St Lucia receives US $5 million for CDP from Taiwan
Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (l) with His Excellency Douglas Shen (r)
Saint Lucians can expect increased activity and job creation in their communities soon as it relates to projects under the Constituency Development Programme (CDP). At a handing over ceremony on Thursday October 19th 2017, the Government of Saint Lucia received an allocation of US$5,303,993.04 (EC$14,258,194.09) for the CDP from the Republic of China (Taiwan) as our two countries further deepen our bond and areas of cooperation.
Upon receiving the Grant, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, Honourable Allen Chastanet, explained that Saint Lucia and Taiwan have had extensive dialogue on broadening relations and strategic alliances, especially as it relates to Trade. The Prime Minister also profusely thanked the Government of Taiwan for their commitment to Saint Lucia.
“Saint Lucia has benefitted enormously over the years from the relationship and it is difficult to go anywhere in Saint Lucia today and not see the footprint of this programme in terms of the sidewalks, sporting facilities . . . We all owe your country a debt of gratitude for what we have been able to achieve over the years,” said Prime Minister Chastanet. “We have looked at the relationship with Taiwan, as well as reviewed the programmes that we had with a critical eye on how we can improve them. We have been receiving ten million a year in grants and we need to ask ourselves, whether in fact we have been spending those funds in the right way. The continuation of the community development projects has to be a core part of what we are doing but we also think that we need to consolidate some of the funds into some bigger projects.”
The Prime Minister spoke to the plans to expand the CDP to incorporate Village Tourism due to the linkages it creates that make it possible for more people to become involved from all sectors.
In making the cheque presentation, Taiwan Ambassador to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Douglas Cheng-Tsung Shen said: “Today I am very honoured and happy to attend this ceremony. For the last ten years this programme has completed more than 1500 projects in this country and the communities and it creates more than 20,000 jobs for our Saint Lucia friends. I believe under the leadership of your Prime Minister, your good Government will use the best way to create more jobs to complete more projects in the local communities.”
The Ambassador also expressed that Saint Lucia and Taiwan’s relationship will get “stronger and greater.”
The Constituency Development Programme (CDP) has for years focused on social and economic programs aimed at stimulating economic growth. With the receipt of this allocation The Government of Saint Lucia will embark on the execution of more projects geared at enhancing and improving the way of life for constituents. The Government of Saint Lucia views the Constituency Development Programme as an opportunity for capacity building, job creation at the community level while enhancing the understanding of community needs and priorities.