Economic Development Committee Meeting Summary – Thursday, 28 May 2020

  • Annual Review of ESH Project being undertaken
  • Revised Tourism Marketing Strategy being drafted
  • Draft Company Registry Policy out for Public Consultation

The monthly meeting of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) took place on Thursday, 28 May 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 April. Particular mention was made in respect of the Annual Review of the ESH Project that was in the process of being undertaken by DFID via virtual media platforms on this occasion, due to current travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19. An update was provided in relation to the take-up of funding support being provided by ESH, along with progress being made in relation to both local and international investment interests. It was also noted that, in addition to funding support measures put in place by ESH, a number of staff had been seconded to St Helena Government (SHG) Directorates in support of the Island’s response to COVID-19, and that a revised Tourism Marketing Strategy was being drafted by the Director of Tourism for consultation with Elected Members and other stakeholders.       

SHG’s Chief Economist, Nicole Shamier, gave a presentation on the draft Company Registry Policy. SHG, in modernising its existing Company Registry, is following the principles of Openness and transparency, Sound Business Practice, Non-discriminatory taxation and Anti-tax avoidance. EDC agreed that a consultation on the draft Policy should go ahead. The draft Company Registry Policy is now available online here.

The Environment, Natural Resources and Planning Directorate (ENR&P) brought two papers to Committee for endorsement. The first paper sought to secure approval for the Fisheries Catch Limits Annex which was presented to Committee at an earlier meeting as part of Fishing Licensing Policy endorsement. The objective was to secure agreement to proceed with implementation of catch limits for all of the fish species caught in St Helena’s waters (apart from the bigeye and yellowfin tuna species under commercial fishing) across the different fishing types. Approval for catch limits for the above two tuna species under a commercial fishing licence would be sought at a later date once the Committee had an opportunity to see the St Helena Tuna Fishery Report and these species would be added to the Annex once their catch limits were approved. The Committee did not give approval to the request made until a decision was reached on catch limits for the two tuna species.

The second paper sought to achieve endorsement of a re-supply and a distribution option for day-old chicks in support of local egg production. The options presented were as follows:

  • Importing point-of-lay pullets – either (i) layers or (ii) parent stock to produce layers
  • Importing embryonated eggs for incubation
  • Importing day-old chicks via the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division
  • Combination of importing day-old chicks and parent stock for key producers (smooth supply of replacements)
  • For commercial producers only or both commercial producers and small holders
  • Subsidised or at full cost recovery.

Although the supply of chicks is not a core business activity for SHG, ENR&P highlighted that there was no interest expressed from the egg producers group to import day-old chicks themselves when the group last met with the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division to discuss options for resupply and distribution of chicks.  After a thorough discussion, the Committee agreed that the re-supply option for implementation once flights were operational should be through imports of day-old-chicks by the ENR&PD and the distribution option for chicks should involve a price differential for small-holders and commercial producers with all chick imports being undertaken on a full-cost recovery basis.

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9 June 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470