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Youth Economy Project Launched

The much talked about youth economy has been launched, aimed at assisting young entrepreneurs hone their craft and skills.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) are able partners in this collaboration with the St Lucia government, the signing ceremony of which was last Monday.

Prime Minister Pierre and Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Lucia H.E. Peter Chen signing documents which will fund the Youth Economy Project
Prime Minister Pierre and Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Lucia H.E. Peter Chen signing documents which will fund the Youth Economy Project

The Taiwanese-funded Youth Economy project is estimated at a cost of EC $5.42 million. Reports indicate that at least 15,000 young persons are on the unemployment line.

Prime Minister Phillip Pierre is appealing to the corporate sector to partner with the administration to help remedy the economic stagnation affecting young people in the country.

“We ensure that our priorities are aimed at improving people and not the wasteful expenditure of over $15 million to facilitate two horse races in a now-abandoned race track,” declared PM Pierre. He vowed that his administration would not indulge in a ‘reckless spending spree’ of the state’s resources as displayed by the previous regime.

“I call on our private sector to partner with government in our efforts to solve the many issues that plague our youth,” he added.

“The youth economy is one step in 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,” asserted Pierre.

Noting that the economy will also cater for rural youth and disadvantaged young persons, PM Pierre said, “The youth economy would cater for young risk-takers and provide venture capital facilities, grants and loans for feasible, workable projects.”

He added that, “The youth economy must provide an avenue for young people who have special skills,” the minister disclosed, “ such as sports, music, entertainment , designing , the creative economy , cultural activities, the digital economy, arts, agriculture and the ‘blue economy’.”

“In its simplest form, the Youth Economy is aimed at turning hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into business by providing finance training, marketing, and mentoring to young people seeking self-sustainable employment,” declared Pierre, the minister in charge of the Youth Economy program.

Taiwanese Ambassador Peter Chen lauded the program, which he feels will greatly benefit young persons with their economic pursuits.

“Taiwan considers this an honour and a privilege to answer that invitation …and (today) we will sign a Letter of Intent to implement the project to empower the youth and women of St Lucia,” said the ambassador. He added that such a project will help to create an “equitable and inclusive economy.”

Chen said the project was inspired by the “vision and leadership” of Prime Minister Pierre.

Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Kenson Casimir defined the project as ‘non-partisan’, but a venture established with firm and tangible policies.

While acknowledging the support of the Taiwanese embassy, Casimir referred to the scores of St Lucians that have earned higher qualifications and embarked on prestigious professions in the wider world. He said the opportunity presents itself for the many locals “who have the skills and ideas in their mind” and this project is expected to provide a new avenue of hope for young people to launch the dream of owning their own business.

Wayne Girard, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Anse La Raye / Canaries reiterated the concerns of youth and entrepreneurial development, taking into account the welfare of young persons in his constituency.

“With this donation, you have provided the status for the entrepreneurial engines and the wings for their ambitions,” declared Girard. “This is and will always be one of the most treasured acts of friendship from the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan).”

He disclosed that the government will work with existing agencies to fashion a vibrant, progressive, and smart Youth Economy that is impactful and relevant.

According to the Prime Minister, the youth economy will create a unique space in the economic system for young people to develop and grow their ideas.

But he asserted that excessive bureaucracy, official doctrine, and red tape should not burden the initiative.

Instead, Pierre told the signing ceremony that the Youth Economy must demand transparency and accountability while providing incentives and opportunities to encourage young people to pursue their dreams.

Pierre, Minister for Finance, Economic Development, and the Youth Economy, made the remarks during the signing ceremony on Monday of a letter of intent for the Taiwanese-funded Youth Economy.

He said it is a new avenue of hope for young people to launch the dream of owning their own business.

“In its simplest form, the Youth Economy is aimed at turning hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into business by providing finance training, marketing and mentoring to young people seeking self-sustainable employment,” Pierre said.

He disclosed that the government would work with existing agencies to fashion a vibrant, progressive, and smart Youth Economy that is impactful and relevant.

According to the Prime Minister, the youth economy will create a unique space in the economic system for young people to develop and grow their ideas.

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