By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – In keeping with the government of Saint Lucia ‘youth economy’ to facilitate the turning of hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into business by providing finance, training, marketing, and mentoring to young people seeking self-sustainable employment, H. E. Peter Chen, ambassador of Taiwan to Saint Lucia, on Monday, sponsored EC$5.42 million towards the ‘youth economy’.
The ceremony was attended by the Cabinet of ministers and officials from the Embassy of the Republic of China, Taiwan.
Ambassador H.E. Chen, said:
“Through capacity building of aspiring entrepreneurs and enhancing business and employment as well as training opportunities in the post-pandemic period, Taiwan hopes to help dreams and aspirations become concrete and practical assets and goals.”
Prime minister Pierre is responsible for the portfolio of finance, economic development and the youth economy is assisted by minster Wayne D. Girard.
Prime minister Pierre explained:
“The youth economy is one step in the pursuit of a dream to create a new economy based on technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship where young business people will be participants and not merely observers.”
The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) manifesto relative to the ‘youth economy’ said: “An SLP government will undertake to do the following“:
- Provide fiscal incentives to young entrepreneurs, that are specially targeted and readily accessible;
- Provide financing to eligible young people to operationalize their business ideas, in the form of grants and low-interest loans;
- Provide marketing support for these budding entrepreneurs to market their products and services locally, regionally and internationally;
- Encourage programmes that support skills training, mentorship and the development of their emotional intelligence, to assist them in becoming successful young entrepreneurs;
- Ensure that the youth economy is an integral part of the wider economy to ensure the creation of a young indigenous business class that can enhance local wealth creation;
- Establish a separate ministry, the ministry of the ‘youth economy’, to administer the programmes and activities of the ‘youth economy’. This ministry will provide the required training to ensure that the skill sets of young people are adequate to meet the needs of a global market.
The ceremony for the youth economy is said to have “signalled the introduction of yet another manifesto pledge of the Pierre-led administration to create an economy for the young” who he urged to be disciplined and committed to their business venture and seek to aim for global standards and efficiency.
Meanwhile, Taiwan continues to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Saint Lucia, delivering technology in education, COVID-19 technical assistance and medical supplies, technical assistance in agriculture, housing assistance, Constituency Development Assistance (CDP) and central government funding to the benefit of the people of Saint Lucia.
Taiwan’s smart agriculture and meticulousness in farming technology has rescued Saint Lucia’s banana industry, allocating EC$3.2 million to Saint Lucia for the fiscal year 2021/2022, with EC$500,000 coming from the Banana Productivity Improvement Project (BPIP) revolving fund.
Taiwan has also committed funding a $10 million National Housing Assistance Programme “to assist the underprivileged by improving their living conditions, in Saint Lucia.
Taiwan and Saint Lucia resumed diplomatic relations in 2007, advancing cooperation in agriculture, culture, economy, health care, infrastructure, trade and global partnerships.