This week’s meeting of the House of Assembly saw parliament authorize the Minister for Finance to borrow the equivalent of USD$10 million from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China. The funds will be used to finance the implementation of national development projects and initiatives.
Several of these initiatives were outlined in the Prime Minister’s 2022/2023 budget address delivered in April of this year by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Philip J. Pierre.
“For the expansion of craft and sea moss and sea moss subsectors, $500,000 will be used. Saint Lucia has been doing very well in the production of sea moss for export and we want to increase the value of the product. Regarding crafts, Saint Lucia again has been producing some very attractive pieces of craft particularly from Choiseul and that loan will be able to uplift the production of crafts, allowing the people of Saint Lucia to get involved in the development of the country.”
The equivalent of EC$7.2 million from the total loan amount will be injected into the youth economy program. EC$4 million will be used for the Millennium Highway West Coast Road Project; and over EC$3 million will fund the improvement of streetlights, replacing them with energy-conserving bulbs.
The loan is repayable in 20 years inclusive of a grace period of five years.