitment. 9. What are the projects being developed by the Boka Group in Saint Lucia and why? Our main focus is on developing our Mahaut Estate and Belvedere Plantation. We intend to have a first class tourist facility, but also rehabilitate our farm and plantation output. This is a fantastic site near Canaries, that was always a breadbasket. We are looking at Cocoa, coffee and other high value crops, as well as our core hotel and tourism venture. We believe that the agricultural business alone will become a major local employer and will share the benefits of this rejuvenation of the Mahaut Estate, which we have owned for 2 years. 10. Caribbean islands are all competing fiercely with each other for Investment. How would you rate the Government and Saint Lucia’s investment regime in facilitating your investment and establishment in the island? We have worked well with both governments who have been in power

since we came to the Island and have found a willingness to engage with investors as a positive thing. The system is also being adapted to be competitive in a world where capital is fluid and can just as easily invest as in one place as in another. Obviously there are still challenges, but what hurdles there are, are remnants of past practices and the important thing is evident good-will towards investors and those placing their confidence in the Island. 11. How are Saint Lucians expected to benefit from the Boka Group’s investment?

As our project comes to fruition there will be an obvious benefit in terms of both direct and indirect employment. Others will follow as the market develops and all of this is the foundation of a strong and diverse economy that becomes both self-sufficient and robust. Without this the prospects of individual Saint Lucians cannot be enhanced. We are part of a bigger picture and a bigger trend. We want to set an example as good corporate citizens, it is why our Corporate Social Responsibility Programme is so important to Boka Group, particularly in the areas where we operate, especially Canaries and Bouton. 12. Is the Boka Group open to investing in additional areas outside of the tourism sector? We believe that there is plenty of scope in the agricultural sector and this is something we are keen to explore. At first on a smaller scale at least. Our estates have a history of producing high value crops and it seems logical that Saint Lucia can return to one of the things it did best and prospered from the most that is agricultural production for export. 13. We note the collaboration with the West Coast Communities as it relates to social development and support for the schools and students which is admirable

for a recent investor. There is need for much more of that to be done across the island. Can you share the thinking behind the Boka Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme? It is clear to us that investment in human resources and our own neighbours in Bouton and Canaries are of benefit, not just to them, but to us as a new member of that community. As we grow we want to look to our own neighbours to provide the skills and services companies like Boka needs. So it is logical to start at the beginning and to do what we can to support our local schools in their drive for excellence. We may not be able to

promise every child a job, but we can give each one the best opportunity to do so that all of them have choices for the future. If Mahaut Estate and Belvedere Plantation succeeds then we want the local community to share in the benefits of that progress. It also happens to be the case that these are some of the poorest communities on the Island, so it’s time for them to have a break and see a direct benefit from our progress as well. 14. You are a very experienced business leader. Can you share some of your leadership approaches and initiatives you may have executed that has allowed you to be successful? Have ambition and believe in yourself, but accept that for every 100 ideas, only one will succeed, be realistic but determined and try as hard as you can to achieve the best you can. Accept that life is not always fair but that everyone has been in the right place at the wrong time; sometimes you have to just keep coming back. The most important thing to remember is that whatever you do be the best you can at doing it and take pride in what you are doing. There are different ways to measure success, but being the best at your chosen task or profession is a goal worthy of effort.

15. What would be your advice today to the many young and would be business persons seeking to carve a niche in the world of business? Make sure that what you are trying to do is what you really want to do, understand why you are doing it and what your aims and objectives are. Success is not simply measured by riches – you will know if your aims are going to bring you satisfaction instinctively and in this regard, follow your instincts. Above all, listen to those you want to be your clients and partner, understand what it is that they want and there is a greater chance of success. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



George Alcindor


Vice Chairman BCCC St Lucia Chapter Managing Director Boka Group

believe all sectors need to work together to address the big issues, such as community development and eradicating poverty. We need to take collective responsibility and none of us have complete solutions therefore, we need to share knowledge and expertise. So I write as the Vice Chairman of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce chapter in St Lucia and Managing Director of Boka Group in St Lucia to share with you the distinction of our social corporate responsibility and community engagement programs, illustrating how there is an inter changing relationship between parties and how we can work together to achieve social change in St Lucia. By making use of BCCC reputation and pedigree in the United Kingdom, it is my belief that we can gain a competitive advantage by being the first to introduce programs that make it possible for Charities, Corporates and Individuals across UK to invest for social good in the various communities in St Lucia. Apart from the US, the UK has the second most developed third sector economy valued by Deloitte at about £12.6 billion, with London Benchmarks stating that “companies in the UK collectively contributed more than £3 billion to community causes helping more than 90 million people last year.” The Boka Group is committed to driving societal change and promoting sustainability communities. Working in innovative ways with government, non-profit organizations, and civil

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society, we are designing and delivering solutions that contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for all in the Communities of Canaries and Bouton. We hope to use hybrid programs, that makes use of traditional methods like co-operative societies to develop programs that are long term and sustainable, thereby transforming individuals’ lives so they can make an economical contribution to society. The second arm to our Corporate and Social Responsibility Strategy is based on bringing together two compelling drivers in the contemporary tourism community; creative arts and culture. The blended solutions open up exciting and persuasive paradigm swings that are expected to increase the capacity within which we operate and compete as a touristic development. Therefore, we believe that culture and the creative arts will act as catalyst in our impact based approach to community development, which will dictate new social engagement programs. It is the general consensus within our company that we need to define the traditional way by which we market to visitors, and we believe the creative arts and our culture can be used to redefine the visitors’ experience. At Boka Group our company is aligned around the issues that are important to the communities where we will be operating. By mobilising our resources and skill based volunteer efforts, we strive to make a difference through:-

Education:- our cornerstone program food4thought allows to feed more than 298 students in Canaries and Bouton schools at the Infant and Primary School Levels. We plan to explore other programs to assist students in improving the overall performance and dictation, such as chess in school and reading programs in the coming years.

Youth Development:- one of the programs we sponsored this year, was the youth expose in Dennery, where we worked with the SLHTA to provide young people with employment opportunities through their apprenticeship programs and this in turn allowed the youth to showcase their talent in music, dance, drama, poetry and theatre arts.

Culture and creative arts:- so far our induction in this area has centred around our sponsorship of the Carnival Queen Contestant this year and principle sponsor of the KweArt Festival in partnership with the Folk Research Centre and Ministry of Education. We plan to continue to identify and promote the creativity of our people in St Lucia to making this the centre piece of our corporate and social responsibility programs in the years to come.

Child well-being:- where we make sure our meals at the respective school is nutritious and the students obtain a healthy and balanced diet. Our plans are to work on issues of national interest to improve child well-being, such as autism and diabetics.

Hunger and poverty relief:- in tough economic climates we believe developing programs to assist person rise out of poverty and reduce their dependence (especially in

Canaries) on remittance from overseas family members would be key in the prosperity of these communities. It is our intention to work with partners to develop innovative ways by which this can be done. Secondly, once the hotel is operation we plan to build a soup kitchen to feed the poor and indigent in the community. We have started to act on this thought by working with the local Canaries Council and handed out Christmas Hampers to families that were in need. •

Environmental responsibility: We plan to use Energy and Environmental Action (EEAP) plans, our best-practice auditing tool, to help our properties achieve energy and water reduction goals. We will be teaming-up with our vendors to provide price-neutral products that conserve energy, reduce and divert waste and are comprised of more sustainable materials. Our efforts will be aimed at creating awareness among associates and guests and inspire them to partner with us on sustainability initiatives.

We want to inspire the next generation and provide young persons with access to opportunities to fulfil their aspirations and potential. We hope our programs will make the impact that matters and allow each individual that participates in our programs to meet their true potential in life. Our approach is to develop relationships and identify partners that will be capable of delivering our programs in the communities of engagement to create the social impact needed. I hope this gives you an insight into our social agenda and how we plan to be a corporate citizen in the communities of Bouton and Canaries and by extension St Lucia.

Independent Property and Construction Consultancy • Quantity Surveying • Project Management • Property Valuation London | Hong Kong | Melbourne | Phoenix Barbados | Beijing | Singapore | Cayman | Toronto

Contact: Brad Paul FRICS Desir Avenue, Sans Souci, Castries, St. Lucia | t: 1(758) 452-2125 | e: | BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Canaries kids Benefit from free nutritional meal


oka Group, the owners of The Belvedere Plantation and Mahaut Estate at Belvedere, a few miles from Canaries, initiated the first part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Program on the 1st October 2014, their Food for Thought initiative.

The program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, is aimed at ensuring maximum school attendance by making sure students in all three local schools, in both Canaries and Bouton receive completely free meals at lunch time. Boka are fully funding the daily parent contribution towards the kids’ meals, meaning children no longer have to make any payments for lunch. A spokesman for Boka Group said: “Belvedere Plantation will soon become one of the employment and economic engines for the area of Anse-La-Raye, Canaries and Soufrière, it will provide jobs and opportunity and a future for these communities.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



“We recognise that these communities have been hard-pressed for many years and as a first step we will fund all parent contributions towards children’s meals in Bouton Combined, Canaries Infant and Canaries Primary schools. No child will pay to eat and every child will be nourished.” The Group decided to cancel a planned party to celebrate the purchase of Belvedere Plantation and instead use the money that would have been spent in just one evening, to pay for school meals for all 284 children for a whole year. According to the BOKA representative “Everyone should benefit from what we are doing and Belvedere Plantation needs to be part of the community. This is not just about giving kids a meal, it is about providing opportunity, well fed children concentrate better and that helps them learn.” “This is the key to success and future prospects, so it is money well spent. We know from people we have talked to that the cost of parents meal contributions caused some children to miss out on school altogether. The Children themselves told us “you miss school – you miss out”, it says it on the wall at Canaries Infant School and we agree with them”.

Canaries School Attendance Now Over 90 Percent Following Sponsor Initiative


iss Laura Francis, School Principal of the Canaries Primary School, reported that following the commencement of the “FOOD4THOUGHT” Program by the BOKA Group, which also includes all children attending both Canaries Junior and Infants and the Bouton School, attendance levels had soared to over 90%. Boka Group’s “FOOD4THOUGHT” Programme Sponsorship, has removed the financial burden of the daily cost of School Meals which parents have traditionally been expected to pay; some of those parents, faced with this burden had previously resorted to withholding their children from School due to lack of funds. Some 284 Students from the Canaries and Bouton schools now already benefit from this first Phase of the Programme which commenced on October 1st, 2014.

Attending the Launch Ceremony were District Representative for Anse La Raye and Canaries Dr Desmond Long and Hon Harold Dalson District Rep for Soufriere and Bouton who expressed their sincere appreciation at the “generous Private Sector Boka Group gesture”. They were joined at the head table by Boka Estates Ltd (Saint Lucia), Chairman, George Alcindor, Managing Director and Canaries Infant School Principal Mrs Simona Jn Baptiste and Bouton combined school principle Mrs Bernadette Southwell. Boka Group through its local Company, Boka Estates Limited, are the owners of the Mahaut Estate and Belvedere Plantation, purchased in 2013 with the capital of the founders and no bank lending or security against the property. They plan an US$80m investment to create a Plantation Hotel, comprising Hotel and Plantation Cottages and Houses with up to 250 beds, a Rain Forest Spa, restaurants and Beach Bar – to be called the Cane Club. The low density build will see just 6% of the area built and a tree planting programme replacing any specimens that have to be moved during the construction process. The facility will reinitiate agricultural production on the Plantation and is intending to work with local stake holders for the provision of food as part of its feature “Sustainable Menu”. Low impact and low-energy solutions are part of the design criteria, as is water security, minimising impact on existing infrastructure.

At the official launch, Chief Education Officer Marcus Edward explained the close cooperation that had taken place between the Ministry of Education and Boka Group, which led to the realisation of the initiative. He was followed at the podium by John Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Boka Group, who outlined the rationale for his Company’s support for the local community. John Kennedy said: “As the owners of Belvedere Plantation and the Mahaut Estate at Belvedere- Canaries, we are already part of this community and must exercise our corporate social responsibility from the outset. Well fed students produce focused minds and focused minds allow young students to achieve. This is the first part of a process in which pupils can take the best advantage arising out of the education provided for them. A friend of mine, on hearing of this initiative reminded me of the words of Sir Arthur Lewis, who said, “The answer to poverty is not just money, it’s education”. “We believe that to have a local community able to take advantage of future employment opportunities at Belvedere Plantation, they need to take full advantage of education in their formative years. It would be a tragedy if they were to miss out because of lack of funds for food, leaving them unable to access the work place in the future, consigning them to a perpetual struggle for resources and food”. John Kennedy has urged other businesses in Saint Lucia to adopt a school and has said that the company will happily discuss the programme with any such body that wishes to sponsor its own “FOOD4THOUGHT” initiative.

“ The Royal St. Lucia Resort offers luxury accommodation and comfort in spacious new refurbished suites. A pampering Spa, award- winning restaurants to dine in style; the combination of both and beach, makes it an ideal choice for a relaxing break whenever needed.” Royal St. Lucia by Rex Resorts. P.O. Box 977, Reduit Beach, Gros Islet, St. Lucia ,West Indies Tel: 1(758) 457-3131 | Fax:1(758)452-9639 Web: Email: BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Boka Group Unveils

Carnival Queen Contestant


he Boka Group is proud to announce its sponsorship for the St Lucia Carnival 2015 through the unveiling of its contestant for the 2015 Carnival Queen Show, Miss Kadijha Mason.

Miss Kadijha Mason stated that she is very excited that the Boka Group is her sponsor and is amazed by what she reads about their programs and activities in St Lucia. Miss Kadijha Mason believes the Boka Group has demonstrated a sensitivity and appreciation for their community, with cutting edge programs like the “School for Thought Program”, which provides much relief to students attending school in Bouton and Canaries. Mr John Kennedy, CEO of the Boka Group, stated that he is ecstatic to announce Ms Khdija Mason as Miss Boka Group 2015 and to support her pursuit of the 2015 Carnival Queen crown. The Boka Group will soon be building in St Lucia a high end luxury hotel on Belvedere Plantation in Canaries, St Lucia and believe the creative industry can shape the imagination and experience of visitors to St Lucia. “This all forms part of Boka Group engagement in St Lucia to foster the growth of young persons and culture throughout the island and this initiative is an important showcase of the dynamism that emerges when youth and culture collide.”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Boka Group’s Investment in

Water Security for Canaries and Bouton


he Boka Group purchased the Belvedere Plantation properties, in the South of Canaries at Anse Mahaut in 2014 for the purpose of developing a five star, ecologically sensitive, plantation hotel that will rival any leading vacation destination in the Caribbean region and beyond.

The Boka Group, has been able to bring the UK DFID to discuss the objectives of IWSP and water security as a barrier to new investment by the private sector; particularly in such a deprived area such as Canaries and Bouton, where access to clean and reliable water resources and unacceptable sanitary conditions remain a serious and growing threat.

One of the primary goals for the development is to be a leader in sustainable and renewable utilisation of precious resources such as water and electricity. In conjunction with which, they hope to ensure that the ecosystems along the coastline are enhanced and not degraded through their presence. The Boka Group held an initial meeting in late 2014 with international donor agencies DFID and GIZ on plans for a holistic waste water treatment facility that could service the development, the community of Canaries and Bouton to the South.

Boka Group wants to make a meaningful contribution to its environs and believes that a comprehensive safe water programme must take advantage of private sector capital and international agencies capital to deal with the shortcomings in the water and sewerage infrastructure for the entire area.

It was therefore with great interest that they produced a working proposal document, which discussed the synergies and opportunities to collaborate with the DFID, other international agencies and the Global Environment Fund (GEF) on the Ridge to Reef Project to establish a Multiple Use National Park within the Canaries Watershed as a means of creating a management framework that could facilitate a number of programmes to enhance resilience to climate change and provide livelihood opportunities to community residents. The proposal working documents speak to a joint initiative - the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWSP), has the task of examining the promotion of effective multi-stakeholder partnerships between civil society, the private sector and governmental bodies with the objective of improving the adaptability of water usage as a means of managing threats to water security.

