HSI Bulletin, April 2021, Vol. 8
RETURN OF TOURISTS TO BEAUTIFUL SAINT LUCIA
As Saint Lucia gears up to welcome its first international cruise ship this summer since its closure to the sector amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, a special committee has been established to provide oversight to the resumption of cruise tourism. It includes the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Port Health, Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority, Invest Saint Lucia, etc. The overall aim is to ensure that while the cruise sector can continue to benefit the local economy, as a collective, also ensures that the local populace is kept safe. The committee will meet regularly to closely review and approve protocols for the resumption of the cruise industry, port health procedures, review of the terminal and its operations and logistics for the execution of excursions within protocol. The attention and importance of the cruise industry is evident with the development of the Pearl of the Caribbean. In its site C, the Caribbean Marlin stands the home port that is set to further enhance and support the expected tourism growth. The integration of the cruise ship home port and neighbouring Hewanorra International Airport (HIA), will allow for the seamless transitioning of passengers from major transit hubs, cater for increased tourism capacity and the repositioning of Saint Lucia’s south as a preferred destination.
SAINT LUCIA RANKS TOP IN THE CARIBBEAN
The Heritage Foundation released its latest “2021 Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings”, and Saint Lucia continues to show its strength, taking the top spot in the Eastern Caribbean region. The “Economic Freedom Index” ranking is an annual report released by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation, covering 178 countries and regions around the world, and is the world’s most authoritative economic freedom evaluation index. The index calculates the economic freedom of various countries based on the four principles of “rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open market” including 12 quantitative and qualitative factors. A country or territory with higher degree of economic freedom will achieve an increased long-term economic growth rate and prosperity, which is an important indicator of a nation’s long-term economic development strength. In the 2021 Economic Freedom ranking, Saint Lucia scored 67.5, ranking 53rd, second only to big nations such as Europe and United States, and ahead of Turkey at 76th, Montenegro at 80th, Fiji at 87th, Dominica at 88th and Vanuatu at 97th. All this reflects Saint Lucia’s immense economic development potential.
THE FINANCIAL CENTRE OF THE FUTURE IN THE CARIBBEAN
The Royal Bank of Canada announced that it has sold its Eastern Caribbean banking operations to a consortium of regional banks comprised of 1st National Bank of St. Lucia, Antigua Commercial Bank, Bank of Dominica, Bank of Montserrat, and The Bank of Nevis – this is a huge step forward in building Saint Lucia’s vision of becoming Caribbean’s financial Centre. According to Rob Johnston, Head of Caribbean Banking, “this transaction will allow RBC to align investments and resources into markets where our vision for being the Caribbean’s digitally-enabled relationship bank can be executed most-successfully. This will also help create a stronger climate for further growth, development, and prosperity.” This move also reflects the accurate positioning and strategy of the Pearl of the Caribbean – the nation-building development project which closely follows the broad direction of the Saint Lucia’s economic development, and creating rare opportunities for investors. The construction of a financial Centre in Site A is integrated into the Pearl of the Caribbean masterplan.
CURRENT EXCHANGE RATE AS OF 8 APRIL 2021
1 USD = 2.7XCD 1 USD = 6.54RMB
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