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Government Inefficiencies Driving Up Costs of Living and Cost of Doing Business

A recent Business Performance Survey by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce notes that some key issues impacting the rising cost of living and the increased cost of doing business are within government’s control and ought to be addressed with urgency.

The business organisation’s newsletter Chamber Inside Edge says its recent survey identified key factors driving price increases as; purchase price of goods, fuel costs and costs of utilities, as the top three factors. The supply chain bottleneck is also quoted as a key underlying factor as well.

But the article points out that “a usually overlooked issue is what is referred to as “costs at the border” as another, “hidden” factor treated as an unmentionable.”

The Chamber adds that inefficient administration and operation of public services only drives up the cost of living and doing business.

The Chamber reports that “over the last few months St. Lucian Importers have had to face major costs and delays when importing goods, as the St. Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority have been facing serious challenges with their equipment leading to major delays and increased costs being faced by importers through no fault of the importer”.

The Chamber article cites “frequent breakdown and unavailability of equipment to off load cargo and load on to trucks has been the order of the day”.

Chamber reports that it has been “in dialogue with SLASPA and Customs over the years on improving the efficiency, speed and quality of service at the border as this will have a positive impact on; (1) the cost of doing business, (2) the final cost of goods to consumers, (3) level of government revenue (4) rate of economic growth, to name a few.

Recently SLASPA put out a statement on their efforts at resolving or mitigating the effects of their challenges in that regard. Meanwhile the Chamber says it will continue to work with Government at all levels to try to improve the delivery of critical services to the business community.

(Caribbean Business Report)

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