A co-investment opportunity does exist, whereby a jointly sponsored scheme can act as a pilot in an area, which is one of the most disadvantaged on the Island. Such a pilot fits well with Principle No.1 of the Dublin Statement on Water & Sustainable Development; that ―Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development and the environment. Effective management of water resources demands a holistic approach linking social and economic development with the protection of natural ecosystems. Apart from the obvious and immediate community benefits that arise from enhanced water security, the secondary effects will be key to the roll out of further private sector investment in this way in St Lucia, which will also in turn have a direct impact on the micro-economic sustainability and social mobility within these communities.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



British Chamber of Commerce

Offering Scholarship Opportunities to Saint Lucians


mmediately on the heels of the launch of the British Caribbean Chamber Commerce in March 2015, Chairman Mandish Singh alerted the Advisory Board of a fantastic development that had been brought to his attention, and which the newly launched Organization could promote. This was an offer by the BPP University, (which had been founded by Messrs Alan Brierley, Richard Price, and Charles Prior) to provide 40 scholarships (later upgraded to 50) to St. Lucians to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the University. The Advisory Board without demur gladly accepted to endorse this offer and agreed that the operationalizing of the programme would be done by Mrs. Shelley Anne Noon, through whom the original offer had come into being, and the RISE Organization which had been previously instrumental in another scholarship programme for young St. Lucians. They immediately set to work and ensure that all attendant arrangements were put in place, and on Thursday 11th June, approximately 30 young St. Lucians, of the 41 who were successful at that stage, departed the shores of St. Lucia for the United Kingdom to commence their studies in various aspects of law, finance, and business. The remaining 11 departed on Sunday 14th June. various aspects that needed to be addressed to give real life to this opportunity. Upon their arrival in the UK, High Commissioner to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Dr Ernest Hillaire, hosted a special reception at the High Commission of Saint Lucia for the students.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Dr Hillaire welcomed his compatriots to London with some warm words, telling them “The chance to study in the UK would present them with challenges, ones he was only too familiar with having been a student in the city himself in his youth. But the experience would open a door to a new world and a great future. Saint Lucian’s who come to Britain to study have always succeeded and failure is not an option”. He told his guests “Make your families, who have sacrificed a lot enable you to study, proud of your endeavours and Saint Lucia will be proud of you too. John Kennedy, President of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Saint Lucia, attended the event and at the invitation of the High Commissioner and was invited to say a few words. In his remarks he said “when I first met you all, it was at the Sir Arthur Lewis College at an event organised by RISE and this was just an idea, the next time I met you was at the airport as you waited to board your flights to London, then these 47 Scholarships had become a fact – now I meet you in London and your courses have begun and these Scholarships are a reality. Work hard, study well and make the most of this fantastic opportunity and the fantastic life ahead of you that you all will have”Juliette Wagner Vice-Dean of the BPP University told the Students, this Scholarship programme worth some £1,500,000 (XCD$6m) is something that provides you with a fantastic opportunity. I have got to know you all since you arrived and know that among us we have people facing a bright future. We have leaders and entrepreneurs of the next generation without a doubt. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Volume 13

By: Lyndell Halliday

The Defining Challenge of our Generation


by Lyndell Halliday BSc., MBA, CPA,CMA

ight years ago, climate change was declared by the United Nations to be the defining challenge of our generation. United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon professed it to be an “existential issue”. At the 2014 climate change summit, Ban Ki-moon further warned that “the human environmental and financial cost of climate change is fast becoming unbearable”. Yet, ominously at an international conference in August of this year, US President Barak Obama acknowledged that none of the world’s major nations were moving fast enough to combat the effects of global warming. The impact of climate change is already being felt. In the Caribbean, droughts, worsening storms, and the recent Sargassum seaweed infestation are all suspected to be linked to global warming. Climate change will affect every country, every individual and every business. Must Reads features two recent books which will help to educate the reader on this the defining challenge of our generation. Reviewed in this issue are The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert (February, 2014) and Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet by Germot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman (February, 2015). The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert Elizabeth Kolbert - a graduate of Yale University - is an American journalist and college professor. The Sixth Extinction is her fourth book. Earlier this year, it was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. Kolbert’s writing has the weight of authority and in spite of her rigorous research and the technical nature of the topic, this book is mesmerizing and hard to put down. The central premise of The Sixth Extinction is that there have been five major extinction events throughout the

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



history of the earth. These are identified as the Cretaceous-Paleogene, the TriassicJurassic, the Permian-Triassic, the Late Devonian, and the Ordovician-Silurian ages. These previous five mass extinctions were triggered by a variety of natural environmental changes and ecological shocks. Kolbert meticulously details the research that scientists have conducted to piece together the causes of each of these events. Frighteningly, according to Kolbert, the earth is now in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. Scientists refer to this as the Anthropcene age. This time, however, the occurrence is not natural – the cause of this event is entirely manmade. The impact of human actions has already manifested itself in the extinction of a significant number of species of both animals and plants. Whereas in decades and centuries past, man would have been unaware of the consequences of his actions, thanks to science, modern humans now have clear evidence of the devastating impact of human activities on the earth’s biodiversity. Furthermore, if not abated, man’s actions now threaten the extinction of its own species. Kolbert notes that whereas human actions have had a negative impact on the environment for thousands of years, the pace of ecological change has accelerated in recent decades. One of the major consequences has been climate change. The Sixth Extinction was clearly written to shock – but it was also written to prompt action. At times it reads like a dark sci-fi thriller – except that for the sobering fact that this is not fiction; it is depressingly real. This book is a harrowing wakeup call on the collective and individual responsibility we all face to take action to safeguard the future of our planet for our own sake. Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet by Germot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman Gernot Wagner is the lead senior economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, a member of the adjunct faculty at Columbia and a research associate

at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School. Martin L. Weitzman is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. In Climate Shock, the authors apply risk management and economic analysis tools to the issue of climate change. Wagner and Wietzman start off by describing the huge scale and complexity of the climate change challenge writing that: “Climate change is unlike any other environmental, really unlike any other public policy issue problem. It’s almost uniquely global, uniquely long-term, uniquely irreversible, and uniquely uncertain – certainly unique in the combination of all four.” The authors then go on to discuss a range of possible policy prescriptions to help to address the problem of global warning, while acknowledging that the most of the damage that has already been done will be impossible to reverse. Wagner and Wietzman concede that implementing the various prescriptions is very difficult due to the unique and complex nature of the problem. But the writers contend that the economic consequences of climate change will be catastrophic if radical action is not taken soon. The writers stress that action is essential both at the government policy level and at the individual level. Climate Shock is a unique book in that it takes two complex issues – economics and the science of climate change and presents them in a package that is accessible to the average reader. Climate Shock is a highly instructive and very easy to read book that should be required reading for every politician, policy maker, senior civil servant and business leader.

Lyndell Halliday is an avid reader, lifelong learner and business executive who has served in a range of leadership roles across the Caribbean. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd. Mr Halliday also lectures Leadership & Operations Management for the Australia Institute of Business MBA programme at the National Research and Development Foundation.

Williams Industries Inc. salutes and thanks the Management and Staff of Caribbean Metals for their outstanding projects across the St. Lucia that have made us proud. For 25 years their buildings have withstood every hurricane that has hit the Caribbean without a single structural failure anywhere. Congratulations on 25 years of service excellence and wishing you many more.”

“Working to Build a Stronger Nation.” Visit our website at BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Caribb Celebrates 25 Years in Saint Lucia With twenty-five years tucked comfortably under its belt, Caribbean Metals Limited has amplified its commitment to producing excellence in Saint Lucia. General Manager Karen Peter said the company’s Sterling Silver achievement has triggered a renewed vigor in improving on its commitment to delivering quality products and services.

Silver Promotion Winners Ted Cox Kolin Fernand Jn Marie& Sons Denny Khodra Verne Delaire Jacqueline Archibald Blue Arch Construction Holdings Victor Fevrier John Fanis Nathaniel Joseph Peter George Barney Jean Ruth Edmund Island Electrical Company Ltd.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



She told Business Focus that the inception of Caribbean Metals 25-years ago was one born out of the need to improve on the offer of the then corrugated unpainted galvanise with the introduction of painted roofing (Colourclad) now to be manufactured locally to reduce on lead times. Steel frame buildings were also to be manufactured locally thus avoiding long waits for the importation of such. The company, which sprung as a business venture between local entrepreneur and business Guru Michael Chastanet and one of Barbados leading business men Ralph ‘Bizzy” Williams in 1990, has since grown into a household name in Saint Lucia with a track record par excellence with its focus on delivering to the construction industry what is demands. “Caribbean Metals had now set the foundation to improving the quality of products offered and to increasing the array of products and services we offer 25 years later and counting,” Karen Peter said. She went on to note that the company’s bid to connect with the local contractors, home owners and other business associates was seen as essential in its efforts to not only to remain relevant in the industry but also to ensure that the customers were satisfied with the products and services offered and by extension finding new ways to improve Since 1990, Caribbean Metals has committed to suppling the entire construction market and to date has managed to service more than 70% of the market in the specific products they offer.

ean Metals Ltd. To commemorate its Silver achievement, the company has sought to undertake two milestone promotional activities that include weekly cash prices up to $25,000 coupled with gift items and other paraphernalia for customers. It will culminate with a staff activity, Church service and ceremonial event for its customers and other business associates. The company’s Sales and Marketing Manager Ms. Shenaz Narcisse explained that the biggest of the two promotions will see customers spending in excess of $500 giving them a chance to win $1000 per week for 25-weeks between June and October. “This I believe is a way of giving back to our loyal customers and I must admit that the feedback has been overwhelming,” Narcisse said. Added to this, she noted that customers making smaller purchases will still have a chance to win with any purchase of at least $25.00. This allows them to draw immediately from our array of promotional items. The Sales and Marketing Manager went on to point out that the Caribbean Metals would be looking to culminate its 25-year celebration with a Black-Tie Cocktail celebration in October this year at which the company intends to highlight it’s longstanding and valued customers as well as employees who have been with the company from its inception. “It would not be complete without recognizing our staff and those who have supported our company’s vision from our genesis in Saint Lucia,” she said.

“The company’s business is competitive in nature but this has not dwindled the company’s focus on providing the highest quality products and services to the construction industry whilst making it affordable. It also allows us to remain on the competitive edge thus finding innovative and new ways to improve and increase our market share by introducing new technologies to our business processes” Karen Peter added. The General Manager credits the company’s growth to the highly skilled team members coupled with continuous training and high staff retention. Attributed also to its growth is the quality products and service delivery, efficiently managed operations and increasing market share. She has been with the company since 1998. Caribbean Metals Ltd is one of over 20 subsidiaries involved in a wide range of businesses with its parent company Williams Industries Inc. located in Barbados. There is great support and value within the group as the various Companies management team exchange ideas in an effort to improve each one in their own line of business. Looking beyond, Karen Peter told Business Focus that Caribbean Metals is working towards providing the construction market with all its requirements from the ground up to finish. She said whilst this vision of expansion remains on the front burner, the company is admittedly very cautious considering the existing economic climate. Notwithstanding this, they are actively looking at new and emerging technologies that will enable the required future growth.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Staff Serving 25 Years of Loyal and Distinguished Service

Barbara Anne Leon Accountant Charmain Auguste Credit Comptroller I started working in my mid-twenties with Caribbean Metals 25 years ago which was the only metal company in Saint Lucia at the time. I started in October 1990 and at each step of my journey, I have been able to learn and grow from my challenges and experiences. Initially, I started as the Sales Officer and had to learn a lot of new concepts and terminologies such as the metric system, galvanizing, etc. Over the period of time, I started taking care of the credit control of the company which includes but is not limited to taking care of bad debts, accounts and also working as the Personal Relations Manager to our clients. My current job as the Credit Comptroller involves major challenges of taking care of the varied needs of the customers as every customer is unique and has his special requirements. I have also been involved with the training of the younger staff members. I feel so proud to celebrate Caribbean Metals 25th anniversary with them and feel honoured to be part of this firm. My tenure has definitely has its ups and downs but it has certainly been a meaningful and worthwhile journey. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Having joined this company 25 years ago, I never once thought it would be for the length of my working career and the duration of my working life. Working with Caribbean Metals Ltd. was like being adopted into a Caribbean Metals family. There was great opportunity for growth and promotion. There was not a situation that presented itself whether business or personal that would not be solved. i like the fact that i was given the opportunity to be educated and promoted in the field i am now operating in. I have been able to amass a wealth of knowledge in business being coached by the astute owners of the Company such as Mr. R.S William, Mr. Michael Chastanet, Mr. Peter Kent, Mr. Leonard Payne, Mr. John Francis, Mrs. Karen Peter just to name a few. Education and equipping staff with knowledge is one of the key focuses of this company, to enable them and their families to have a better quality of life. Yes we are Cover by Caribbean Metals as the slogan says. The company goes beyond the call of duty to assist the staff especially in cases of emergencies; I can certainly speak from my experience. I have had the opportunity to own shares, by purchasing and also was awarded shares for long service to the Company like many other staff members. This I will say, in concluding this Company carries a family face and a heart that none other can copy.

Thomas Signatie Welder / Fabricator My name is Thomas Signatie also known as Shine Flair by my associates, family and friends and have been an employee of this prestigious establishment called Caribbean Metals Limited for 25 years. I gained employment at this company in June of 1990 while the company was under construction. The first big project I was assigned to was to fabricate and weld quarter of the factory which includes the skeleton of the building an overhead crane, you must be thinking such a huge task for a new employee but I saw it as an opportunity to impress and to clinch the employer’s trust. My task was done successfully and in October 1990 Caribbean Metals Ltd was open for business. Due to the trust that I had gained from the employer, I was given the task of building three more overhead cranes and up to a day, like today those cranes still exist and have helped Caribbean Metals staff enormously to carry out their daily duties.

Over my 25 years at this fantastic establishment, I have done a wide range of projects in the Fabrication and Welding department such as bus shelters all over the country, bridges, trusses, open box beds of trucks from the biggest to the smallest, spiral staircases, magnificent gates that would beautify ones home, I could go on and on. With the experience that I have gained over the years, I am considered one of the best welders and fabricators in St Lucia. I am not just the longest serving employee that Caribbean Metals Limted has had but the company has helped me mould into the professional that I am today. There are no regrets and I still work everyday like it’s my first. The atmosphere at this company motivates and gives you the determination to succeed and with this, I consider myself a success. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Management Team

Sales Department – Union

L-R: Shenaz Narcisse (Sales & Marketing Manger), Wilfrid Fontenelle(Production Manager), Barbara-Ann Leon (Office Manager), Karen Peter(General Manager)

L-R: Wayne Burke, Theresa Defreitas, Katiea Satney, Placides Pierre Louis, Shenaz Narcisse, Collin Donat, Sunita Laing (missing)

Administration Department

Sales Department – V-Fort

L-R: Deborah Burrows, Joylyn Daniel, Martha Leon, Charmain Auguste, Judith Dujon, Barbara-Anne Leon

L-R: Sunita Lang, Callista Goolaman, Linvor Hippolyte, Chris Cooman, Adrain Dalsou, Noela Monrose (missing)

Production Department

L-R back: Wilfrid Fontenelle, Mario Daniel, Augustus Christopher, Cletus Jn Philip, Perry Bodley(missing), Evo Dosithee(missing) L-R front: Joseph Polius, Anthony Braithwaite, Egelbert Louis, Meander Walker, Kervin Charlery (missing), Gabriel Dolcy(missing), Thomas Signatie (missing) BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Sales Department – Dispatch

L-R front: Usbert Donovan, Rosmond Smith, Iran Cassius, Jermaine Simeon (missing) L-R back: Nashall Ferguson, Jason Ermay, Greenidge Bishop, Perseus Narcisse

We offer our Customers the option of contracting us, by using one of the following methods: Design & Build This method affords the client the advantage of single point responsibility, in that he/she has to deal with one company

Traditional Contracting The client engages architect to prepare his design and we asked to submit a bid on the project or a price is agreed through neogtiation with the client’s representative.

Construction Management



We engaged as a construction manager to select specialist contractors and to organise and manage the construction operations.

Cedars Road, Castries, St.Lucia, West Indies Tel: (758) 452-1681 Fax: (758) 452-6518 E-mail:

• • • • •

Construction Project Management Construction Management Renovations Building & Designing

A: P. O. Box CP 5452, Hillcrest,Castries T: 1(758) 452-0009 F: 1(758) 452-0009 M: (758) 721-1770 or 460-5166 E:

Congratulations to Caribbean Metals Limited on their 25th Anniversary





Company Overview Since our official debut in December 2012, innovation and a people-centric approach have always been at the core of our company. Although we remained behind the scenes for more than nine years, our commitment was always to deliver innovative designs and construction methods that make a real difference to our clients. We believe that the best way for us to do this, is through deep understanding of our client’s needs and desires. When we bring the two together – clients and innovation – we create the next generation of construction and products that our clients truly appreciate. This sets us apart and makes us Beyond Limits Design and Construction Ltd.

Sandals Warehouse

Mission Statement

To be nationally and regionally recognised as an excellent Design & Construction Company of high building standards and ethics that is accepted world wide. Throughout every project we work closely with our clients to guarantee complete satisfaction by carefully supervising each phase of construction, and using qualified, experienced personnel and reputable suppliers. We are dedicated to delivering quality that meets our client’s standards and expectations; ensuring their future together with us is an investment that will guarantee them years of satisfaction. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Capella Marigot Bay Hotel

Meet the Team

Curby Daniel Surveyor Hyllsi Joseph Quantity Surveyor

Company Motto

We at Beyond Limits believe that nothing is impossible within the construction parameters, hence our slogan you push the limits, we measure it. With modern technology and over fifteen years combined experience, we endeavour to deliver your dream.

Aiesha Vitalis Office Administrator

Florencius Eudovique Architect


Services We provide a full range of services ranging from pre-construction to post-construction. Our main aim is to cater to all clients with our customized services which will result in time and cost savings.

