Taiwan and St Lucia’s governments are said to be setting the wheels in motion for a plan to boost the countries’ respective yacht industries. Discussions took place during the Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-jeou’s, first State visit to the Caribbean island.

St Lucia Minister for Tourism, Honourable Lorne Theophilus, said that the Government of Saint Lucia will offer incentives for the registration and berthing of yachts manufactured in Taiwan.

“As part of our tourism product, Saint Lucia is quickly becoming prominent as a haven for superyacht and yacht related activities as we host a minimum of four internationally recognised yachting events and are poised to increase this number to include a Mega Yacht Regatta in 2014,” said Theophilus in in a breakfast meeting hosted by the Taiwanese President.

“Taiwan is world renowned as a yacht building nation amongst other things and we believe that while we can learn from you in terms of your yacht building and maintenance techniques which are vital for the provision of the ancillary services related to the ever growing yachting sector that Taiwan can also benefit from our increased presence in the world market as a yacht haven and use Saint Lucia as a hub to market yachts built in Taiwan.”

He proposed that St Lucia offer an incentive for yachts purchased from Taiwan to register and berth in St Lucia amongst other initiatives, such as joint marketing to result in mutually beneficial fiscal advantages.

Marina at Marigot Bay, St Lucia

The Taiwanese Government is said to have welcome the proposed collaboration and has given its support.

Discussions took place during a briefing on tourism for the Taiwanese President’s State visit to St Lucia in August. It is the President’s first visit to St Lucia since assuming office and the second visit by a Taiwanese President since the re-establishment of relations in 2007.

The two countries had established official diplomatic relations with Taiwan for over a decade, but switched recognition to the People's Republic of China in 1997. St Lucia and Taiwan resumed diplomatic relations in 2007.

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