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Commerce Department signs MOU with Saving Banks to Promote SMES

The Government of Saint Lucia is seeking to enhance the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the creation of job opportunities in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).

The International Trade and Enterprise Development Department is collaborating with the international partners Saving Banks Foundation to assist the Small Enterprise Development Unit in capacity building. This week; a signing ceremony was held to formalize the relationship between the Commerce Ministry and Foundation.

The Commerce, International Trade, Enterprise Development Department wants to create a sustainable environment for the promotion of SMES. The Department’s international partners the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), is helping them to fulfill that goal. The Foundation has selected Saint Lucia as the pilot country to set up structures for strengthening SMES in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

On Thursday; the Department signed a memorandum of understanding with the foundation to solidify their agreement. The Savings Banks Foundation maintains that SME’s are at the forefront of job creation. Minister responsible for Commerce Bradley Felix says access to finance is one of the major barriers for SMES growth globally. He foresees the partnership helping lenders be more generous in funding SMES.

The partnership will include training programs from the Savings Bank Foundation in areas of financial education and business coaching. Director of the Small Enterprise Development Unit is Barbara Innocent Charles. The Germany Savings banks group was established over 25 years ago; and is active in more than 40 countries.

This collaboration is part of the Commerce’s Department mandate to promote business development.

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