SAINT LUCIA NATIONAL EXPORT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
From 2004, Saint Lucia took bold steps in articulating a National Export Development strategy (NEDS) based on solid public and private sector partnership. In the 2011 National Budget, the Government of Saint Lucia asserted its resolve that export development remains a key priority on the agenda, with emphasis on enhancing global competitiveness and export potential of local companies.
Key foundational guidelines of the NEDS are that:
• Existing competitive exports must be supported in order to
• sustain and increase their competitive position
• Potentially competitive firms are to be transformed to become internationally successful players
• Non-competitive firms must be assisted to make the transition towards new competitive models
• There must be a strong trade support delivery network
THE ROLE OF THE OFFICE OF PRIVATE SECTOR RELATIONS (OPSR)
The NEDS is now in the implementation phase and the Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) has been given the mandate by government to undertake the functions of the National Trade Export Promotions Agency (or TEPA for short). The OPSR was established in 1997, and has successfully implemented Saint Lucia’s Private Sector Development Programmes with joint funding by the Government and the European Union.
SAINT LUCIA TRADE EXPORT PROMOTIONS AGENCY (TEPA)
“Saint Lucia TEPA” is the Saint Lucian Government’s National Trade Export and Promotion Agency, and is the lead agency mandated to spearhead the island’s National Export Development Effort. The overall objective is to increase aggregate volume and value of exports from Saint Lucia.
A new vision has been cast to create the institutional arrangements that provide the best quality and most relevant services for the development of the private sector and to optimize Saint Lucia’s export opportunities.
CORE FUNCTIONS OF THE TEPA
The Trade Export and Promotion Agency (TEPA) will provide a range of information and support to local businesses and international buyers.
Saint Lucia TEPA works to promote and expand business in export markets around the world. We aspire to increase local exports, to assist local businesses improve profitability and long term sustainability, thus making a direct and valuable contribution to the Saint Lucian economy.
The TEPA Core Functions are to:
• Serve as a focal point for exports through advocacy,
information dissemination and public education
• Undertake policy coordination for export development
• Coordinate the trade/ export services network
• Assume overall responsibility for the coordinating, monitoring
and evaluation of the national export development strategy
• Undertake future strategic planning for exports
• Carry out the function of export promotion/ marketing at the national level
The TEPA provides support to firms in the following categories:
• Exporters - firms/sectors that are already exporting
• Export ready - firms/sectors that have the capacity to begin exporting
• Potential exporters - firms/sectors that should develop export capability
At the international level TEPA works with firms that are looking to accomplish one or more of the following goals:
• Promote goods and services in overseas markets
- Participate in Trade Shows and overseas missions
- Corporate Branding
- Improved packaging and labeling
• Expand markets - Generate direct sales
- Facilitate e-commerce and website sales promotion through our national export portal
• Develop new distribution channels
• Develop joint venture partnerships or licensing opportunities
• Source raw materials and inputs (to help lower manufacturing costs)
• Gain market and competitive intelligence
• Protect intellectual property in new markets
At the national level, Saint Lucia TEPA also provides the following services:
• Undertakes promotional actives for authentic Saint Lucian products and services within the domestic (OECS) market
• Coordinate with other agencies to provide business support to exporters in the following areas:
- Production expansion/improvements
- Quality management improvement and standardization
- Source Export financing
• Export Facilitation
• Export Analysis and information dissemination
Serving as the island’s Export Agency, the TEPA provides information on local products and Saint Lucian suppliers to overseas buyers. The following specific services are offered:
• Access to information through an integrated Trade Information Network
• Connection with our local suppliers
• Sales facilitation through our Exportall website
• Help to complete business transactions from start to finish
COLLABORATION WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES
Through collaboration with regional international agencies, we help businesses grow by building alliances and developing strategic commercial relationships overseas. These alliances can provide access to international distribution networks in new markets, skills and technology, and investment capital.
BUSINESS CLUSTERS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GROUPS
TEPA works with Business Clusters and Community Development Groups and agencies to develop economically viable regions through exports promotion of authentic, indigenous goods and services. We work closely with local government, economic development agencies and other
regional allies to grow the community economic base, to identify and address barriers to growth, and to stimulate and develop new business opportunities.
Saint Lucia TEPA assists businesses of all sizes; from startups to established exporters that are eligible to receive our Seller services. We undertake an initial Business Diagnostic Study to determine the appropriate assistance required. International buyers from across the globe are welcome to access our Buyer Services.
The NEDS specify 10 priority sectors and three secondary sectors where Saint Lucia has a long-term competitive advantage. These are:
Agriculture, Architecture, Arts and Entertainment, Beverages, Chemicals, Food (Agro-processed),
Information Technology, Integrated Marketing & Communications, Nursing Services and Tourism
Handicraft, Sporting and Garments Saint Lucia TEPA will also assist businesses with high-growth
potential in any other area. The following sectors are receiving particular focus at this time
because of their importance in stimulating economic growth and meeting Saint Lucia’s medium term development goals:
• Health and Wellness
• Agro- processing