Management Services


Project Planning & Management Project Inspection, Maintenance Residential, Commercial and Industrial and Life Cycle Planning Construction Supervision Building Construction Building Renovation, Refurbishment and Remodelling Surveying Civil Works (Drainage, Road Works, Retaining Walls etc.) Cadastral, Engineering and Rehabilitation of Existing Topographic Surveying Infrastructure

Design Consultancy Engineering and Architectural Designs Residential, Commercial and Industrial Building Designs Conceptual Designs 3D Modelling and Rendering

Cost Services Project Cost Advice and Estimation General Project Consultation

Contact Information Address: P.O Box GM 1096 • Riviere Mitant, Monchy, Gros Islet • Saint Lucia Tel: 758.572.3088 • Cell: 758.724.5328 Email: Web: Ricardo Joseph BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Courts Breaks Ground on New Multi-Million Dollar Mega Store at Marisule


nicomer (Saint Lucia) Limited marked the commencement of construction of the Courts Mega Store in Marisule on August 11th, 2015 with a sod turning ceremony. This new project will transform the competitive landscape in Saint Lucia and bring a new and exciting retail experience to the people of St. Lucia. In attendance at the ceremony were Government and Private Sector officials, Senior Unicomer Executives including the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, The Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport, Hon. Philip J. Pierre and The Minister for Commerce, Business Development Investment and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Emma Hippolyte. Also in attendance were dignitaries from Courts to include the Unicomer Group Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President, Guillermo Siman, Managing Director for Unicomer Caribbean/ USA, Mario Guerrero, and Unicomer OECS Managing Director Errol Le Blanc. The company’s OECS Managing Director Mr. Errol Le Blanc, in his address to the gathering said; “For our customers, this new store will put us in a position to better serve you. As a complement to our existing Courts stores, this new Mega Store will offer you more choice from a wider variety of products, expertly displayed. It will bring you first class ambience and a superior shopping experience. Here, a number of international brands of furniture such as Ashley and Sauder will be featured alongside our quality locally produced furniture, Smart Energy products, and the widest range of the world’s best brands of Electronics and Small and Large Appliances to be found in St. Lucia.”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



ALL WELD INC. Our Welding Technicians MIC Certified

Paix Bouche Box BB01, Babonneau Tel/Fax: (758) 450-5264 Cell: (758) 485-3506 Email:

Over 30 Yrs of Welding Experience

We Specialize In: • Stainless Steel • Aluminum & Cast Iron Welding Also commenting on the project was the Managing Director for Unicomer Caribbean/USA, Mario Guerrero. “In St. Lucia we continue to find ways to improve our service to our customers. In February 2014, we opened an ultra-modern, 36,000 square foot Distribution Centre, boasting 8 loading bays. This allowed for greater efficiency in our Logistics and Distribution operations, resulting in an improved level of service to our customers. The launch of this project also demonstrates our confidence in the St. Lucia economy and Unicomer’s continued commitment to contributing to the development of the country. We have enjoyed the support of the Government and people of St. Lucia for over thirty years, through good times and bad, and this is one way in which we can repay all of you.” “The Courts Megastore at Marisule promises to be a game changer in the St. Lucian landscape. We know many of our valued customers await it in eager anticipation. Twelve months from now we hope to reconvene to celebrate with Saint Lucia with the Grand Opening of a new, modern, energy efficient facility.” The Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony congratulated the company on this milestone. He thanked the Company’s Directors for investing in the Country which is also a signal of the confidence which Courts has in the Government and people of St. Lucia.

Fabrication Of: • Steel Trusses • Metal Hand Rails • Steel Bridges • Security Grills • Spiral Staircase • Steel Frame Buildings • Cargo Truck Trays

"Quality within Time & Budget"

• Residential, Commercial & Industrial Construction • Building Renovations • Office Fit-Outs • Plumbing • Electrical • Data • Backhoe Rental • Trucking Services

Massade, Gros Islet

Tel: 1 (758) 450-4544 Cell: 1 (758) 719-9129 / 1 (758) 718-1229 Email: Facebook: BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Caribbean Seeks to Provide Additional Support to Existing Investors


argeting existing investors to reinvest in the Caribbean and creating linkages in the domestic economy between investors and local suppliers to drive investment growth were issues at the centre of the strategy recommended to the region’s’ Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) at the recently held workshop facilitated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) on 27-28 July in St. Lucia. During the workshop, 22 representatives from 11 IPAs across the Caribbean region were exposed to best practices in facilitating existing investors and in key account management. “It takes up to 3 years to secure an investment from a greenfield project,” noted the CAIPA President, McHale Andrew of Invest Saint Lucia, “but it can take as little as 1 year to secure additional investments from an existing investor. With the current challenges of reduced promotional budgets and a demand for increased foreign investment and jobs, it seems logical that we seek to engage further BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



with those investors who have already partnered with us,” continues the CAIPA President. The training forms a part of initiatives undertaken through the provision of funding assistance by the Inter-American Development Bank under a Regional Public Goods Programme entitled “Support for Foreign Direct Investment in the Caribbean.” The main objective of this project is to assist the Caribbean Investment Promotion Agencies in the positioning of the region as a location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to present the Caribbean as a single investment destination. The project is jointly financed with Caribbean Export and CAIPA. During the workshop, it was highlighted that already a significant portion of investments into the region come from reinvestments but these figures are not monitored nor incorporated as FDI. The training of the IPAs forms part of a broader initiative to develop a reinvestment programme for CAIPA and to track reinvestment figures within the Caribbean. Preliminary results from a survey of existing investors, which forms

a part of this project, indicates an interest or plans by more than 50% of existing investors to expand within the host country or within the region. “Moreover,” notes the Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Mrs. Coke Hamilton, “the region’s best ambassadors and attractors of new investors are our existing investors. We treat them right, and we are already halfway to reaching our investment, jobs and export targets.” This initiative will see the development of strategies within regional IPAs to address the needs of existing investors and to assist them in expansion plans across the region. Participating IPAs included: Invest Barbados, the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), the Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), the Centre for Facilitation of Investments in Haiti, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO), InvestSVG (St. Vincent & the Grenadines), the Investment and Development Corporation of Suriname (IDCS), and InvesTT (Trinidad & Tobago).


Awards Honors Courage and Determination


he St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association Awards presentation took place at the Coconut Bay Resort and Spa on Saturday, celebrating the best in small, micro and medium enterprises. SLISBA President Flavia Cherry reported that a record number of nominations were received, a process which began eleven months ago.

Twenty-two awards were presented of which ten were special awards. The main awards category saw Viking Traders receiving the award for Manufacturer of the Year with Cost U Less Boutique winning the Entrepreneur of the Year trophy. The Special Awards recognised Leslie Jn Baptiste as Youth Entrepreneur of the year with Jacqueline Ann Christophe as Roadside Vendor of the year. Here is the full list of award winners.

2015 NATIONAL AWARDS FOR SMALL, MICRO AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES Nominees and Winners Manufacturer of the Year Rainforest Foods Tenderoni Foods WINNER VIKING TRADERS

Retailer of the Year Dilly’s Supermarket Penny Mart WINNER EROLINE’S SUPERMARKET

Wholesaler of the Year Green’s Wholesale South well Inc. WINNER UPTOWN LIQUOR STORE

Agri- Business of the Year Hill J Farms Hylyne Poultry Farm WINNER ISLAND SWEET FARMS

Health/Wellness Business Person of the Year Candy Nicolas Mother Earth WINNER - DR. ALMUS MACDOWELL

Hair Dresser of the Year Final Touch Unisex Salon Phyllis Montoute WINNER HAIR SALON 2000

Barber of the Year Miah Jaoon Walter WINNER JEFFERS BIDEAU

Most Outstanding Nail Technician Krusha’s Nail Design Tessa’s Nail Design WINNER MELITA ASHFORD

Most Outstanding Auto – Mechanics Establishment Auto Specialist WINNER EASTERN SUPPLIES AND SERVICES

Food Service Provider of the Year Food fiesta June’s Catering WINNER ORLANDO’S RESTAURANT AND BAR

Service Provider of the Year [Professional] Fabiana Cheddy Erands Courier Services WINNER INFINITY DESKTOP PUBLISHING AND TYPING SERVICES

Entrepreneur of the Year Eagles Freight and Brokerage Services RJB Hotel Supplies WINNER COST U LESS BOUTIQUE

SPECIAL AWARDS Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Eagle Freight and Brokerage Service Ltd. LESLIE JN BAPTISTE

Most Outstanding Customer Service Business of the Year RJB HOTELl SUPPLIES

President’s Award for Membership Vel’s Multi-Service Ltd. PATRICK VELINOR

Fisherman of the Year ERNEST INGLIS

Market Vendor of the Year SYLVINA CALDERON

Roadside Vendor of the Year JACQUELINE ANN CHRISTOPHE

Most Outstanding Indigenous Business of the Year DILLY’S SUPERMARKET BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




St. Lucia Closer to CDB and the Government Launching Citizenship of Saint Lucia Partner to by Investment Enhance the Island’s Trading Environment and Export Capabilities


he Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) has received financing by way of a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) pursuant to the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Standby Facility for Capacity Building under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) in an amount not exceeding the equivalent of two hundred and thirty-six thousand, two hundred and seventy-one United States Dollars (USD236,271) towards the cost of the Enhancing Saint Lucia’s Trading Environment and Export Capabilities Project. The grant will be administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and GOSL intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this Grant to eligible payments under contracts procured under this project. Payments by CDB will be made only at the request of GOSL and upon approval by CDB, and will be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the Financing Agreement. The Financing Agreement prohibits withdrawal from the financing account for the purpose of any payment to persons or entities, or for any import of goods, if such payment or import, to the knowledge of CDB, is prohibited by a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. No party other than GOSL shall derive any rights from the Financing Agreement or have any claim to the proceeds of the Financing. The following consultancy assignments will be procured under the project: (a) Consultancy services for Legislative Drafting. (b) Consultancy services for Trade and Communications. (c) Consultancy services for Business Development. (d) Consultancy services for Market Access. (e) Consultancy services for providing gender-sensitive support services to participating enterprises. It is expected that these will be procured during the period September 1, 2015 to February 28, 2017. Consultants from Saint Lucia and other member countries of CDB, as well as EU Member Countries, which are not CDB Member Countries, and other countries which are eligible under EU procurement provisions,[1] will be eligible to participate in these procurement opportunities. The Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation (MEITCA) is the Implementing Agency for the project. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




t. Lucia is closer to launching a proposed citizenship by investment programme. The country’s new Citizenship by Investment bill was approved by the island’s senate. St. Lucia’s Minister for Legal Affairs, Home Affairs and National Security, Victor Phillip La Corbiniere said the bill would “boost Saint Lucia’s economy.” “We know that the Citizenship by Investment programme has the potential to generate significant sums of money, and it is important particularly at this time, in terms of the economic realities of the world and economic realities of Saint Lucia, to look at various modalities such as this to raise the requisite revenue,” La Corbiniere said. “We cannot sit back as other countries participate in this process,” he said. “I would suggest perhaps that down the line, it may well be that countries in the Caribbean that have Citizenship by Investment Programmes may want to look at coming together in some kind of standing committee. Perhaps a standing committee of CARICOM to keep this matter under constant examination and to be able to keep the government properly advised on developments taking place in this area, and how we need to be proactive in addressing some of these issues.” When officially launched, it would make St. Lucia the latest Eastern Caribbean country to offer the Citizenship by Investment Programme. The island will then join St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica who all offer this CIP Programme as a source of revenue generation.

Cuba and Saint Lucia Sign Trade Agreement


uba and Saint Lucia recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at expanding trade between the two countries. Saint Lucia’s Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) hopes to introduce quality Saint Lucian products into the Cuban market.

Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment, and Consumer Affairs, Emma Hippolyte, and Roberto Verrier, Director of the Centro de Promocion del Comercio Exterior y la Inversion Extranjera (CEPEC) signed the MOU during the recently held Cuba-Caribbean Business Forum in Santiago de Cuba. The MOU cements the ongoing relationship between TEPA and CEPEC to expand trade between the two countries. “The government of Saint Lucia hopes that this relationship will deepen existing bilateral relations and also examine future trade opportunities to be pursued between Saint Lucia and Cuba,” Hippolyte said. The forum was hosted by the Cuban Chamber of Commerce and the local government authorities of Santiago de Cuba to mark the 500th anniversary of the city. TEPA is working to introduce Saint Lucian products into Cuba, which involves working closely with Dr. Charles Isaac, Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to Cuba and Jorge Soberon, Cuba’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia.

ECLAC Predicts Highest Rate of Regional Growth Since 2008


he Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is projecting that Caribbean economies will grow, on average, 1.7 per cent this year – its highest rate of growth since 2008.

The new projections which were released recently during a press conference in Santiago, point to 0.5 per cent growth in the wider Latin America and Caribbean region. But giving a breakdown of how that growth would be recorded, the United Nations body said South America would contract by 0.4 per cent while Central America and Mexico would grow by 2.8 per cent, and the Caribbean would expand by 1.7 per cent. ECLAC’s projections as detailed in The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015 predicts that Panama will

lead the regional expansion with a six per cent increase, followed by Antigua and Barbuda at 5.4 per cent and the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, both with 4.8 per cent growth. In its report, ECLAC indicated that the Caribbean has seen a marked improvement in its fiscal position, although the high level of public debt continues to weigh heavily on growth and investment. “In the Caribbean, the improvement in the fiscal deficit seen in 2014 continued in the first quarter of 2015, as fiscal revenues rose by 0.3 per cent and spending fell by 0.1 per cent,” it said. The Commission noted that Caribbean countries are taking large strides to boost tax revenues, which will help them to close their fiscal gaps. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




LIAT Sells Two New ATR Planes


IAT is now leasing two of the ATR aircraft it sold in a deal that its Chief Executive Officer David Evans has described as a routine maneuver in the aviation industry.

The company finalised the sale of its second ATR-42 airplane after it obtained approval from the Caribbean Development Bank, which financed its re-fleeting exercise about two years ago. Of the nine ATR aircraft it operates, LIAT leases six and the recent sale means that it owns only three of the new planes. “There is a transaction in the airline industry known as a sale and leaseback where you sell an aircraft and lease it back from a leasing company,” Evans advised. He said the sale allows LIAT “to raise some capital for the business and you still keep the aircraft.”

LIAT Announces Positive Network Performance Figures for 2015


IAT has announced strong network performance figures, in terms of passenger numbers, revenue and yield, when comparing figures for July 2015 versus the same period in 2014.

Average load factors for the month of July were just under 76 percent. Revenue per available seat mile, a key aviation performance indicator, has shown growth of 16 percent in the past year. The airline’s positive performance has resulted in the best month for LIAT in recent years with a net profit declared in July 2015. The highlights which have contributed to this strong performance include: • The Barbados-Guyana route which saw strong growth in both revenue and passenger numbers versus July 2014 • Antigua-Dominica, Barbados-St Vincent and Tortola-St Maarten routes also performed well and showed impressive growth

Evans did not disclose how much capital LIAT raised from the sale, but said there are benefits of leasing because “if markets change and new aircraft come on the market, a new leased aircraft can be returned.” When asked why LIAT chose to sell the ATR so soon after securing a loan to purchase it, the CEO said, “markets and situations change and you always look for a balanced portfolio in your fleet.”

Of the 17 destinations served by LIAT, the top five destinations with the biggest increase in passenger arrivals were: • Guyana arrivals increased by 62 percent • Tortola saw growth of 32 percent in passenger arrivals • Barbados with arrivals increasing by 15 percent • St Maarten arrivals increased by 15 percent year on year, and Antigua saw steady growth of 9 percent

Evans said the airline does not intend to sell any more of its ATRs, and added that LIAT would still be responsible for maintaining those it currently leases. News that the two planes were sold comes just one week after the company shifted another ATR aircraft from Antigua to Barbados in what Evans described as a strategic move.

The best performing route for LIAT was Barbados-Guyana which nearly doubled its revenue year on year, followed by Tortola-St Maarten which generated an additional 57 percent of revenue year on year. The new non-stop routes which were launched in mid-July are already developing well, with load factors on all routes averaging over 73 percent, and showing positive trends.

In 2013, the airline received delivery of its first ATR 72-600 marking the start of its US $100 million re-fleeting exercise. The programme has been blamed for the company’s continuing financial woes which includes late payment of salaries to staff. Customers were told that the new fleet of planes which replaces the aging Dash-8 would result in lower airfares. But LIAT has had difficulty returning the Dash-8 to the lessors after a fire gutted its hangar and destroyed crucial records in 2012. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



This steady performance is expected to continue over the rest of the Summer. The highest load factors were on the new Barbados-Trinidad and Barbados-Guyana nonstop services, achieving well over 80 percent, and the highest yielding route was Tortola-San Juan. This strong performance has been coupled with a growth of 8 percent in daily aircraft utilisation, which is the measure of hours flown daily by LIAT’s ATR fleet.

IMHO: Free Is Nice By A. L. Dawn French

According to the Press Release: The objective of the Symposium is to enlighten manufacturers, exporters, business owners and other interested persons on digital and online media best practices and also to create the opportunity for them to upgrade their efforts to international standards. This symposium will bring together, in one room, digital online media/ marketing professionals and the businesses and individuals who need their assistance.


know that very often the most expensive things in life are free; but there are times when free is just that… FREE. It started when just by chance a friend said to me “See you tomorrow.” “Tomorrow?” said I, and then it all tumbled out – the Digital Marketing Symposium set for 11 August, 2015 hosted by the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) and the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) in collaboration with Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP). It was all part of IT week. The topic was interesting and the price was right – it was FREE. A quick profile of participants showed that there were many small and tiny business people who recognised that this is indeed the new frontier. By tiny I mean one person enterprises. This time I am proud to report that the Cultural Industries Sector made a better showing, than from my last report – it may have been the price of admission. There were Event Planners, Jewelry makers, Writers, Fashion Designers to name a few. The foundation was set with the first presentation where the various eVentures of the government were presented from eTax filing to being able to register a company online, to the government’s national policy for Information and Communication Technologies. Many of the initiatives were news to the participants.

