Saturday 11 July, 2020

PM announces timeline for reopening borders and the economy

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, Honourable Allen M. Chastanet gave an Address to the Nation on Sunday, April 26, 2020, on the state of Saint Lucia’s economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister laid out three phases to deal with the COVID-19 economic crisis: crisis management, stabilization and recovery.

Prime Minister Chastanet said that phase 1, which we are currently in, is all about "stringent cash flow management and a great deal of fiscal prudence, including a reduction of non-essential expenditure."

Chastanet said that phase 2 would see both the phased reopening of the economy, which has already begun, as well as the gradual opening of St Lucia's borders. He said an assessment will be done ahead of this phase to gauge the impact of the changes in the global economy on our local economy. After the assessment, only then will strategy be developed after consultations with all major sectors regarding economic stimulus.

The prime minister said that after September when phase 3 begins, we would have a clear assessment of the economic impact of COVID-19. We would at this time be able to make permanent adjustments to fiscal projections.

He said that rebuilding efforts would require additional investments in the local economy, which will be complemented by the reopening of St Lucia's tourism sector.

The prime minister said that the key to recovery is the continuation of large scale investments projects such as St Jude Hospital and the Hewanorra International Airport which will generate jobs and infrastructure.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: