It is a pleasure to be here today as we celebrate the dedication of the Gros Islet Human Resource Development Centre.
This Centre will provide a crucial forum for education, local cultures, and the arts. It will also foster growth in tourism and municipal development.
I know Prime Minister [Allen] Chastanet has quite a head for tourism, and has made it a major policy focus. And a well-equipped community center here in beautiful Gros Islet will definitely help to achieve those policy goals.
Here, people will be able to take part in classes to learn crucial job skills. The Centre will also provide the community with a space for young people to come together and hone their artistic talents. So with the completion of one project, we are helping to bolster economic growth, revitalize local culture, and spur tourism.
I can see that Gros Islet is a vibrant community. And the addition of this Centre will help to bring the community closer together, and better showcase your cultural diversity.
This Centre was made possible thanks to our countries’ joint Community Development Project (CDP). Through the CDP, we have completed more than 2,400 infrastructure projects in communities across St. Lucia. These include flood control, drainage systems, sidewalks, and roads.
These projects have created more than 25,000 job opportunities, spurring nationwide economic growth. At the same time, they are also helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, a key issue for both our countries.
Our cooperative model means that firms and communities from both our countries can participate and reap the benefits. We refuse to allow our allies to fall into debt traps, because our goal is genuine win-win collaboration.
In closing, I want to congratulate all of the Gros Islet residents here today on the completion of this Centre. I hope that you will make good use of it. And I look forward to seeing St. Lucia unlock even further potential.