Quickly the day moved into the practical and we were exposed to the differences between Social Media, Websites and Apps and with the differences the choices that must be made regarding the tools. For as avant-garde and sophisticated the IT world is – the platforms being presented are in the end… tools. It would be an inept business person who did not appreciate the place that marketing has in our world; but more often than not we are aware of the traditional tools of newspapers, magazines, flyers and posters. These are tried and true methods but are geographically limited. In the electronic world the playing field is a lot more level. The point was illustrated as we were encouraged to use social media in real time; these in turn were projected onto the screen so that the power of the medium could be displayed.

Within moments of my posting on facebook the “likes” and comments started and a discussion developed. I then posted an image of one of the

lecturers and again there was a response that could be tabulated. This was illustrated in the presentation on colour as a tool in branding. Using local companies three slides were projected onto the screen. In one voice and with no hesitation the audience volunteered the same name. You try it… We had all heard of the colour wheel, of contrasting and complimenting colours but we were introduced to the influence of colour and its usages in the world of business and marketing. Of how colour can be used to influence what you buy and how long you take to buy it. The after lunch session was dedicated to networking between the businesses who had presented and the audience in a more one on one session. All in all the one day session was deemed a success and I for one was very happy with my FREENESS. In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) that Freeness Was Nice.

Dawn French has been writing all her life but has recently started publishing. Her works are available at dawnn-books BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



The St. Lucia Co-operative Credit Union League Ltd was registered in Saint Lucia on January 26 1977 and currently serves as the umbrella organisation of all financial cooperatives/ credit unions on the island. The League’s mission is to “play a pivotal role in advancing co-operation amongst co-operatives and promote the growth, development and self-sustenance of the credit union movement through advocacy; coordinating the collective resource of the movement; facilitating education, training; and providing for the monitoring and enforcement of standard.

WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to their members. A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. The structure and operations of all co-operatives are premised on seven basic ideologies; (1) Voluntary and Open Membership, (2) Democratic Member Control, (3) Member Economic Participation, (4) Autonomy Independent, (5) Education, Training and Information, (6) Co-operation Among Co-operatives & (7) Concern for Community. Credit union membership is based on a common bond, a linkage shared by savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organization, religion or place of employment. Credit Unions offer their members affordable financial services at cost. In Saint Lucia there are sixteen credit unions located throughout the island.

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A CREDIT UNION MEMBER • Eligibility to receive dividend on Permanent Shares

What are permanent/equity shares? A member’s ownership stake/ investment in the credit union. Why must the credit union have equity shares? Credit unions must conform to international reporting standards and safeguard the organization against risk. Equity shares strengthen the capital base of the Credit Union as per those reporting standards. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Christal Charles

General Manager of St. Lucia Cooperative Credit Union League Ltd.

BENEFITS OF HAVING PERMANENT SHARES Qualifies Member to Enjoy the Full Rights of Being a Credit Union Member Such as: •

Qualifies members to access credit at their credit union.

Qualifies members to serve as a board of director and on committees of their credit union. Qualifies members to receive dividend as recommended by the board of directors and approved by the general membership.

Members’ permanent shares are a long term investment which can be left as inheritance for loved ones.

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A CREDIT UNION MEMBER continued • Attractive Interest on savings/ deposits • Low cost loans • Credit unions provide unique insurance services to safe guard members’ funds:

• Loan Protection Insurance • Life Savings Insurance

• Credit unions offer unique insurance products to members and their families:

• Family Indemnity Plan



The St. Lucia Cooperative Credit Union League Ltd joins the rest of the world in the observance of International Co-operative Month in October. This year’s observance is held under the theme ‘People Helping People’. Since 1948, World Credit Union Day is celebrated annually on the third Thursday in October, to this end International Credit Union Day will be celebrated on October 15, 2015. The Saint Lucia Credit Union Movement uses this opportunity to recognize the achievements of the movement and salute the pioneers who laid the foundation for these achievements.

St Lucia Civil Service Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-452-4807/8

National Farmers (BoisD’Orange) National Farmers Civil Service SDA ELKS Workers Teachers Police

Workers (Sunny Acres) Dauphin

West Coast Credit Union

Mabouya Valley Dennery Co-op


Fond St. Jacque

Mon Repos

Laborie Co-operative Credit Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-454-6090 Choiseul Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-459-3119 Mabouya Valley Co-operative Society Ltd Phone:758-453-8024 Dennery Community Credit Co-operative Society Ltd Phone:758-453-4189 Mon Repos Eastern Co-operative Credit Union (1968) Ltd Phone:758-455-3372 Elks City of Castries Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-452-6820 National Farmers’ and General Workers Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-452-7277/758-454-6710/758-452-9219 Fond St. Jacques Credit Co-operative Society Ltd Phone:758-459-5747 Royal St Lucia Police and Allied Services Co-operativeCredit Union Ltd Phone:758-452-2105

Choiseul Saltibus National Farmers Laborie

St Lucia Hospitality Workers Credit Co-operative Society Ltd Phone:758-452-7092 Saltibus Co-operative Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-455-1523 St Lucia Teachers’ Credit Co-operative Ltd Phone:758-453-2538 West Cost Credit Union Phone:758-451-4980 St Lucia Workers’ Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-453-2706/758-458-1923 St Lucia Seventh Day Adventist Credit Union Ltd Phone:758-451-7900 Facebook: Facebook Name: slucreditunionLeague Website:

Join a Credit Union near You Today… A Message from the St. Lucia Co-operative Credit Union League Limited BusinessFocus Sept July //Aug Oct

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Caribbean Insurance Industry Advised To Offer Innovative Natural Disaster Protection


Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in Jamaica, Lloyd B. Smith, addresses the opening ceremony for the 35th annual conference of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean.

Jamaican politician is urging players in the Caribbean Insurance industry to develop innovative products that will provide natural disaster protection for critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Lloyd B. Smith made the appeal at the recently held 35th annual conference of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean at the Hyatt Hotel in Montego Bay. “We know that there are great risks in agricultural insurance, but there is some work being done on parametric insurance with the help of the multilaterals and Caribbean governments,” he noted. “I urge you to join forces with them to find a creative solution for even some limited amount of insurance protection that will at least allow farmers to replant.” Unlike traditional indemnity insurance that covers a policyholder’s actual losses, parametric insurance pays out in response to defined triggers such as a natural catastrophe. Smith is also encouraging the region’s insurers to start looking at investment prospects from the soonto-be-established Logistics Hub. “I urge you to take a closer look at the Logistics Hub and get ready to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. Success in this area will depend, to a large extent, on a series of publicprivate partnerships with the private sector leading the way and the government facilitating the process,” he said.

CDB Approves US$2.34 M for Solar Energy Plant in Anguilla


he Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Board of Directors approved a US$2.341 million loan to finance the installation and commissioning of a 1 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant, which will enable the Anguilla Electricity Company Limited (ANGLEC) to introduce renewable energy into the energy mix for electricity production. The project will also allow the utility company to examine and assess the response of its power system to the incorporation of an intermittent renewable energy source. It is CDB’s sixth intervention in the energy sector in Anguilla and supports the government of Anguilla’s goal of transforming the country into a carbon-neutral economy. Anguilla’s 2008 national energy policy presents a vision for the territory’s future as one of energy independence, with the island meeting its energy needs from reliable, affordable and renewable energy resources. The government of Anguilla has set a national target of producing 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. “The installation of the solar photovoltaic plant will help reduce the nation’s reliance on imported petroleum fuel for its energy requirements,” said Andrew Dupigny, CDB’s Director of Projects (acting).

Turning to efforts to establish an International Financial Centre in Jamaica, Smith said government was making progress in creating the enabling legal framework for the facility. The critical pieces of legislation should be in place by the end of 2015.

To ensure sustainability of the project, the contractor’s scope of works includes training for ANGLEC’s staff to help them develop the skills required to maintain and operate the solar PV plant. The power plant will be designed, operated and maintained to guarantee at least 20 years of operation, within the design parameters.

“The Jamaica International Financial Services Authority is in place and is making plans to position Jamaica as a niche player in this valuable business area,” Smith informed. He noted that insurance and reinsurance services are among the niche areas identified to be offered when the facility is launched. Establishment of the International Financial Services Centre will transform Jamaica into an offshore financial hub, similar to jurisdictions such as Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands.

The project aligns with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and the Bank’s corporate priority of promoting environmental sustainability. In addition, it supports a key area of focus in CDB’s energy sector policy and strategy -- promoting infrastructure to provide an affordable, clean, sustainable and reliable energy supply.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




CDB Advances Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Agenda


he CARICOM agenda for reducing risks and building resilience in Caribbean Communities got a muchneeded boost recently. Twenty-three disaster risk management and community development professionals from 15 countries gathered at the headquarters of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for an intensive five-day workshop on project design and implementation organized by Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF).

The aim of the workshop which was facilitated by Mr. David Logan, was to broaden participant’s view of CDRRF and increase their capacity to assist community groups to design local solutions that meet CDRRF’s funding criteria.

At the opening Ceremony of the Workshop, CDB’s Vice President for Operations emphasised the need for a broader reach and deepened relations with Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).

Other areas of learning covered designing work breakdown structure and procurement plans as well as undertaking social and gender analyses as participants were exposed to the project management cycle.

“We want to optimize the facility provided by CDRRF to assist in building capabilities at the community level. We see the need for CDRRF when we consider the fact that communities can be affected extensively by the impact of natural hazards.” “That they can be displaced, experience disruption in livelihoods and even have security and personal safety reduced. The need to help build community resilience becomes quite evident. CDB is keen on consolidating its relationship with BMCs”, stated Mrs. Patricia McKenzie. CDB’s commitment to strengthening national mechanisms for community resilience building was bolstered by the synergies created with the support of international development partners with a shared vision for the Region. The harmonisation has resulted in increased investments in initiatives for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The Region’s Disaster Management Agency echoed those sentiments. “Communities are the first line of defence in preventing disasters. It is, therefore, essential to deepen engagement beyond disaster management offices. There is an urgent need to participate with community actors to reduce risks and build capacity and resilience”, noted Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Participants were exposed to exclusive content for the design and development of CDRRF projects. Topics included the development of performance measurement framework and the importance of identifying correct indicators.

The workshop further allowed for some focus on environmental impact assessment, project costing and scheduling; all within the framework of DRR/CCA projects. The trainees also benefitted from rich experiences as they delved into live project ideas. As BMCs move to capitalise on the skills passed on by CDB, it is expected that there will be an influx of innovative and transformative projects with tangible results that can produce lessons for DRR/CCA. “While you were exposed to CDB’s way, the range of topics remain very useful. The skills garnered will suit the design and implementation of development projects across the board, not just CDB-funded projects”, remarked CDB’s acting Director of Projects, Mr. Andrew Dupigny as he closed the workshop proceedings. The Project Design and Implementation Workshop is the first of its kind for the CDRRF. They will form part of the knowledge management efforts of a wider USD25.78 million grant facility funded by CDB; Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and Department For International Development of the United Kingdom. CDRRF aims to build community capacity for disaster risk management through adaptation to climate change and reduction of vulnerabilities and building resilience to the impacts of natural hazards.


epresentatives of Caribbean businesses, along with financiers and government officers in the clean energy sector, got a better understanding of how to plan and prepare for bankable projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Some 30 project owners, developers, funders, financiers and consultants from several Caribbean countries attended a regional workshop in Barbados on financing tools and approaches for sustainable energy projects. The workshop is organised by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat supported by the government of Germany, through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Project; the Caribbean Renewable Energy Project (CREDP); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and CDB. The overall objective is to facilitate the development of investment grade calculations and risk mitigation for securing investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy systems and services. The workshop is one in a series of capacity building initiatives facilitated by CDB. “CDB is particularly focused on bridging the existing gap of appropriate financing for the development of Sustainable Energy in the Region. To achieve this, the Bank recognizes the need to strengthen local and regional capacity, including that of the financial sector. This workshop…is part of this strategy,” said Tessa Williams-Robertson, head of CDB’s REEE Unit. According to Dr Devon Garner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, the CARICOM Energy Programme places importance on financing and mechanisms for supporting energy projects.

CDB Promotes Financing for the Development of Sustainable Energy Garner disclosed that the work of the CARICOM Energy Programme was organised along four integrated thematic paths which included knowledge management and capacity building, and that these integrated paths had financial links and implications. Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados with responsibility for energy, noted that the workshop was well timed and come at an opportune time when CARICOM governments have embraced sustainable energy in their policy agenda as a way of increasing the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Participants delved into: life/project cycle cost calculations; dynamic economic calculations for energy projects; calculation tools for energy projects; calculation and modeling of actual energy projects. “The main objective of this workshop, which targets owners, developers (including utilities), funders, financiers and consultants of sustainable energy projects, is to facilitate the development of investment grade calculations and risk mitigation of sustainable energy projects, aimed at securing investments in energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems and services,” said Dr Andreas Taeuber, Head of Project REETA. CDB’s emphasis on sustainable energy is in response to longstanding energy security concerns, including the relatively high cost of energy imports and the impact on economic competitiveness for the majority of borrowing member countries (BMCs). A radical shift in the supply and use of energy to reduce the dependency on imported fuel is urgently required, particularly in the context of persistent economic challenges.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




USAID Launches US$12.5 Million Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Programme

St.Kitts-Nevis Launches Biodiversity and Climate Change Projects


t. Kitts-Nevis launched two multi-million dollar projects on conserving biodiversity and climate change adaptation.

One project – Conserving Biodiversity and Reducing Habitat Degradation in Protected Areas and their Areas of Influence – is expected to improve ecosystem representation in the protected areas system and establish or strengthen protected management operations at key sites. The management of the Central Forest Reserve National Park and the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park will be strengthened, while there will be the establishment and operationalisation of the proposed Nevis Peak National Park and Camps River Watershed Area, Booby Island Nature Reserve, Sandy Point Marine Park, the Narrows Marine Park and the Keys Marine Park. The four-year project will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) to the tune of US$3.3 million. The investment by GEF is expected to pave the way for the legal establishment of five new protected areas, two terrestrial and three marine. The national re-launch of the Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management Project in the Eastern Caribbean is a European Union (EU) Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) funded project implemented by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission across the nine OECS member states.

left to right, Christopher Cushing, USAID Director; Saboto Caesar, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Agriculture, Industry, Forestry, Fisheries, and Rural Transformation; Roland Bhola, Grenada’s Minister for Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Environment; and US Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS, Larry Palmer.

T sectors.

he United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a US$12.5 million Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Programme (CMBP), in an effort to protect critical marine ecosystems and reduce threats to the region’s fisheries and tourism

The five-year initiative is also aimed at promoting conservation in high priority areas across the Caribbean; improving the management of marine protected areas (MPAs); reducing threats to the environment including coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grass beds; strengthening fisheries management, and promoting sustainable livelihoods for coastal residents in four seascapes across five countries. United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Larry Palmer officially launched the Grenadine Bank component of the CMBP on August 21. In reiterating the US government’s commitment to protecting the region’s key marine areas, Ambassador Palmer emphasized, “While we appreciate the tremendous beauty of this Grenadine seascape, we are very mindful that it is currently under threat.” He stressed that while the Caribbean region had been described as one of the world’s most important biodiversity centres, its biodiversity was being degraded “at an alarming rate,” with coral reef coverage reduced by nearly one-third since the 1980s.

This project aims to improve the region’s natural resource base resilience to the impacts of climate change through effective and sustainable land management (SLM) frameworks and practices and specific physical adaptation pilot projects in relevant areas and sectors. Funding is EC$38 million over a period of four years. Both projects will conclude in 2018.

“Several reef-building species are acutely endangered or at risk of extinction. These changes have had an increasingly negative impact on the ability of the reefs to remain healthy, such as spawning grounds and natural barriers that protect against storm surges and sea level rise.”

Successful implementation of both projects will help to transform the environmental management landscape in St. Kitts and Nevis while assisting the Federation in meeting its international obligations under the multilateral environmental agreements related to biodiversity conservation, climate change and land management.

He added, “Economic sectors like tourism and fisheries, which depend heavily upon the quality of the marine environment, are particularly affected.” The CMBP is primarily funded through a US$10 million investment by USAID, with an additional US$2.5 million contribution by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which leads an NGO consortium charged with its implementation.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



The Calm Before The



By: Kezia Preville s the end of the hurricane season draws near, some of us are guilty of idly lying in wait for actual evidence of the next ‘big one’ to act, instead of remaining in a state of readiness. For most of us, preparedness begins and ends at home and we often overlook our workplace. Hurricanes and other such disasters pose numerous threats to personnel and property with increased rain and wind during this time of year – no matter where we may be at the time of impact. It is necessary to be proactive in our approach where disasters are concerned. Although low lying and coastal areas are easy targets for the adverse effects of such weather due to flooding, businesses should develop a disaster preparedness plan which encompasses hurricane protection regardless of their location. As a responsible business owner, it is paramount that you develop a plan of action for your business and your staff to ensure safety of all in the face of any type of disaster. If you are unsure of the requirements, speak to an expert for advice and find out the vulnerabilities of your building. Protect your building! Structurally sound buildings are less likely to succumb to wind, water or lightning damage. Fix loose roofs, trim trees and keep drains free of debris. Likewise, your geographical location with regard to landslides and flooding is quite important. A good investment would be sandbags and safety gear for personnel. Always know your surroundings and alternative routes as flood prone areas may be adjacent to you. Don’t get stuck! Roads

may become impassable extremely quickly. Repairs or reinforcement to your building should ideally be made in advance, to ensure your building can withstand hurricane force winds and rain. Depending on the severity of a hurricane or storm and its projected path, we may not always receive advanced warning of impending danger. Keep tuned in to local news and authorities for updates and be prepared to evacuate your business or allow staff who reside in areas more susceptible to damage, to leave earlier for their own safety. Here are some useful tips to remember... • • • • • • • • • • •

Update your evacuation plan and share with all staff. Maintain emergency and first aid supplies in your office. Keep business records and important documents in secure and sealed packages. Store back up data away from office. Unplug all electrical equipment including small appliances like kettles. Move furniture away from windows, and cover where possible. Check all wiring and keep extinguishers on hand in case of electrical fires. Store company vehicles in a secure location on property, or temporarily relocate to a more secure location. Install trackers in vehicles left on business premises in case of theft. Anchor outdoor bins or secure in a covered location on property. Keep plywood or such material on site, in case glass doors and windows need bracing.

