The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently partnered with the Youth Economy Agency (YEA) to host YEA’s inaugural Investment Forum. During the event, entrepreneurs were urged to become more knowledgeable about the evolving business climate if they are to remain competitive and sustainable.
The all-day event was held at the Finance Administration Centre at Pointe Seraphine, Castries, on Friday, December 8, 2023.
The Investment Forum brought together key stakeholders, namely entrepreneurs, featured speakers, and panelists who shared experience and knowledge on various aspects of business. Topics included Promoting Investment in Agriculture, Promoting Investment if Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Promoting Investment in Tourism & Hospitality, Game Changers, and Investing in Youth Entrepreneurship.
H. E. Peter Chia-Yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, gave brief remarks at the event, offering examples where Taiwanese entrepreneurs collaborated through innovative ways to achieve success.
“Therefore, I encourage all the young minds here to fearlessly fulfil your dreams and embrace challenges, for you are the future of the nation and catalysts for global development,” Ambassador Chen told the local entrepreneurs.
Ambassador Chen added: “This forum is not just a stage for listening, but a platform for collaboratively constructing the blueprint for the youth entrepreneurs. The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) remains committed to partnering with the Government of Saint Lucia to assist and invest in more young individuals in seizing entrepreneurial opportunities, thereby transforming not only individual lives, but also shaping the future of our nations.”
Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs, said the Government of Saint Lucia decided to establish the Youth Economy Agency in response to the changing needs of the business landscape which demands cutting-edge innovation. Thus far, she said Government has been pleased with the results.
“As a Cabinet, we are proud of what you have achieved,” she told the entrepreneurs. “We are proud of the energy that the Youth Economy Agency is bringing to the work that it has to do. But it is when we work together that we will move this economy.”
She added: “I want to thank partners, the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan)… for the support they have given to our economy in general, and you, the beneficiaries of the Youth Economy for taking that bold step.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Khrystal Riviere, Chief Operations Officer of YEA, said the Youth Investment Forum is a reflection of Government’s passion and belief in the potential of Saint Lucian youth.
“It signifies a strategic move to expose micro enterprises to diverse funding opportunities, guiding them through the various cycles of growth — from micro and small to medium and large,” she stated.
Mrs. Riviere also thanked the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for continuing to invest in the socio-economic development of Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians.
“We are most grateful for the support of the Republic of China (Taiwan), whose assistance and encouragement throughout this year have made plans like today’s possible,” she noted. “Ambassador, the Youth Economy Agency and the young people of Saint Lucia thank you and your amazing team for the immeasurable investment you’ve made to the success of our developing nation.”
The Youth Economy Agency, which was established by the Youth Economy Act No. 17 of 2022, and launched in March 2023, provides young people between 18 and years old with a special economic space to turn hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into businesses.
At the official opening of YEA’s office in Chaussee Road, Castries, on Monday, April 3, 2023, Mr. Daniel Lee, Chief of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia, and Mr. Leonce, Chairman of the YEA Board of Directors signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will facilitate additional training for emerging business owners.