SAINT LUCIA´S ECONOMY IS SHOWING GREAT SIGNS OF PROMISE as the country positions itself for significant new investment opportunities. Tourism, one of the main motors that propel the development of this magnificent Caribbean island, is also the spark to light the fuse to untap that economic potential. “This is like a domino effect: if tourists continue to visit our shores, the tourism industry will flourish and by extension the construction industry,” Karen Fontenelle-Peter puts it simply, General Manager of Caribbean Metals Limited, the leading manufacturer of roofing and metal products on the island. With a very sharp and direct approach, Karen analyzes the different layers which make up the country’s economy and the main factors impacting her business performance. During a conversation with the team from OWM she pointed out the increase in arrivals in the tourism sector is one of the most important elements in boosting the development of this nation, which at the same time enables the construction industry to grow resulting in increased business for Caribbean Metals Limited. “In recent times, construction of The Royalton St. Lucia fueled an increase in the number of jobs enabling a level of disposable income for the period. Tourism to this breathtaking paradise in the Caribbean Sea has grown exponentially in recent years, and so has it’s economy. The number of tourist arrivals to Saint Lucia has advanced at an average 2% YoY between 2001 and 2014, according to the World Bank, while its GDP has risen 30% in the last decade. As a result, the country´s GDP per capita has soared dramatically, earning every Saint Lucian $7,700 yearly on average in 2016, almost twice than in 2001. “Tourism is KEY for the construction industry, the sector in which we participate largely. An increase in foreign visitors arriving to Saint Lucia mean more jobs for the locals, attracting further investment to build hotel resorts,” said Karen. New hotel developments have been announced some of which have commenced to bring over 1,000 new rooms. These new construction projects will require many of the roofing and metal products and services that Caribbean Metals Limited supplies. This company commenced in 1990 and has grown to become the leading manufacturer of roofing, steel and other metal products in St Lucia through the hard work and dedication of its team members. The company replicated its business operations of three of its sister companies located in Barbados. The Parent company being Williams Industries Inc in Barbados, boasts more than 20 subsidiaries in the group. Caribbean Metals Limited manufactures various steel and metal products for the construction industry while providing services such as fabrication of steel frame buildings to name a few. The manufacture and supply of roofing material and reinforcing steel is at the heart of the company’s operations. For any investor planning to erect structures on the island, the expertise and extensive knowledge that Caribbean Metals Limited has to offer is of paramount importance to the investor whilst taking advantage of the highest quality products and services available on the island. The Saint Lucian government has a very welcoming policy toward new hotels, as tourism is the main economic pillar accounting for more than 60% of jobs in the workforce. Policymakers are especially keen on tourism projects which highlight both the heritage and natural environment of St. Lucia. Working with a local partner such as Caribbean Metals Limited allows the developer to add a true Caribbean touch and appeal ensuring the hotel merges within the local environment. In the World Bank Doing Business Report, St Lucia is ranked as the 50th easiest country in the world. This is the second-best position recorded by a small Caribbean state. Karen alluded to the fact that other sectors such as agriculture need to be further developed, offering St. Lucians the opportunity of becoming entrepreneurs in their own right. Karen is very passionate about her country and is a true believer that St. Lucia and its economy will continue to grow and prosper. We need to invest in our young people by providing opportunities for them to excel whilst focusing on other areas across sectors that will help grow the economy. Tourism industry figures and is on an upward trend, which will impact positively on the construction industry. In order to maintain this healthy growth, Karen believes the design and construction of hotels should evoke a true Saint Lucian experience offering something unparalleled to set St Lucia apart. “In marketing our destination through our many agencies as being one of most spectacular islands, ‘a must see’, we must ensure that the new designs and structures lend itself to blending into our magnificent landscape preserving the uniqueness of the island,” Karen concluded 

Karen is very passionate about her country and is a true believer that St. Lucia and its economy will continue to grow and prosper”

Leave a comment