• •

Store water for drinking and general office use as shortages before and after disaster are common. If a disaster should strike while at work and neither you nor staff are able to leave, always keep a small stock of non perishable food, flashlights, bottled water and battery operated radios on the premises. Don’t forget to inform the authorities of your current state in case of an emergency evacuation and further assistance is needed.

Keep this in mind this hurricane season and be sure to remain informed and safe. It is not too late to be prepared!

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, now situated in Rodney Bay and can be contacted on info. or (758) 451-3473 for more information. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Selecting The Right Colour For Your Beautiful HOME!

Your home is your most valuable asset. So, you should not leave the colours in which it’s painted to chance. The colours you select can dramatically change the look of your home and allow you to express your unique sense of style! But where do you start?


You should select your colours after you’ve decided on the décor of the room. If you have dark items in your room, consider selecting a light paint colour. If you have light items in your room, consider selecting a dark paint colour.

2 When selecting a paint colour, you should get quite a few paint swatches to try. Attach them to your wall in different locations to see how they look. Do not look at them on the floor or next to an item that is in the middle of the room. Always look at the paint swatch at least 5’ away so you can see the paint swatch and your décor at the same time. Make sure you look at the sample during many times of the day. As you are selecting paint colours, ask yourself the following questions: • • •

• • • • • • • •

What feelings and emotions do I want the room to convey? How is the room used? Is it a playroom or family room? How much natural light does the room receive? Sometimes you see the colour with just the interior lights, sometimes with just natural lighting from windows, and sometimes with both. Colour changes depending on the time of day, so make sure you are happy with the colour during all times of day. Consider too that different colours inspire diffrernt emotions. Pinks are fun, lively, positive and feminine Reds are passionate, daring, intimate and comforting Oranges stimulate creativity and are warming and cozy Yellows are welcoming and sunny – strong yellows are said to make the brain work better Greens represent nature and are both tranquil and invigorating as well as restful and balancing Blues create a calming spirit, combat tension and support relaxation Violets can be stimulating and sexy

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



3 Sometimes you’ll have so many paint choices that you can’t decide which one is best. When this happens, just start to eliminate the ones that are not your favorities. Then stand back or perhaps sit on your couch with your paint swatches attached to the wall and go over to the wall and take down the ones that are your least favorite. Eventually you will be left with one or just a few. If you are left with just a few, invite friends over to get their feedback and they will usaually guide you towards one colour. 4 With paint, you can also create a point of interest in your home. Consider painting an alcove, recess or the back wall of your bookcases a different value (lightness or darkness) of the same paint colour. Many paint colour swatches come on a strip with lighter or darker values of the same colour. So it’s easy to select a shade 2 levels lighter or 1 level lighter or darker, the accent colour is often unnoticeable. 5 Once you’ve selected your colours, the painting is complete and you have had the chance to rearrange your furniture and put everything back in its place, there is only one important thing left to do! Throw a party so that all your friends can see your home beautifully transformed. Selecting colours is easy at Harris Paints since we have a wide array of colours across our varied product ranges. Our products are specially formulated for the Caribbean and we use the latest tinting technology to ensure you get your perfect colour each time! With our solutions and our helpful advice, we can deliver the sensational results you’re looking for!

Did You



By Pilaiye Cenac

waited in a store for 15 minutes and that was just about enough time to read all the notices they had up. The notices were printed on A4 sheets and were plastered everywhere, warning, advising, informing customers, all IN CAPS, and all ‘By Order of Management.’ The color of the paper was something of a timestamp: it was easy to tell the older signs from those recently put up. I don’t have space here to share all of them, but here are a few: • • • •


Do patrons really pay attention to these notices? Based on our survey, yes. Eighty-seven percent of our respondents admitted to taking note and actually took issue with some of those notices. Below, see the general categories of issues mentioned. •

Discolored, dog-eared notices: The words convey a message, but the condition of the notice also unwittingly says something about the organization. Laminated notices, though neater, are still not suitable for all establishments. Those surveyed also saw washed out/ discolored external signs as well as signage with missing letters and blown lights as unacceptable. Notices meant for employees visible to patrons: Schedules, internal

• • •

• • •

information, staff instructions are not meant for the patrons’ eyes and should not be placed in areas where the public can see them. Some respondents mentioned visiting offices where computer monitors or desks were decorated with Post-it notes bearing all kinds of internal, sometimes confidential, information. CAPS: Notices typed in capital letters tend to be interpreted as angry, aggressive, unfriendly. Tone: Most respondents found that notices tend to come across as patronizing. It’s not what you say… Handwritten notices: Handwriting is still acceptable on sandwich boards or glow boards; however, notices written on paper are seen as unprofessional and ‘backward’. There is also the issue of legibility to consider. Poor notice placement: Notices are sometimes ill placed. Some respondents mentioned seeing a notice only after a long wait for an out of service/out of stock item. Too many notices: This suggests a very inflexible organization. All sales are final: This raises suspicion. Is something wrong with the product? Notices/signs with grammatical errors: Respondents admit that they would question a business’s credibility and competence after reading notices with such errors. Signs with wrong/misleading information also raise red flags. No cell phone zone: Most respondents admit to needing access to their mobiles and tend to ignore notices restricting /prohibiting cellphone usage. They believe organizations should “move with the times.” No credit cards accepted or card

• • •

machine out of service: This turns away a growing segment of the population. Be back in 15 minutes: This is a notice usually put up giving no indication of when this 15-minute break began. Temporarily out of service: Some of those signs are up for months. Restrooms are for paying customers only: What happens if one is a regular customer but just not purchasing on that day? Park at your own risk: After a patron is lured to a location (mall, event, etc.) through marketing efforts, it is discouraging to be told that the establishment does not care what happens to the patron’s property while at the establishment.

Generally, respondents agree that notices should: • Be kind, considerate • Be presented in a manner consistent with the image of the establishment • Be easy to read and understand

Pilaiye Cenac is an entrepreneur. Her qualifications include a BSc. in Psychology and Sociology and an MSc. in Marketing. She is also a PMP and a published writer. One of her companies, In Tandem, focuses on low cost approaches to enriching the customer experience. She can be contacted at BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




OECD Report Commends BVI Transparency Standards


he British Virgin Islands has been rated “largely compliant” for its approach to tax transparency and exchange of information in the supplementary peer review report published by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum), a taskforce set up by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The Global Forum’s peer review of the BVI analysed the practical implementation of the jurisdiction’s exchange of information framework. The review commended the quality of the BVI’s responses to exchange of information requests, as well as the timeliness of responses in relation to the number of requests received. Commenting on the positive rating, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr Orlando Smith, said, “The BVI has a long track-record of meeting and exceeding the highest international regulatory and transparency standards and we continue to do so today. We are very pleased that this has been recognised by the OECD.” He added, “The BVI has been a pioneering global financial centre for over 30 years and this latest endorsement demonstrates how the jurisdiction continues to evolve and maintain its competitive advantage. We remain committed to engaging the OECD and our other international partners to help exceed and enhance international standards of tax transparency and regulation.” BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



The BVI is a constructive and co-operative partner on transparency and information exchange within the OECD. It has signed 27 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) to date, and is an early adopter of the new global standard on the automatic exchange of information. These efforts have also been recognised by the governments of several G8 and G20 countries, and have met the standards set by international organisations including International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Global Forum is the world’s largest international tax group, with 127 members, and the pre-eminent organisation for ensuring the implementation of the internationally agreed standards of transparency and exchange of information. Through an in-depth peer review process, the Global Forum monitors its members’ implementation of internationally agreed standards. The forum carries out two phases of reviews as part of the peer review process. Phase one is concerned with the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework while phase two review looks at the practical implementation of that framework. The recent BVI report was a phase two review.

Antigua to Introduce New Visa Requirements Amidst Smuggling Scandal

CARICOM and the Vatican Establish Diplomatic Relations


ARICOM and the Vatican have officially established diplomatic ties, the two sides announced recently.

CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accepted the credentials of the Vatican’s first-ever Ambassador to CARICOM, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli. LaRocque said the accreditation “provided an avenue for the Vatican and CARICOM to work together on common issues of concern.” The move comes ahead of Pope Francis’ first-ever visit to the Caribbean as Pope, although he will only be visiting a nonCARICOM Member State, Cuba. Girasoli said it was his wish to “reiterate the Holy See’s commitment to collaborate closely with CARICOM, sharing in the hope that this will contribute further to the well-being of the Caribbean Region.”


he Antigua and Barbuda Government will introduce a new visa system in the wake of the allegations of a smuggling ring involving Cuban and Syrian nationals.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer Annette Mark said the Immigration Department will launch the system but gave no date when it would happen. “Persons will have to apply for a visa to come to Antigua and to facilitate this process, the Immigration Department will be launching the e-visa system on our website very shortly. Persons can get online, apply for their visas and the process can move much smoother and faster,” Mark said. She also said as of July 20, the department has stopped issuing visa waivers. Recently, the main Opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) staged a demonstration outside the Office of Prime Minister Gaston Browne calling for the removal of Attorney General Stedroy “Cutie” Benjamin over his handling of the alleged smuggling ring. Benjamin had offered to step down as immigration minister while an independent probe is being carried out, but the UPP said it wanted him removed entirely claiming that he still had the potential to influence the outcome of any probe. Media reports said that United States Homeland Security personnel are in Antigua assisting the local authorities to probe the claims. Fourteen Syrians, who were detained in late July remain in custody and are suspected to be victims of a smuggling ring. They have since been declared persona non-grata and are awaiting an appearance before a panel, which will determine whether they should be granted refugee status. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




ETHICS AN OXYMORON? By Samuel Rosenberg


uring a recent discussion I held at a college on business challenges and opportunities, a student raised his hand and asked about the role ethics play in business. This question coincided with a lengthy recruiting process our company held in which I had asked each candidate to define “ethical behaviour.” To my surprise, none of the dozens of candidates were able to properly answer this seemingly simple question. For many, ethical behaviour corresponds with coming to work on time with a clean and tidy uniform. It is therefore very encouraging to hear the young people starting to think critically about such topics. When you read the press both locally and internationally, it is easy to believe that most businesses are prepared to operate unethically to close a deal, increase their profits or sell a product; fortunately this is not always the case. In reality, companies who are prepared to treat their employees and their customers ethically are more likely to have a long-term future with that business. There will always be some dishonest behaviour within a business or an organisation; those people who feel free to operate, with the lowest of morals or ethics, to spin their business methods to increase their individual take-home pay at the expense of anyone who gets in their way. Where these are individuals, a business will eventually out them. Where this methodology stems from the highest

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ranking person, a company can quickly breed poor ethics as everyone believes it is the right way to do business. Where you intend to stay with your company and industry and live in your community, only the highest ethical standards will allow you to sleep at night. If you do cheat on your colleagues and customers, you will lose sleep wondering who is going to catch you first. Seeing examples of unethical business can be found regularly, almost anywhere you look. From the vegetable seller who doesn’t display prices and tries to charge a few more cents when the purchaser wears good quality clothing, to the taxi driver who overcharges foreigners because a few dollars more won’t make any difference to them, are the everyday examples you may see. Where a doctor performs an unnecessary procedure to increase their income significantly to where a company is prepared to sell food too close to its expiration date, some unethical behaviour is kept out of sight of the general public.

you in the right frame of mind for doing business properly over the years. By respecting other people and never compromising on your integrity, you will be dealing with people in the way that you would like them to deal with you. Where colleagues and customers learn to trust you because of the ethical manner in which you conduct business, word will spread and you will attract customers for your business’s products and this will in turn increase both sales and profits. For a company that operates in this manner it will become easier to attract similar employees and you will reduce the cost of persistent recruitment and your most talented employees will stay with you. When the core values of your business and your people are high in integrity and ethical standards, you will be able to hold your head high in your local community and you will find it easier to mix with people of a similar demeanour.

Where you work for a company or employ people in an ethical environment, those workers are likely to offer more to the company over the long term and it is no coincidence that the company is more likely to achieve enduring success. The responsibility for operating ethically is down to the individual. Even where there is not a short-term benefit to you, doing the right thing by the people you deal with, colleagues and customers, will put

Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to

The National Water and Sewerage Commission Engages Stakeholders on Utility Regulation


he road to building and accepting utility regulation in Saint Lucia is being paved. The National Water and Sewerage Commission (NWSC), the agency responsible for regulating the delivery of water supply services and wastewater services throughout the island, successfully hosted a two day utility regulation conference under the theme, “Understanding Utility Regulation in a Changing Environment” on August 6 & 7, 2015. The conference was facilitated by J. Paul Morgan, an independent senior regulatory professional with over 15 years experience in the field; and Darick Jonis, the Executive Director Technical Operations / Chief Operations Officer, Aqualectra (Curacao). Jonis presented an industry perspective with specific focus on Aqualectra’s relationship with the regulator, its struggles, lessons learnt and relationship forged over the years. A variety of topics were covered namely; Market Reform and Regulation of Network Industries, Design of and Managing the Regulatory Process, Protecting Stakeholder Interests, and Institutional Arrangements, the Regulator and National Development. A total of 37 participants from business membership organizations, Government Ministries, non-profit organizations, utility companies and Town and Village Councils attended the August 6 conference; whereas the closed-door session on August 7 targeted the Board of Directors from the Water and Sewerage Company Inc., (WASCO), the St Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), the National Water and

Sewerage Commission and senior representatives from various Government Ministries. The Commission’s Executive Director, Kelly Joseph, believes that the credibility of utility regulators can be improved through continuous engagement with the various stakeholders. “The Commission is cognizant of government’s policy to transition to a multi-sector regulatory agency - the National Utility Regulatory Commission - and believes that this conference will serve as a good starting point to educate critical stakeholders on utility regulations,” said Joseph. Joseph added that the conference is expected to yield greater acceptance of and increased insight into utility regulations, a better understanding of key concepts, and greater appreciation of the role of the regulator and the service provider. The conference’s facilitators made a strong case for reform of utility sectors and the importance of designing and managing a regulatory process which can advance this reform agenda. One factor which was noted to be central to this regulatory process is the issue of regulatory independence and the designing of a process which promotes the credibility of regulatory institutions. This highlights the need for institutional safeguards which will ensure optimal performance of regulators. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Martinique to Host First Female Entrepreneurship Awards in the Caribbean Antigua-Barbuda Ambassador Calls for Strengthening of OAS to Remain Relevant


ntigua and Barbuda’s newly appointed ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, told high ranking representatives of Western Hemisphere governments that they have to strengthen the Organization to make it relevant and meaningful. Sanders made the remarks as he presented credentials to Secretary-General Luis Almargo Lemes at the OAS Headquarters in Washington recently.


he ceremony for the first awards for female entrepreneurship and cooperation in the Caribbean, presented by the Guardian Group and Martinique Pionnières, will take place in December 2015 in Martinique.

The Pioneers network, present in 15 regions in Europe, Africa and the Americas, works together with female entrepreneurs to help them create and develop innovative and sustainable businesses. Martinique Pionnières, incorporated in 2012, has, since its inception, supported over 60 projects, and contributed to the creation of some 20 companies and more than 50 permanent jobs. Martinique Pionnières helps these women to never be discouraged in their daily battle to fulfill their role to make an idea, a project, a company happen. Martinique Pionnières is today located in a development that is emblematic of the architectural renewal of the city’s waterfront in Martinique’s capital Fort de France, owned by the Guardian Group from Trinidad, the largest insurance company in the British and Dutch West Indies, which operates in over 21 countries in the region. The Guardian Group therefore considered it to be in line with its values and mission to reward a female entrepreneur of Martinique Pionnières by offering her the opportunity to win the Caribbean Business Development Award. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



At a ceremony attended by Ambassadors of Canada, the United States, and Latin American and Caribbean states, Sanders declared: “There has never been a time in mankind’s history when our planet has been faced with common challenges of greater magnitude than now.” He identified the challenges as climate change and threats to the existence of island states, terrorism both within and across borders, communicable diseases, drug trafficking and organised crime and high unemployment among the young. Saying that the OAS can contribute to the solution of these problems in collaboration and cooperation with other multilateral and international organisations, the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat called on the member states to “commit to strengthening the Organisation to play its fullest role in our Hemisphere and in the wider global community”. Sanders added, “Notwithstanding that the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has projected that for 2015 Antigua and Barbuda will have the highest growth rate of all Caribbean countries at 5.3%, my government welcomes the priority being given in the OAS to mitigation of natural disasters, facilitation of foreign investment and wealth distribution, and inter-connectivity in transport and information technology.” In welcoming Sanders to the councils of the OAS, Lemes noted the vast experience of the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat in the international community. He said that he was confident that the Organisation will benefit from Sanders’ practical knowledge and known skills.

