Economic Development Committee Meeting Summary – Thursday, 25 June 2020

Economic-Development-Committee
  • Annual review of ESH Project completed and outcome awaited
  • Draft Communications Networks and Services Policy to go out for public consultation shortly
  • ENR&P provides update on potato imports

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) was held on Thursday, 25 June 2020, and the following is a summary of the main items discussed:

Enterprise Saint Helena (ESH) presented an overview of their progress and performance as at the end of May. Particular mention was made in respect of the recent presentation to Elected Members of a draft Tourism Recovery Strategy (Post Covid-19), which would shortly be discussed with the business community. The Annual Review of the ESH Project had been completed by DFID, and the outcome of this was awaited. A joint SHG/ESH proposal for continuation of Covid-19 support had been sent to DFID, and funding proposals relating to agriculture and training were being presented to the ESH Board at their forthcoming meeting. ESH was also pleased to announce that Mr Anthony Thomas had been appointed as Chair of the ESH Board, and that the Island’s 21 Post Box Walks and 11 recommended Footpaths had achieved International Accreditation with Green Flag Trails.

The draft Communications Networks and Services Policy was presented. This sets the policy to which the Telecommunications Ordinance should be updated in the future. After a presentation by the Chief Economist, EDC agreed for the draft policy to go out for a six-week public consultation. The dates for the consultation will be published in due course.

A question was raised by members regarding the availability of ware potatoes from South Africa (SA). The Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Directorate (ENR&P) was able to advise EDC that through their discussions with merchants they had indicated that their main SA suppliers were not able to secure supplies of potatoes which met SA export requirements and our biosecurity requirements for import into St Helena.  ENR&P was also able to advise that as a result of their recent field visits, there would only be a small supply of potatoes available for harvest in the next month and crops resulting from the seed potatoes imported recently that were planted in May/June would only be harvested from September.

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2 July 2020

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