Saint Lucian business must lead – again! Opinion from Melanius Alphonse
The time has come for Castries’ business sector to take charge of emerging economic opportunities to help foster better economic growth for Saint Lucia to get its sway back and “make its moves like Jagger.”
And, once again the various economic clusters must unify and chart a sustainable economic action plan moving forward.
One that is interconnected, dependable and inclusive of the Caribbean region, with no place for insular thinking.
In so doing business needs to take the lead and ownership of the economy and start acting and planning to promote a sustainable economic action plan for Saint Lucia, both at home and abroad.
Most importantly, Saint Lucia was once a template for the Caribbean region – not anymore.
Maybe, this has to do with the parallel that Saint Lucia is not powered by its talented and ingenuity.
In building a better country, that edge must be reclaimed to help emerging financial services, trade and investment, the creative industries, agri- business, education, science and technology, and other business clusters to promote growth and competitiveness.
Saint Lucia has the highest percentage of unemployed youth - they need a channel to develop their skill-set and prepare for the future. If not, this will be an impediment for business to deliver service and products for years to come.
Taking charge of the future today will put Saint Lucia on the right track.
It is often said that one must build on strength and find out what is unique about self, product and service – the same principle applies in promoting a sustainable economic action plan for Saint Lucia.
With Saint Lucia looking forward to gain and prosper amid the expectation of a soft touch from a liberal government, business must lead – again!
They must first look deep within to find and nurture innovation, invest in research and development for that competitive edge to economic growth.
Then, business needs to act as a regional economic unit outside the status quo and government dependency to commence a turning point that is real to set the tone and push forward.
Given this climate and structural formulation, business can then begin to instruct government and policymakers and lead the conversation on what government needs to do.
What matters most is to remodel an economic space of exposed risk and vulnerability to external shock- to one where business and social needs are balanced and citizens would not be left to pick-up the crumbs with “step.”
This is heartless to say the least.
This so-called accommodation changes nothing of substance; it is mental retardation and fails to narrow the assault on inequality of opportunity and income.
Of course, back to the subject matter, if this type of collective and professionalism is built – it will be political suicide, and irresistible for any government to ignore.
In effect, facts will not be able to be misrepresented, a socialist conspiracy will not be able to be encouraged, hiding mushy ideology behind budget presentation would be an exhibit and citizens will be able to plan for the foreseeable future.
At that point, government would find time to address very specific aspects of governance and think ahead into the future, choosing the right policy.