EC Global Launches ‘Allin-One Insurance Policy’ for Small Businesses

Canada Changes Entry Requirements for Visa-Exempt Travellers


he government of Canada has issued a revision to its new entry requirements for all visa-exempt travellers seeking to enter Canada by air.

Effective March 15, 2016, it will become mandatory for visa-exempt travellers to Canada to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA). The application must be submitted online and will be available from August 1, 2015. Citizens of some 58 countries, whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Canada, will as of March 15, 2016, require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before travelling to Canada. The authorization is electronically linked to a passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires. The eTA is not a visa requirement but a simple travel authorization system that will allow for smooth immigration processing on arrival in Canada. Therefore, the eTA does not affect the visa free entry that nationals of certain countries are currently afforded, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Barbados. According to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada, the eTA Program is a key commitment of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan and will mirror the current US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program to ensure a common approach to screening travellers outside the North American perimeter. Starting August 1, 2015, affected travellers to Canada will be able to apply for an eTA through an online application process. In the vast majority of cases, eTA applications will be approved through an electronic processing system within minutes and will cost CDN$7.


mall business owners can now rest easy knowing that they have the strength of a reputable insurance company on their side. EC Global has launched its new All-In-One Insurance Policy specifically for small businesses.

All-in-one offers policyholders the convenience of one policy which covers for Contents, Theft, Personal Accident and Public Liability Insurance, without the hassle of having to purchase them separately. Small business owners now have greater assurance that they can remain on track even if the worst were to happen. EC Global in recognizing the importance of small businesses developed this exclusive small business policy to protect this critical sector which drives over 70% of business in the local economy. As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting small business, EC Global signed on as presenting sponsor of the 2015 St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA) Small Business, Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards, which took place on Saturday August 22nd at the Coconut Bay Resort. This was the setting appropriately selected for the official launch of the Small Business Insurance Policy. Members were assured that in light of the many challenges impacting small businesses, they can count on EC Global’s strength to be on their side. The insurance company also intends to partner with SLISBA for the hosting of a series of seminars to advise members on the importance of adequately protecting their investments with insurance. The Management and Staff of the EC Global Insurance Agency extend congratulations to all nominees and awardees; and to the Executive of SLISBA for recognizing the importance of honouring the achievements of its members. In addition to its main office on Bridge Street, EC Global services are now available at all branches of Bank of Saint Lucia. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Using Dogs for Home Security


By Brian Ramsey

hroughout the Caribbean, it is very common for homeowners to have dogs and most times when asked why they will respond that it is for the security of their home. Many persons however often ask what type of dog is best for securing their home. In reality, almost any breed will protect their home turf, including the common mixed breed dogs. There are, however, certain breeds that are known to be especially good as protection dogs. Among the dog breeds that are good for home protection are: •

Bullmastiff – This breed is known for its physical strength, protection instincts, courageousness, and extreme family loyalty. If an intruder crosses its path, a Bullmastiff will typically use its strength to knock them over or block their path. The breed is very docile in a family environment however, and makes a great household pet.

Doberman Pinscher – Considered among the smartest of dogs, Dobermans are very fast and also loyal, fearless and alert.

Rottweiler – This is an intelligent dog that learns quickly plus bonds with its owners. It will stand and protect its owners and their property. Their very size is often enough to scare off an intruder. They can however be strong willed and need firm leaders.

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German Shepherd – German Shepherds are not only beautiful to look at but very intelligent and learn quickly. These dogs like being around people and are very calm dogs but will quickly react to any threat they perceive to the home or family.

Rhodesian Ridgeback – Ridgebacks are natural watchdogs and because they were originally bred to hunt lions, they do not easily back away from a perceived threat. They have a very independent nature and so must be trained and the owner must be a firm individual. They are said to be selective in their barking so when a Ridgeback barks, it needs to be taken seriously.

Now whichever breed of dog you acquire or even if you get a mixed breed dog, there are certain things that should be done in order to ensure that you have a good watch dog. If you get a puppy one of the first things to do is to train the puppy not to be friendly with strangers. Now this can be difficult to do especially if you have little children because everyone wants to play with the cute cuddly puppy and have their friends play with the puppy. Very soon the puppy gets the idea that everyone is their friend and someone who has entered the yard has done so to play with them. A certain amount of play with the puppy is inevitable and indeed is good for the puppy to help it exercise its muscles and to help it bond with family members. However as the puppy ages you should begin keeping it away from people

Brian Ramsey has a B.A. in Accounting & Management, along with an M.B.A. in Finance and over 29 years in the Caribbean security field. He is the Regional Development Director for Amalgamated Security Services Limited which is the parent company of Alternative Security Services (St. Lucia) Limited. He can be contacted at Amalgamated Security operates in Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

other than immediate family, so that it begins to understand that not everyone is its friend to be played with. While training the puppy that not everyone is their friend is important, it is equally important that you give the dog obedience training. You do not want a dog that is “bad, so no one can come in the yard” but then you cannot control it, so obedience training should be a must. Obedience training for dogs can start at any age but it is best if it is started while the dog is a puppy. Now there is one type of obedience training that some people give to their dogs without realising and it is a type of obedience that is not good. Very often people have dogs and when visitors come to the gate the dog naturally goes to the gate and begins barking at the visitor. The owner comes out and immediately tells the dog to “go to the back or go in the kennel.” Over time the dog obeys but eventually some dogs when they see people at the gate will automatically go to the back because that is what the owner has unconsciously trained the dog to do. The better approach is to pat the dog so that it is rewarded for alerting you and then take the dog to the kennel. Another issue that some people ask about is if they should give their dog aggression training. For most people it is not necessary as having a dog barking at strangers and baring its fangs is enough to scare off the common thief. In some situations however, especially if the individual is in a neighborhood where there have been burglaries of houses with dogs or the individual has a specific threat, then aggression training is warranted. For the average dog owner the purpose of the training is to give the dog the confidence to stand its ground when it engages a stranger. Most of us have experienced the situation of having a common mixed breed dog barking at us and one simply stamps your foot or shouts at the dog or waves a stick and the dog backs off. Aggression training gives the dog the confidence to stand its ground when confronting a stranger even if that stranger makes some overt move at the dog. The aggression training should never involve physical harm to dog. Once homeowners have acquired dogs and raised them so that they are not friendly to strangers, there is a dilemma that many face and it is the dilemma of having guard dogs and entertaining guests. The practice of locking away the dogs is often the action chosen by the homeowner whenever he has to entertain persons at home. This practice however then exposes the homeowner and his guests to the possibility of a home invasion robbery. There are several more secure choices that a homeowner can make in this situation. If the activity involving the guests will occur inside the house, the homeowner can release the dogs once all the guests are inside. Thus the dogs will continue to patrol the yard while the homeowner and guests engage in their social activity. If the homeowner frequently has social activities that involve the guests being both inside and outside the house then the homeowner should consider dividing his yard in such a manner that the dogs can be left to roam and protect a section of the yard while not being able to enter the part of the yard where the guests are being entertained. In dividing the yard in this manner it is important to use chain link fencing or steel grilles so that the dogs can see into that area. Thus if anyone enters that area while the guests are inside the dogs can alert the residents through their barking. Undoubtedly dogs are a good form of home security and it can be any breed of dog including a mixed breed dog. The key however to having a good protection dog is the training that is given to that dog and the training should start from an early age.

Trinidad & Tobago Elects New Government


he People’s National Movement’s fourth leader, Dr Keith Rowley, now Prime Minister-elect, will be T&T’s second Tobago-born Prime Minister following 2015 general election victory.

Rowley follows Tobago-born late Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson into history in this regard. The People’s National Movement (PNM) won 23 seats to the United National Congress’ (UNC) 18, returning the PNM to office once again. The PNM takes the helm from the People’s Partnership, which now forms the Opposition, with 18 seats and which won the popular vote despite the PNM’s win in the majority of constituencies. Prime Minister-elect Dr Keith Rowley, in a victory speech before thousands of cheering supporters at Balisier House stated that winning the election was a “humbling experience” and that the PNM was now tasked with an “awesome responsibility”. “The value of the PNM is to be available to the people of Trinidad and Tobago whenever you need to call on us. And once again the people have called on the PNM,” he said, to thunderous applause. “Five years ago it was a completely different mood here. We were down but we were never out,” he noted. The PNM had suffered a devastating defeat in 2010 when the election result was 29/12 for the People’s Partnership. Rowley stressed that while he came from the PNM, he would not be just the Prime Minister of the PNM, but the Prime Minister of all of Trinidad and Tobago. “While the country has handed the responsibility of Government to the PNM, it is not ‘we versus them’. We are all in this together. And we need to respect, empathise and feel for each other,” Rowley stated. He also stressed that under him as Prime Minister “nobody will go hungry while others go overweight”. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Cuban Scholarships Awarded to St Lucian Students


Ambassador H.E. Jorge Soberon Luis, Mrs. Esther Brathwaite, to the far right, Mrs. Beverly Francis with the Scholarship recipients and their parents.

he ceremony of awarding the ten Saint Lucian students who earned Cuban scholarships took place at the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba and was attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Esther Brathwaite and Ms. Beverly Francis, Head of the Training Division of the Ministry of Education. The students received their credentials and final briefing before leaving for Cuba on Saturday September 5th, to pursue studies in Medicine. The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Jorge Soberon Luis, expressed pleasure on behalf of the Government of Cuba, in awarding the Scholarships. He noted that there was a significant increase in the number of Scholarships awarded this year. He also explained to the students what life in Cuba is like; highlighting places of interest where they may wish to visit during their stay. Particular reference was made to the City of Santiago, which is celebrating 500 years this year. He explained to the students what was expected of them; noting that discipline is a very important factor. Mrs. Esther Brathwaite, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, expressed thanks on behalf of the Government and people of Saint Lucia to the Government of Cuba and explained to the students that they’re Ambassadors of Saint Lucia in Cuba. Mrs. Beverly Francis, in her remarks, impressed upon the students the need to work hard and shared Mrs. Brathwaite’s remarks that they are Ambassadors of Saint Lucia in Cuba. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



President of the Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba), Bro. Rawle Harvey, informed the students of the living and social conditions in Cuba and asked the students to be cooperative, disciplined and appreciative students, to the Government and people of Cuba, who are making a significant sacrifice to afford them the opportunity to become professionals. He also expressed his desire to see the students more involved in their communities and the Association, on their return to Saint Lucia and appreciative to the Government and people Cuba for their generosity. Dr. Gregor Williams, Chairperson of the Scholarship/ Education/ Art and Culture Committee of the Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba) endorsed the sentiments of all the previous speakers; also impressing upon them the need to be disciplined, Ambassadors for Saint Lucia and to show appreciation to the Government and People of Cuba. Two of the scholarship recipients will pursue Post-Graduate studies; one in Internal Medicine and the other in Paediatrics. Seven students will pursue Undergraduate studies in Medicine and one in Dentistry. Over the past number of years, Cuba has been awarding Scholarships for Saint Lucians to pursue studies in Medicine, Engineering, Agricultural Science, among other disciplines. Over 550 Saint Lucians have graduated since the inception of the program.

“International Iron Chef Chef Ed Harris Jr. Competition Takes Home The Title Champion 2015”


Alison Theodore, Regional Marketing Manager Saint Lucia Tourist Board Canada and Arletta Walcott, Consulate General of Saint Lucia standing in for Consul General Michael Willius.

enowned Saint Lucian Chef Ed Harris recently participated in the Harbourfront Centre’s International Iron Chef Competition in Toronto Canada on September 6th & 7th 2015. This year, the focus of the competition was on keeping it hot, spicy and sustainable. The Chefs were challenged to use local, sustainable ingredients from their homeland. This year, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival celebrates its 18th Anniversary. Culinary experiences shape all aspects of global culture and food continues to thrive as a central method of cultural expression. The competition explored global cuisine, as innovations in food production and preparation move toward a highly specialized art form. Chef Ed was the Guest Judge at the SLHTA’s Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition held during Saint Lucia’s 36th Independence Celebrations held at the Beausejour Stadium on February 22nd 2014. Ed Harris was born in Cedars St. Lucia, but currently resides in Atlanta Georgia, USA. Chef Ed Harris’ unending passion for cuisine began in the kitchen. Over the past decade, Ed has

been heavily involved in the food business in many aspects. His experience ranges from high-end private events, off site events and various celebrity gatherings to consulting on menu items and restaurant concepts. Throughout his career Ed has worked as a Tournant, Junior Sous Chef, Banquet Chef, Executive Sous Chef, Dim Sum Chef, Expeditor and Saucier and now that he is a Consultant Chef, he uses all those areas of expertise to further his career. His experience in the different positions has given him the opportunity to play an active role in the planning, supervision, and creative aspects of the food industry. When it comes to sharing his love of food with others, Ed Harris’ work is not just limited to assisting in the process of providing customers with avant garde meals. He has dedicated much of his leisure time to informing younger children about food and the business of food. Ed has also participated in events to help raise funds for several charities. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board, SLHTA and Ministry of Tourism and the entire tourism fraternity extends heartfelt Congratulations and best wishes to Chef Ed Harris on adding yet another jewel in his crown! BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




BOSL Hosts Student Open Forum


or many young St. Lucians with the dream of pursuing higher education, the student loan application process can be a daunting one. In light of this, Bank of Saint Lucia organized a one day Student Open Forum on July 28th to demystify the student loan application process and to provide pertinent information, relevant to this important life decision. Over forty students and prospective students engaged with bank staff in a relaxed atmosphere which allowed for the open exchange of information. Topics for the day included the Student Loan Process, Managing Your Finances, Maximizing Convenience Banking Services, the Campus Life Experience and the Importance of Health & Wellness. The students were provided with detailed information on what is involved in the student loan process, from the preparation stage through to approval. That presentation was facilitated by Donna Hinkson, the Sales and Service Manager at Bank of Saint Lucia Waterfront Branch. According to Maria Fowell, Senior Manager for Marketing and Corporate Communications, “This forms part of our efforts to establish and maintain our relationships with our customers and potential customers. With this forum in particular, we know the student loan process can be a bit of a daunting one, especially for the young persons. By the end of today’s session, participants will have a greater understanding of the process involved in accessing student financing, how to leverage convenience services, how to effectively manage their student budgets and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” The students welcomed this exercise and in particular, the relaxed setting and the timing of the activity. For some it gives them enough time to process the information and to be adequately prepared for the actual student loan application process. This forms part of BOSL’s commitment to make the dream of tertiary education possible through affordable student financing and from a Corporate Social Responsibility mandate, to support programmes and initiatives aimed at developing the young people of Saint Lucia. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



CARCIP Hosts Successful ICT Fair


he Caribbean Regional Communication Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) hosted its ICT Fair from Aug 10-15th 2015. The Fair was widely appreciated for its success and was well-received by the public.

Dr. James Fletcher, Minister for the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, was impressed with the collaborative efforts of CARCIP and the various stakeholders who facilitated the event. “It was an extremely well put together event. I have to thank all of the officers in the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting who have made it possible, and also the participants, and contributors like Digicel, Microsoft, and Google, who have made this event commendable, because this really gives us an opportunity to showcase to the general public what is possible with ICT,” Dr. Fletcher said. Project Coordinator for CARCIP, Christopher Roberts, attributed the success of the ICT Fair to the working relationship enjoyed by the public and private sectors, and praised the much needed efforts of the stakeholders. The purpose of the Fair was to increase the awareness of ICT trends and the Saint Lucia government’s efforts to facilitate a more ICT enabled economy. The Fair showcased “Current ICT trends and efforts by the government to develop an ICT enabled economy and Information Society.” The week of activities included “Digital Marketing Symposium,” “Hackathon for Youth and Entrepreneurs,” “Innovation Night,” “Exhibitions by providers in the industry” and a “Business Think Tank.”

ECLAC: Caribbean Youth Jobless Rates Alarming


he Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean recently described as “alarming” the unemployment rate among young people in the Caribbean.

Economic Affairs Officer of United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Michael Hendrickson said, although economic growth in the Caribbean increased from 1.3 per cent in 2013 to 2.3 per cent in 2014, the rate of unemployment did not fall proportionately. “Growth was not as job-full as we would have hoped,” Hendrickson said. He was at the time presenting the Caribbean aspect of ECLAC’s economic survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, held at the commission’s Chancery Lane, Port of Spain, Trinidad offices. “In some countries youth unemployment rate is as high as almost 40 per cent; in others the average is around 25 per cent, which is very alarming. What we have been seeing is that the profile of unemployed youths is very much now becoming a situation of joblessness among graduates or trained persons from university, so that is an alarming situation,” he added. Hendrickson said discussion on the issue was needed. “We would have hoped that with the acquisition of skills that there will be the kind to return of human capital resulting from university training, but we are not getting the proportionate kinds of returns to human capital and that is something that is very concerning in the region. It either means that the training is not meeting the needs of the job market or there is something wrong with the job market itself,” he said. He stressed the need for a major investment push in human capital development to ensure the required training of graduates for the job market. “The significant unemployment among graduates means that something is happening. It’s not that we are not training people but probably we are training them in the wrong skills.”

