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St Lucia signs agreement for redevelopment of two major ports

The St Lucia government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Global Port Holdings to undertake a redevelopment project to enhance two sections of the island’s waterfront – the Castries Harbour in the north and Soufriere on the west coast.

A government statement said that the project is estimated at EC$47 million and that upon completion, Port Castries would be able to accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships.

“The reimagined Soufriere waterfront will feature enhanced docking facilities and new retail spaces for local vendors,” it added.

Established in 2004, Global Port Holdings, GPH, describes itself as the world’s largest cruise port operator with an established presence in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Asia-Pacific regions.

GPH Chairman Mehmet Kutman, speaking at the signing ceremony, said once the necessary agreements are signed the project would be completed by January 2024.

Prime Minister Phillip Pierre said the partnership struck with Global Port Holdings was based on the understanding that ‘everybody’ has to benefit.

“You must make a fair return on your investment, we expect you to do that and that’s why you are in business, but we want our people to benefit. We want our country to benefit,” Pierre aid.

Global Port Holdings presented the project to Cabinet, with consultant Sean Mathews saying “the intent of any investment such as this is not only to increase the spend but to increase those numbers and ideally if we could get St Lucia up to a million passengers in the next two to three years it will be very positive for the St Lucian public”.

“We really want people to spend more on the island”, which would result in “a direct infusion of wealth into the economy,” Mathews added.

Tourism Minister Dr Ernest Hilaire said with visitors flowing through the redeveloped ports would have access to local wares along a proposed boardwalk.

The boardwalk project is designed to accommodate a significant number of local entrepreneurs and vendors providing various services, “giving them a chance to participate in the tourism industry, to earn a livelihood and to expose a different side of St Lucia”, Hilaire said.


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