High national debt and high debt servicing has assumed greater significance among the concerns of the Members of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce and the Government as a whole. Specific recommendations were therefore made to Government in the Chamber’s 2016 Budget Submissions.
The Chamber further notes the Prime Minister referencing the development of “a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) to address the situation” in his Budget Address for 2017/2018.
Ms. Cointha Thomas, Permanent Secretary in theMinistry of Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs addressed the St. Lucia Business Community on July 6th on Government’s “Medium Term Debt Management Strategy” at the July Monthly Executive Luncheon. Other officers representing the Department of Finance in attendance were the Director of Research and Policy Mr Embert St Juste and Head of the Debt and Investment Unit Ms Vera Emmanuel.
Key issues raised at this session were the high refinancing risks and high level of debt due to mature in the near future. In addition to discussion on the strategy being employed by the Government of St. Lucia, Ms Thomas responded positively to a number of the recommendations made by the Chamber in the 2017/2018 Budget Submissions
The Chamber will continue to generate discussions on issues affecting the Business community at its next luncheon scheduled for August 9th 2017 where Hon. Dr. Gale T.C. Rigobert, Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations And Sustainable Development will address the Chamber membership on the subject “Transforming Education to Meet the Needs of The New Economy.” This matter was also identified as one of critical concern to the Business Community in the context of recruiting appropriately skilled and trained employees in St. Lucia.