Northwest and Sir Arthur Partner on Auto Tech Training


ver the years the automobile industry has become one of the most dynamic sectors leading in worldwide technology growth. As the technology aspects of the modern vehicle became the rule rather than the exception, the savvy employee with technology interest rapidly grew their skill set, from the traditional hammer and wrench operative. The automotive industry had become a most prominent domain for technology and as hundreds of vehicles are shipped into St. Lucia annually, it was obvious that skills training needed to become a significant requirement. Northwest Limited has embraced these changes and four years ago forged a relationship with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in an effort to further the opportunities available to the youth. The Northwest Limited Chairman’s Award for Overall Excellence in Automotive Engineering was designed as a means to present apprenticeship opportunities for top Automotive Engineering students with the possibility for more permanent employment. Glen Augustin has already undergone several training courses both in St. Lucia and overseas and is pleased to see the expansion of interest in the automotive engineering areas, “I myself am a product of considerable investment in training and lately we have seen a growth in the interest from young ladies who see a real future in the industry. Presently one of our Service Representatives and a Service Advisor is a woman who hailed from this program.” Given the focus to ensure that vocational training becomes a more accessible part of the formal training curriculum, the Directors of the company believe that practical skills combined with its IT applications is the trend for the skilled worker of the future. Managing Director of Northwest Limited Mr. Randal Bain indicated that, “We have always placed a priority on upgrading skills training as it relates to brand support. In fact many of our technicians are expected to undergo several courses online and overseas as we seek to support the constantly improving vehicle product imported into St. Lucia.” BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




CHTA to Focus on Strengthening National Hotel & Tourism Associations


mil Lee, President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), reported progress during his first year in office as CHTA continues its evolution into a Hub and Spoke organisation. He said he is pleased that the focus on strengthening the National Hotel and Tourism Associations (NHTAs) throughout the region is evolving quickly. He also cites a new era of publicprivate sector collaboration between CHTA and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) which has emerged as a point of optimism for the industry’s future. Lee recently visited with local CHTA members and Ministers of Tourism in various countries including Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados and Belize. “CHTA is actively working to strengthen the national associations, facilitating and empowering them and improving their effectiveness and efficiency,” Lee said. “The CHTA is in the process of fundamentally restructuring by evolving from a traditional top down hierarchy to a hub and spoke model where the CHTA becomes the hub for the Caribbean’s National Hotel Associations allowing the easy sharing of information especially on the best and worst practices in the region.” Lee believes the membership of CHTA is embracing the changes taking place within the organization and is encouraged by a growing dialogue that is drawing hoteliers, allied members and the public sector together to proactively look at improving tourism. “I see more members that support what we are doing and are hungry for the changes in leadership that is moving CHTA to the prominent position it has held in the past,” he said. This transformation comes as the CHTA is about to launch CHIEF (the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum), a new annual event designed to focus on hotel industry operations and marketing with an eye on sustainable tourism. CHIEF takes place October 2-4 in Puerto Rico. Its focus is to facilitate exchanges between hotels, tourism industry leaders and allied members to help attendees network in a fun environment and learn how to increase revenue, save money and improve efficiency. “CHIEF has ignited a renewed excitement among the membership as both independent hoteliers and chain hotels around the region are viewing this as an opportunity to network with industry colleagues and learn about best practices that both small and large hotels are using to become more successful,” Lee

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



(L-R) Antoine Brown, General Manager, St James’s Club, Antigua; Alex de Brito, Chairman, Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association (AHTA) and General Manager Galley Bay Resort, Antigua; Emil Lee, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); Andrew Hedley, 1st Vice Chairman AHTA and Managing Director, Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort, Antigua; and Neil Forrester, General Manager, AHTA

said. “We have also reached out to our Allied Membership and they are embracing this opportunity to renew and strengthen their relationship with the hoteliers,” he added. But Lee cautions that the revival that is afoot across the region’s hotel and tourism industry is much more than CHIEF. He has spent much of his first year in office traveling throughout the Caribbean meeting with local Hotel Association Executives and Presidents, a position he too has held in the past, and in strategic discussions with CTO officials. “I am more convinced than ever, we are on the right path,” Lee said, adding: “Our recent annual general meeting generated a lot of positive feedback from attendees and many of the officers of the NHTAs are reaching out to me to discuss some of our proposals and plans for the future, a future that can have a positive impact on their local association.” Lee has also seen a continuation of the cementing of the relationship between the hotel industry and the government tourism agencies, starting at the top with the cooperative work being done with the CTO and the fact that several Tourism Ministers have reached out directly to him to discuss a variety of tourism related matters. Lee said: “Enhanced public-private sector collaboration is essential for the region to maximize its tourism potential. There is no doubt that there is a clear correlation between successful destinations and the level of cooperation and synergy between the public and private sectors. Each destination needs to build effective and vibrant public-private partnerships. “When we look at how Puerto Rico is suffering from economic malaise, we see an opportunity to show how tourism can create employment, not just in the hotels, but in the local shops, at the seamstress, on the farms, in the fishing boats and even within the construction trades as new facilities are needed to fuel tourism growth. Tourism is truly key to the future of our tourism dependent nations here in the Caribbean.” Dialogue on tourism is happening across the region within CHTA and the public sector and Lee and the officers and executives of the Association are very happy with this. “It is the beginning of the future,” Lee added.

Caribbean Airlines Enters Deal With Emirates


aribbean Airlines, the Trinidadian national carrier which includes Air Jamaica, has signed a new interline deal with Emirates, the Dubai-based airline with more than 142 global destinations. The deal follows a larger one for Emirates, which recently entered a similar arrangement with Qantas, the Australian airline.

“Emirates carries more passengers to and from the Indian sub-continent than any other airline in the world, and they fly to 19 cities on the African continent – all key markets for the Caribbean,” he said. “Simpler transits and connections with more destination options will make it easier for our customers to travel the world.” While Emirates doesn’t fly to the Caribbean, it already flies to 14 destinations in the US, Canada and South America, including Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and Dallas in the US, Toronto in Canada, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

“Caribbean Airlines envisages that other markets will open up allowing passengers seamless transitions through some of the world’s major cities,” the release said. Several former Air Jamaica pilots currently fly for Emirates as well as other Arabian airlines such as Etihad and Qatar Airlines. The deal will provide customers with a greater choice of destinations and easy transfers at key airports such as London’s Gatwick and JFK in New York. Customers will also have the ability to take advantage of through fares from the extensive Emirates network via London and New York to Kingston, Montego Bay, Port of Spain and Georgetown. The result will be easier global connections with attractive fares on a single ticket, according to a recent news release from Caribbean Airlines. “For example, a passenger travelling from Mumbai, India, can fly on one of Emirates’ six daily non-stop flights to their hub in Dubai, then connect to one of their three daily non-stop services to London Gatwick and connect to one of Caribbean Airlines four weekly non-stop flights to Port of Spain.” the release said. “Caribbean Airlines is thrilled to expand our relationship with Emirates, which is a significant powerhouse in the airline industry,” said George Reeleder, Vice-President for Commercial and Customer Service at Caribbean Airlines.

The House for Quality

90++ years of history and a legacy of service Cnr Brazil St. & Manoel St., Castries TEL: 758-452-2153

Gros Islet TEL: 758-450-9496

Henry Belizaire & Infinity Color Shop Maurice Mason St., Soufriere Rodney Bay TEL: 758-459-7433 TEL: 758-458-4191 FAX: 758-451-7487 BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Sandals Resorts Awards Almost US$35,000 in Scholarships to St Lucia Staff


he Sandals Corporate University (SCU) in Saint Lucia has approved almost US$35,000 in scholarships to 55 deserving team members for the year 2015-2016. The SCU, which was launched in March 2012, continues on its mandate to provide scholarships, training, education and certification opportunities to the over 13,000 employees at all Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple resorts across the region. This most recent disbursement forms part of the company’s unremitting challenge to its team members in Saint Lucia to employ a “Change-Included” mindset, through positively reinventing themselves, their resorts, communities, industry and world. Of the scholarships allotted, Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa and Beach Resort received 21 grants with Stacy Lamontagne from the Kitchen department being awarded US$7,000 for her pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Management at Monroe College. At Sandals Regency La Toc, one award was handed out, also to the tune of US$7,000 to Trevor King from the Entertainment Department for his bid for an Associate Degree in Business Administration at the Australian Institute of Business. The other 28 scholarships went to team members at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort covering a wide range of studies at various institutions. Regional Director for Sandals Resorts International Eastern Caribbean, Andre Dhanpaul said the SCU continues to be a model to emulate in the tourism industry in the Caribbean serving as a platform for employees at all levels to build on their practical skills with first-class education. Mr. Dhanpaul stated that “Every Sandals property is a centre of excellence and their team members are always learning. The company understands that in order for a company to grow, it must have a human resource capital armed and ready to grow with it.

Mr. Dhanpaul explained that as the years go by Sandals has seen an increase of interest from their team members to expand their levels of certification and strive to understand not only their individual functions but the overall industry operation. Earlier this year Principal of the Sandals Corporate University, Dr. Phillip Brown, was among six persons honoured by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute for outstanding leadership in hospitality training and education. Dr. Brown, who is also the Group Director for Training Standards at Sandals Resorts International, received the institute’s coveted Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding International Educator. The Sandals Corporate University is designed to link its training and leadership development outcomes to the Sandals Resorts International corporate strategies and philosophies.

SLHTA Junior Culinary Team Performs

Outstandingly at the Annual Caribbean Junior Dueling Competition & Conference


he Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association congratulates Nicola Esnard and Kurtney Gill of the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School who represented St. Lucia at the Caribbean Junior Dueling Competition. This year, the event saw a total of 9 Caribbean islands participating including Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Anguilla, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Croix, St. Lucia and Dominica. After 3 rounds of tough competition, including Signature Dish, Mystery Basket and Finals team St. Lucia performed exceptional. The team was able to secure a silver medal in the Signature and Mystery Basket Dish and a 3rd place in the Finals. Preceding the actual competition, the participating teams benefited from presentations by experts in the industry as well as illustrations and other presentations by sponsors. The SLHTA is very proud of the success of this year’s Junior Culinary Team. The team who represented Saint Lucia were students from the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School who won the recently held SLHTA Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition. The Tourism Enhancement Fund was the main sponsor of the Chefs in Schools Competition, and also funded the team’s trip to Barbados.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Julianna Ward-Destang Bay Gardens Resorts, Director

Fun Time…. Family Time…. with SPLASH ISLAND WATER PARK!!!!


he Eastern Caribbean welcomed its first open island water park in August with the launch of the Splash Island Water Park in St. Lucia at the popular and famous Reduit beach. This water park has attracted both locals and visitors who have been more than excited to try out this amazing opportunity to enjoy their family time in a safe yet fun environment. This unique water park was the brainchild of Bay Gardens Resorts Director, Julianna Ward-Destang, who was able to conceptualise her idea and realise it in a short period of four months with the support of her husband, Sanovik Destang, Bay Gardens Resorts Executive Director. Julianna wanted to offer people the opportunity to enjoy quality family time and in turn, her vision has been positively appreciated as this attraction has received solid support on the beach for this summer. Splash Island Water Park was designed and manufactured by Wibit Sports GmbH, a German water sports company, specialising in the production of commercial quality water sports products for more than 18 years. Wibit products are currently in use in more than 200 places and Splash Island in Saint Lucia is the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Splash Island Water Park gives all of us a good reason to enjoy free time in a very safe environment which is conducive for both adults and children. The various courses of obstruction pathways in the water park attracts both kids and families alike who can take equal enjoyment in what the park has to offer. The other delightful features from Splash Island Water Park are a trampoline, climbing wall, monkey bars, a swing, a slide, hurdles, double rocker, flip, and water volleyball. At Splash island Water Park, safety is never compromised with enjoyment and it is in observance with the most stringent European safety requirements (EN 15649), which is related to testing and performance. The two key aspects for using the water park is that the user must be 6 years of age or older and should wear a life vest at all times. Splash Island Water Park offers its patrons – both St. Lucians and visitors, a new and much-needed relaxation and entertainment facility. Since its opening, children especially have demonstrated their excitement and enjoyment when using the facility whilst enjoying a day at the beach and the coolness of the ocean in the hot weather.

United Airlines to Begin Flights to St. Kitts and Nevis in December


he St. Kitts Tourism Authority announced that United Airlines would be launching inaugural non-stop service from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to St. Kitts. Commencing December 19, 2015, the flights will operate weekly on Saturdays through April 30, 2016. The schedule for these flights is as followsFlight Depart Arrive UA 1925 EWR 9:00am SKB 2:10pm UA 1925 SKB 3:05pm EWR 6:35pm United will utilize a 737-800 aircraft with capacity ranging from 154 to 166 seats for these flights. These flights will complement existing non-stop airlift into St. Kitts from North America, providing more convenient options for travelers to get to St. Kitts during the peak winter travel season. “The launch of this new service from United is very significant for St. Kitts, particularly as many of our new hotel developments including Belmont Farm at Kittitian Hill, Park Hyatt St. Kitts at Christophe Harbour, Koi Resort & Residences and Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Kitts are open or opening within the next few years. To support the growth in available room stock, a simultaneous growth of our airlift is required. The Northeastern U.S. has historically been our largest source market for visitors, and these new flights also allow for more connections from key gateways in

and near this region.” said the Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant. The Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation for St. Kitts & Nevis and Deputy Premier of Nevis stated, “We welcome the United Airlines flight from Newark as an integral component of our strategy to provide non-stop airlift from our key international gateways. Our visitor research and stakeholder input have indicated that New Jersey is a very strong market for the Federation and for Nevis, in particular.” United is the U.S. airline with the most comprehensive global route network, and the new service provides additional connections from St. Kitts’ top feeder gateways including: Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Dulles International Airport (IAD); Baltimore/Washington International Airport (IAD); Boston Logan International Airport (BOS); and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). United actively maintains and specifically operates an early departure from Chicago into Newark to support traffic into Caribbean destinations. “We’re excited to offer new service into St. Kitts from our worldclass Newark hub,” said Director of Leisure Sales for United Airlines, Vic Kerckhoff. “This addition will mark United’s 18th Caribbean destination from our domestic airports, offering more flexibility and choice for flyers traveling to the region.” BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




Your Weight Matters


By: Dr. Takira Glasgow

besity is increasing in prevalence throughout the world, and with it, an increase in diabetes, hypertension, sleep disorders, dyslipidaemia, certain cancers, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease and mortality rates. In business, obesity has been blamed for increased absenteeism, decreased work productivity and increased healthcare costs. However, all obesity may not be equal; for example, not all persons who are obese develop diabetes and not all persons with diabetes are overweight. In our professional lives we encounter situations in which established rules do not seem to apply: where more than one possibility can explain a result, and/ or where new precedents may be set. Similarly, the obesity paradox is the name given to a survival advantage that has been observed in overweight or obese persons compared to persons with normal weight. There may be a “U shaped curve” association of weight with mortality rates in persons with type 2 diabetes. These results were also found among persons with hypertension; the highest risk of heart-related mortality occurred in hypertensive persons who were obese while overweight persons had lower mortality than persons of normal weight.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



Additionally the obesity paradox has been observed in: • • • • • • • • • • •

Percutaneous coronary intervention Non-ischaemic stroke Chronic heart failure Peripheral artery disease Amputation risk among the nonelderly with diabetes After stroke After cardiac surgery End stage kidney disease and haemodialysis Rheumatoid arthritis Chronic obstructive lung disease HIV/ AIDS

Do not abandon your evening run based on one hundred studies of varying quality. Clearly, there is a distinction between persons who have comorbidities with obesity and those who are overweight and otherwise healthy. The research suggests that weight loss can be strongly recommended for prevention of disease, but at the onset of certain illnesses, additional body weight may be protective. Other considerations include redefining obesity in research to include waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio in addition to body mass index (BMI). There are also studies that correlate for persons who develop diabetes at lower BMI like the South Asian population and other populations with greater visceral obesity and body fat versus lean muscle mass.

Other explanations for these findings: •

• •

Many obese persons may have received prior treatment and may receive more aggressive treatment since they are more likely to be hospitalised for heart disease. Overweight persons may tolerate higher levels of cardio-protective medications. Persons with untreated diabetes or unrelated illnesses may have been considered to be normal weight or underweight and this would explain the increased percentage in death rate. The average age of persons in much of the research was 60 and there may be a survival advantage of excess weight at that age.

The evidence still concludes overwhelmingly that overweight or obese persons have a higher rate of cardiovascular events compared to those considered to be of normal weight which includes experiencing heart attacks, heart failure and also strokes. Lifestyle interventions resulting in weight loss are still beneficial to management of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes by decreasing inflammatory markers associated with adiposity and decreasing insulin resistance, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 60%. Therefore, being overweight or obese is more harmful overall than protective. Let your doctor guide you through the nuances of your weight matters.

Passion Fruit

Caribbean Boasts of Having One of the World’s Highest A Soothing and Healing Fruit assion Fruit is a tasty treat that a lot of people don’t Immunization Rates know about except for tropical drinks. But this sweet


and perfumy tasting fruit has many health benefits. Passion Fruit grows in lots of tropical regions of the world including the US, Caribbean and South America. It is also used to treat a number of diseases naturally and spiritually.


he Caribbean can boast of having one of the highest immunization rates in the world, according to Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater.

