Mon | Oct 23, 2017

St Lucia’s PM proposes new US-Caribbean trade initiative

Published:Thursday | September 21, 2017 | 3:47 PM
Chastanet

NEW YORK (CMC):
St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has proposed the establishment of a new US Caribbean Trade initiative.

Chastanet in an interview with the US business network CNBC, the recent hurricanes that have devastated parts of the Caribbean. have shown that the need for diversity even as it relates to sources of food.

He also pointed to a shutdown of the American hub for several days.

“The support has had to come from the south because while we were going through this, you had two hurricanes heading up north. And literally Miami was on a shutdown. So unfortunately the American hub got shutdown almost for 10 days out of Miami. And so it really has shown us that we need to diversify ourselves a bit and maybe look a bit more to Panama in terms of supplies of food.”

However, Chastanet said the resilience of the Caribbean is very strong and the region will band together to recover from the disasters.

The Prime Minister also proposed the establishment of a new private sector led initiative what would allow US companies to invest in St Lucia tax free and have their resources sent back home without facing heavy US government taxes.

He said there are great investment opportunities in the Caribbean for American companies.

“Can we not get an incentive, and that’s what we’re in discussions with the US about, that if US companies invest into the Caribbean, that those investments in our books are always tax free that the US allow those funds to be repatriated back into the US tax-free, only on those investments.”

“So  it accomplishes getting the funds back into the United States of America. It creates an avenue for the private sector to participate in this growth and brings a lot of money to the table,” Chastanet said.

The Prime Minister is expected to address the UN General Assembly on Thursday.