St. Lucia Welcomes Growth Prediction From Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) held its annual press conference on Wednesday in Barbados. The focus of the conference was a review of the economic performance of the region, particularly CDB’s borrowing member countries (BMCs) for 2014 and forecasts for 2015; and a review of the Bank’s performance and key developments in 2014.
While Saint Lucia celebrates its 36th year of independence on February 22, the 100th anniversary of Sir William Arthur Lewis’ birth is likewise celebrated as the founding president of CDB.
Sir Arthur holds the distinction of being the first West Indian to be appointed principal of the University College of the West Indies at Mona; the first vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies; and Saint Lucia and the Caribbean’s first Nobel Laureate in economics.
“It is notable that the CDB’s ongoing efforts to mainstream gender; build institutional and human resource capacity; improve macro-economic management, and more recently, to help BMCs to establish energy independence by exploiting their abundant renewable energy resources are all built on the same poverty reduction platform that inspired Sir Arthur’s development work many years ago,” CDB president, Dr Warren Smith, said.
CDB estimates Saint Lucia economic performance of -2.3 in 2013; and -2.7 percent in 2014 is projected to recover to 1.1 percent in 2015.
In more good news on the eve of independence in Saint Lucia, the CDB on Thursday, December 11, 2014, approved a loan of US$19.675 million for the redevelopment of the Vieux Fort water supply system, and to further provide a grant to bring reliable supply of potable water to over 19,000 people, a project that will cost an estimated US$24 million.
The CDB will also provide a grant of US$335,000 to assist in financing consultancy services for capacity building of the Water and Sewerage Company Inc. and the Water Resource Management Authority; and for evaluating the impact of the project on gender relations in Vieux Fort and its environs. The Vieux Fort water system serves Vieux Fort, Laborie, and their environs. The communities served consist of approximately 8,600 households, with an estimated population of 19,500, as well as institutional and commercial enterprises in Vieux Fort and the surrounding areas.
The CDB 2014 Caribbean economic review and outlook for 2015 indicates Saint Lucia’s growth percentage in stay-over arrivals 2014 at 6.1 percent and cruise passenger arrivals 8.0 percent from 3.9 percent in 2013. The external performance and strengthened recovery in tourism, travel receipts and continued inflows of remittances have positively influenced and provided adequate cover.
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