From a scientific perspective, Passion fruit contains phytochemicals such as, harmine, passaflorine, harman, harmalin, harmol, vitexin, carotenoids, chrysin, isovitexin, scopoletin and theobromine. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life; however, it is well-known that plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves. The leaves, flowers, peels and stems are all used as medicine in different ways. The leaves mainly contain the alkaloids. Harman, mentioned above, lowers blood pressure naturally. The flower can be made into a sedative and antispasmodic. Passion flower is also used to treat nervous disorders, bronchial conditions, arthritis, asthma, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders and menopausal symptoms. Carotenoids and polyphenols in the yellow fruit extract can also kill cancer cells in vitro.

And he says the region’s high immunization coverage, which was better than even the United States, was largely due to the work of Caribbean nurses who had also made a valuable contribution to other areas such as maternal health and child health. Slater made the comments as he addressed the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Regional Nursing Body at the CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana in August 2015. The senior CARICOM official added that the work of the region’s nurses had made a significant impact on communicable and non-communicable diseases and their involvement in enhancing healthy lifestyle promotion was also commendable. Minister in Guyana’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Cummings, also acknowledged the value that nurses brought to the public health care system across the Caribbean. “We understand the critical importance of investing in human capital necessary to enable our nurses to thrive prosperously in a dynamic health care environment,” she said. However, Cummings added, more work needed to be done with respect to tackling emerging trends and diseases. The fourday meeting, reviewed the current status of preparations for the October 2015 Regional Examination for Nurse Registration (RENR) and gave guidance on outstanding issues related to the CXC-managed RENR over its first year. Participants also approve the way forward for a new Strategic Plan for Nursing in the CARICOM Region and received updates on current areas of regional and global health policy of particular relevance to the nursing community.

Passion Fruit contains lots of fiber which is important for lowering cholesterol and improving immunity. It also contains lots of iron which is important for haemoglobin production for red blood cells, a lot of magnesium which is important for boosting metabolism, maintaining healthy nervous tissue and helping with stress, and building strong bones. Lots of Vitamin A and C which are important antioxidants for fighting cancer, boosting the immune system, and keeping away colds and flu. It has a low amount of sugar and a lot of fiber, creating a low glycemic index thus preventing blood sugar spikes and has a slightly anti-inflammatory ability thus helping with inflammation, arthritis, and heart diseases. Passion Fruit can be made into sorbet, ice cream, drinks, sauces, syrups, jellies, used in salads, desserts, puddings, and cakes. BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




events 2015

45th Annual General Meeting, Caribbean Shipping Association Conference and Exhibition Oct 19-21, 2015, Port of Cartagena, Colombia The Caribbean Shipping Association’s 45th Annual General Meeting, Conference and Expo returns to Cartagena, Colombia this year over the period October 19 - 21. Set for the newly opened Cartagena de Indias-Intercontinental Hotel, the event will make its fourth tour to Colombia, having been hosted by the Sociedad Portuaria Regional Cartagena (Regional Port Society of Cartagena) in 1987, 2004 and 2009. For further info:

Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum CREF 2015 19-21 October 2015 at the Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe & Convention Center, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Regional policy is increasingly renewable-friendly, capital is available, the price of technology continues to fall – and the price of oil is trending upwards. As the largest and longest established renewables event in the Caribbean, CREF provides a compelling mixture of world-class content and superlative opportunities to meet all the key participants in this rapidly emerging renewables market. Whether you are a regional policy-maker or an international developer, a regional utility or a multilateral active in the Caribbean, CREF is a must-attend event, which will be co-hosted by the Government of the Dominican Republic. For further info:

Caribbean Tourism Organization(CTO) State of the Industry Conference 20-23 October, 2015 – World Trade Center – Willemstad, Curacao During two full days of passionate exchanges delegates at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) will exchange ideas with leading Caribbean and international tourism experts on a range of elements that are critical to the development and success of the sector in the region. This year’s conference will be held under the theme: ‘Realizing the Vision; Positioning Caribbean Tourism for Major Change’. For further info:

World Travel Market 2015 November 2nd – 5th, 2015 – London, UK World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the mustattend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL - London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM. For further info:

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



events 2015

68th Annual Conference – Gulf & Caribbean Fisheries Institute 9-13 November, 2015, Bridgetown, Barbados The theme of the 68th GCFI conference is “Two Oceans…..Same Coastal Issues” and will focus on applying fisheries and marine science to solve problems by bringing multiple users of ocean resources together to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use sustainably use these resources. The emphasis will be on practical, interdisciplinary and ecosystem-based approaches to science and how these can make a difference in both conservation and development. The opening keynote will be by Dr. John C. Ogden who retired in 2010 as Professor Emeritus within the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. For further info:

Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. – 42nd Annual General Meeting and Conference 11th-14th November, 2015 – Marriott Hotel, St. Kitts The three-day conference, which attracts over two hundred and fifty delegates each year from around the world, will be held at the Marriott Hotel. The conference will explore the theme “The Financial Services Industry – at Crossroads: Where to From Here?”. The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. annual conference is the premier event for networking with financial services professionals from throughout the Caribbean and further afield. For more information visit:

The Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS), 2015 November 12-13, 2015, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico The Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) is the region’s must attend hospitality and tourism investment conference. CHICOS is organized by HVS and co-hosted by a partnership with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). The event provides attendees with the opportunity to significantly expand their network while learning the most important trends that can impact their investment decisions. The Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit has proven itself as the premier hospitality conference in the region. In its 5th year, this event brings together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators as well as the region’s leading decision makers. For further info:

2015 CARILEC Linesman Symposium 23-27 November, 2015, St. Lucia CARILEC will be hosting the 2015 Linesman Symposium in Saint Lucia with the tagline “Empowering the Linesman… Protecting Lives”. The main topics covered in this symposium will mainly include US. OSHA Regulations changes affecting Electricity Electric Utilities, Hazard ID and Mitigation, New Best Practices for Line Crews, Bridging the Gap: Field & Office and Safety during Storm Work. For further info:

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



MAJOR MOVES as strong an operational and resort management background and sales and marketing experience.

Claudia Coenjaerts - New ILO Director for the Caribbean Claudia Coenjaerts, a Belgian National, has been appointed as Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, effective August 1, 2015. Coenjaerts joined the ILO in 1995 and has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Prior to taking up her assignment as Director of the ILO Office based in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Coenjaerts took an 18-month sabbatical from the ILO to act as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Labour Association in Washington, DC. Within the ILO, Coenjaerts previously held the post of Deputy Regional Director for Africa, based in Addis Ababa, since early 2012. With her depth of experience in the ILO field offices, Coenjaerts has acquired a broad understanding of ILO development cooperation activities, as well as expertise in several areas. Coenjaerts holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. The ILO Office for the Caribbean was established in 1969 and is based in Trinidad and Tobago. It serves 13 member states and nine non-metropolitan territories of the English- and Dutchspeaking Caribbean.

Kathy Taylor – Interim General Manager, The Landings The Landings St. Lucia has appointed international business executive Kathy Taylor interim General Manager following the departure of Caribbean hospitality veteran Kashmie Ali, who led a turnaround of fortunes at the premier Caribbean resort over the past year. Ali, who helped to bolster the resort’s success in the luxury villa resort category, opted to pursue new opportunities following his one year stint which produced strong results and increased revenues. Taylor also assumes the role of Chair of the Executive Committee and a member of the Board of Directors following the resignation of John Copeland upon whom she also showered praise for his vision and leadership. “Mr. Copeland used his considerable management and governance skills to chart a new direction for The Landings and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his service,” stated Taylor. Taylor has more than 30 years of senior level business experience primarily in global investment management where she held positions in portfolio management, marketing, sales, client service as well as communications and public relations. She retired as a Senior Managing Director from Barclays Global Investors, at the time the asset management arm of Barclays Bank and one of the largest institutional money managers in the world. As interim General Manager, Taylor will work closely with the existing management team as well as an international search firm to recruit a world class general manager, with

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct



New Executive Director at Cultural Development Foundation – Melchoir Henry Staff of the Cultural De¬velopment Foundation (CDF), on Monday 17th August, 2015 welcomed a new Executive Director to head the affairs of the organisation. The new CDF Chief, Melchior Henry, will serve for a period of 2 years in the first instance. Mr. Henry comes to the orga¬nization with a wealth of expe¬rience as a leader and manager. He is an educator and taught at the Vide Bouteille and March¬and Combined Schools be¬tween 1974 and 1980. He was a part time lecturer at the Sir Arthur Lewis Commu¬nity College between 1998 and 2007, in the area of Management Information Systems. From 2010 until his recent ap¬pointment, Henry served the Government of Saint Lucia as Project Manager on the Nation¬al Health Information Systems Project and his expertise in this sphere, will be put to work towards achieving the goals of the restructured CDF. He is a member of the Folk Research Centre (FRC) and has published “Creative Writing: Book of Poetry” and co-edited with Kendel Hippolyte and con¬tributed to a collection of essays entitled “PULSE”. The new Executive Director was also involved in the publica¬tion of the now defunct Literary Magazine “Konte`”. His work has also been published in the anthology “Roseau Valley and other Poems for Brother George Odlum“, and the anthology “C_o_n_f_l_u_e_n_c_e_:_ _N_i_n_e_ _S_t_._ _L_u_c_i_a_n_ _ Poets”, edited by Kendel Hip-polyte.


DR.VIRGINIA ALBERT POYOTTE At the first executive 2015 meeting of the Caribbean Teacher’s Union (CUT), Dr. Virginia Albert Poyotte has been appointed as the General Secretary/Treasurer for the period of 2015-2017. Dr. Albert Poyotte served as the Regional Coordinator for Education International (an international organization of teacher trade unions), for over thirty years. Her contribution is better known through the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union since 1977. She was President of the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union for 6 years and was instrumental in introducing the University of Sheffield Masters in Educational Studies Programme where over 100 teachers in St. Lucia have graduated in the Master’s and Doctoral programmes from the university. Dr. Albert Poyotte has wide experiences at the global level as a result of her interaction with persons at all levels of the education sector. She holds a Teachers College Certificate, a Bachelors Degree in Educational Administration with Honours from Cave Hill Campus through SALCC, a Diploma in School Administration, a Masters Degree in Training and Human Resource Management from Leicester University in the UK and a Doctorate in Education (EdD) with the University of Sheffield. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for outstanding contribution in the field of Education and community service.

Mr. Julian Monrose has recently been elected President of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (C.U.T.). He has also served C.U.T as 3rd Vice President and Chairman of Sports Committee and more recently, as 2nd Vice President with responsibility for Industrial Relations. He served the Caribbean Union of Teachers (C.U.T.) as Chairman of its Resolutions Committee for three consecutive Biennial Conferences. He has also facilitated regional workshops on behalf of Education International and the Caribbean Union of Teachers. Mr. Monrose has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College; member of the St. Lucia Minimum Wages Commission and Member of the National Training Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of The National Skills Development Centre (NSDC). Very recently, he was appointed as a member of the National Insurance Corporation Board. He has served the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union (SLTU) as President, First Vice President, Branch Representative for Castries, Shop Steward and member of several internal committees. He is now the longest serving President of the Union. Through Mr. Monrose’s representation of the St. Lucia Teachers’ Union, he was elected the Founding Vice President of the St. Lucia Trade Union Federation (TUF) and currently serves the organization as its President. Mr. Monrose holds a B.Sc in Sociology and Management (Double Major) from UWI and is currently pursuing studies towards a Masters Degree in Project Management.

Atanas Botev – The New General Manager at the BodyHoliday

General Manager.

Leading health and wellness resort, The BodyHoliday, has appointed Atanas Botev as its new

Atanas has over a decade of top level international hospitality management experience working across UK-based luxury hotels, including The May Fair Hotel, The Hampshire, Leicester Square and Royal Lancaster in London. His most recent role oversaw operations at Stamford Plaza Hotel in Adelaide, Australia. Atanas is a highly motivated and accomplished manager, with extensive strategic operations expertise. He is also a member of the renowned Hotel and Catering International Management Association. Atanas joins The BodyHoliday as a skilled decision-maker, with excellent commercial knowledge and budgetary expertise, as well as proven experience in refurbishment and asset market repositioning. He will be responsible for overseeing the management and development of all the operations at the all-inclusive 155-room resort. Barbara Emmanuel, Director of Human Resources at SunSwept Resorts said: “We are thrilled to welcome Atanas to our team of leaders as he brings extensive international experience of managing quality hotels with an impressive track record of success. As a highly accomplished manager in the hospitality industry, we have no doubt that he will lead our team to further elevate the brand to maintain its position as the leading health and wellness resort.”

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct






758 Equestrian Meadows Inc.

Tourism - Horseback Riding

Eugene Gabriel, Cuthbert Nathoniel, Ursuline Chryselda Niles

A.G. Security Inc.

Security Services

Ann Glasgow, George Glasgow, Jacob Cox

Agriplus Inc.

Farming Supplies

Kennedy Burke, Dudley Anthony Sadhi

AR Asset Leasing Ltd.

Asset Management and Leasing of Motorized Crafts for Tourism Use

Andy Riley, Samantha Riley

Aravis Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Consiston Ltd.

Athena Inc / Comfort Zone Inc.

Hardware Retail

Rui Hua Wang, Ting Yu Hu

Blocks and More Ltd.

Selling Blocks and Renting of Tools

Lucianus Smith, Vicky Smith

Caribbean LED Lighting (St. Lucia) Inc.

Retailing Company

Jim Reid, Gerard Borely


To Carry on the Business of Retail and Distribution of Goods

Shakir Tandi Flood

Coastal and Marine Design Build Ltd.

Construction and Building Services

Philip Warner, Samuel Verity

Coconutz Cantina Company Ltd.

Restaurant & Bar

Anthony De Freitas

Darryll Holland Horse Racing Academy (St. Lucia) Inc.

Racing & Riding Horses

Winston Trim, Darryll Holland

DnD Realty St. Lucia Ltd.

Holding Company

DnD Realty International Ltd.

Dohwellsei Holdings Ltd.

Real Estate Investment

Anirob Holdings Inc.

Ecoparks Family Adventure Inc.

Recreational & Amusement Park

Philip Best

Golf Park 124 Ltd.

Property Holding Company

PIF Corporate Services Inc.

Intertek Trinidad Ltd.

The Company Will be Carrying Out Cargo Inspection and Laboratory Testing of Petroleum Products

Victor Pouchet, Anderson Ramhit

JP Investment Inc.


Michael Phillips

Lauren’s Pest Control Company Ltd.

Pest Control

Laurel Florenville, Ann Moffatt Florenville

Legends Carnival Band Inc.

Carnival Band

Zinaida McNamara, Jenella Gaston, Jenna Ann Gaston, Maundy Lewis

Lumiere Ltd.

Real Estate Development & Management

Chad D Willett

LVS Services Ltd.

General Services (Trucking and Equipment; Trading/Import-Export)

Lucianus Smith, Vicky Smith

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct






OTI St. Lucia S.A. Ltd.

Inspection and Analysis of Petroleum Products

Paul Longshaw, Marcelo Salerno, Juan Minutella

Pizzeria Napoli Inc.

Italian Pizza Parlour

Zai Karim-Mohammed, Pietro Caltabiano, Fabio Caltabiano

Pomme Realty Ltd.

Real Estate

Jonas Monlouis

Pure Country Productions Ltd.

Production Company

Benny Chitolie

Ramat International Enterprise Inc.

Import, Export and Sale

Melvin Alcee, Secodina Alcee

Range Developments (St. Lucia) Ltd.

Property Development

Mohammed Hassan Asaria

S & J Piments Caraibes Ltd.

Export & Import

Soudin Jean Louis, Joseph Max, Fernand Joseph

The Bevco (Saint Lucia) Ltd.

Importation and Wholesale of Foods and Beverages

Terence Arnold St. Rose

The Gros Islet Development Partnership Inc.

Facilitate the Social and Economic Development of the Community of Gros Islet

Alison King-Joseph, Terrence Elliott

Arton Capital (St. Lucia) Ltd.

Investment and Wealth Advisory

Armand Arton

Vending Plus (St. Lucia) Ltd.

To Carry on the Business of Retail and Wholesale Distribution of Dry Goods and Machinery

Malcolm Marquez, Ramon George Esper, Alistair K.Fields

Villa Lara Holdings Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Triton Corporate Services Ltd.

BusinessFocus Sept / Oct





1st National Bank


Allweld Inc.


Bank of St Lucia


Beyond Limits Construction


BCCC / Boka Group


Blue Arch Construction Holdings


Brad Paul & Associates


Brown & Co (Caribbean ) Ltd.


Carasco & Sons


Caribbean Metals Ltd.


Castagne Williams/William Ind.




Cool Breeze


Crown Foods




Du Boulay Bottling


EC Global Insurance


Epic Construction


Ernst & Young


Fast Cash St Lucia Ltd.


Hot Sports Auto Rental


Island Style Tile and Bath


Terra Caribbean / Ocean Reef - Barbados


RECS General Contractors


Renee’s Construction


Royal St Lucian By Rex Resorts




St Lucia Cooperative Credit Union League Ltd.


Williams Industries Inc.


Windward & leeward Brewery


Covers Digicel


Harris Paints




BusinessFocus Sept / Oct




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St. Lucia Business Focus 83  

In this issue, we Focus on the establishment of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and growing the important trade links between St L...

St. Lucia Business Focus 83  

In this issue, we Focus on the establishment of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and growing the important trade links between St L...