On 1 May, Executive Council approved the Sustainable Economic Development Plan 2018-2028 (SEDP), and agreed that the Plan should now be taken forward for implementation.
The SEDP’s vision is to ‘achieve development which is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable by increasing standards of living and quality of life; not relying on aid payments from the UK in the longer term; whilst affording to maintain the Island’s infrastructure; achieve more money coming into St Helena than going out and sustain and improve St Helena’s natural resources for this generation and the next.’
The goals which will help achieve this vision are to:
- Increase Exports
- Substitute Imports
- Attract Visitors and Increase Tourism
- Mitigate impacts of inflation on the lowest income groups
- Improve Land Productivity
- Sustain and improve our Natural Capital
- Improve Infrastructure
- Develop, Maintain and Attract a Skilled Workforce
- Develop the Digital Economy
- Reduce Leakage of Income
Increasing exports and reducing imports is the key component in becoming economically sustainable. In 2016/17, remittances into the Bank of St Helena from abroad were £16 million, and remittances out from St Helena were £37 million. We need to have more money coming in than money going out of St Helena in order to become Altogether Wealthier.
In order for everyone to support this vision, we encourage consumers to buy local, retailers to supply local, and businesses who can export to export.
St Helena’s competitive advantages and disadvantages have been considered and in response to the SEDP public survey and consultation exercises, a list of SEDP sectors and opportunities for entrepreneurs have been outlined within the SEDP. The SEDP sectors which people said present export opportunities are tourism, fisheries, coffee, liquor, wines and beers, ship registry and sailing qualifications, honey and honey bees, film location, academia, research and conferences, satellite ground stations, work from home jobs and traditional products. The SEDP sectors which people said present opportunities to displace imports are agriculture, timber, bricks, blocks, minerals and rocks and bottled water.
The actions within the SEDP are designed to reduce barriers and risk within export and import substitution sectors. The actions have been allocated to relevant responsible parties within SHG and ESH and internal communications related to SEDP implementation will begin shortly. There will be six-monthly updates on action progress, which will be published alongside the Ten Year Plan progress reports on the Publications page of the SHG website and made available in the Public Library, Jamestown.
Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, Councillor Lawson Henry, said:
“Key to the success of this plan will be to ensure that the key sectors that can increase exports are supported. For example, we have a huge competitive advantage on fishing but it lacks investment. Farming is another of our advantages, therefore we need to grow more and buy more locally and again we need to work with both our farmers and retailers to get the best benefits from this.
“This SEDP sets out how we will do this, we have joined up our thinking, we have a clearer vision, we have allocated actions in both SHG and ESH and we have a regular reporting mechanism. Two things are important in going forward if this plan is to work – that is we must work more closely with our farmers and fishermen and importantly we cannot do this on our own we need the support of our partners in DFID.
“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our Economist, Nicole Shamier, she has been the driving force behind this Plan and I would like to thank her for all the hard work she has put into bringing the Plan together and to you the public for your input. We need to own this Plan if it is to be a success.”
Government Economist, Nicole Shamier, added:
“This Plan is an accumulation of all of the public’s brilliant business ideas, after having researched their possibilities and the actions needed to make the possible probable. There are so many opportunities here. The ability for St Helena to produce ‘high quality low output’ products such as premium coffee and premium tuna are driven by St Helena’s abundance of natural resources and geography. St Helena’s remote location will attract satellite ground station providers. And because of its natural resources, heritage and history, St Helena has so much to offer for researchers, for adventure travellers and for yachties.
“St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan was effectively written by the public and business representatives and on behalf of the Economic Development Committee, St Helena Government and Enterprise St Helena, I’d like to thank everyone who gave us their ideas both throughout the conception stage and consultation stage.”
The Sustainable Economic Development Plan 2018-2028 is available via: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/ A copy is also available in the Public Library.
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14 May 2018