More Consultation Next Week.
THE process of developing a gender responsive and results-based services policy, strategy and action plan for Saint Lucia intensifies here next week.
In mid-February, lead consultant – Ramesh Chaitoo was on island for meetings with key stakeholders in the public and private sector. The Gender and Private Sector Experts will be on island from Monday to Friday for a fresh round of consultations with service providers as well as in-depth Interviews with industry leaders in various service sectors. The Focus Group Sessions will be held at the Palm Haven Hotel from Monday to Wednesday.
The Consultants will engage service providers in Health and Wellness (spas, fitness centres and tnstructors) ICT, professional services (accounting, architecture, engineering, management consulting) creative industries (music, film, fashion) and education services (tertiary institutions, medical schools). These are the key service sectors being targeted, with a view to developing a policy framework for the growth and development of these sectors, towards achieving increased employment, exports, income/revenue, value-added, and gender equity.
Each focus group session and interview will examine a particular sector and collect data on the experiences, views and recommendations of people operating within that sector. Among the issues that will be covered are the profile of the sector: type and size of businesses, employment, contribution to St. Lucia’s economy; market access, competition, trade, regulation, legislation, infrastructure, finance and business support; incentives for stimulating investment and promoting exports; the institutional role of associations, agencies and ministries; the availability of appropriate skills in the St. Lucian population; examples of good practice and/or success stories; areas in which public-private partnership (PPP) could be useful to a sector’s development; and the roles and experiences of men and women in relation to the above.
The consultants will also meet with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Which comprises technocrats from key government ministries and agencies. Chaired by a representative of the Ministry of Commerce, the TAC is mandated to work with the consultants to help develop the services policy. The TAC also has lead responsibility for implementation of the services policy, strategy and action plan once it is ratified by Cabinet.
The Consultancy is being executed through the Saint Lucia Coalition of Service Industries (SLCSI) under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs. It is a follow-up to the 2012 Study which resulted in the preparation of a White Paper on the services sector in Saint Lucia. The consultancy to develop the services sector policy, strategy and action Plan is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).