IT has been said on several occasions that Saint Lucia shares many similarities with Taiwan, not the least of which being size – Taiwan being small in size as is Saint Lucia, and climate – Saint Lucia being tropical and Taiwan being part tropical and part subtropical.
Our legislators, from either side of the political divide, often times speak of similarities between the 2 countries, which many Saint Lucians have come to simply accept, believing that indeed the 2 countries are similar in several respects.
The truth is that the 2 countries are different as chalk and cheese. What the 2 countries could boast of is that they’re islands, in that they’re completely surrounded by water. And that’s where all resemblances, if such could possibly be called, end.
For example, Saint Lucia’s 238 square mile size is just not much like Taiwan’s 13, 976 square mile size. Saint Lucia’s population of 180, 000 cannot compare to Taiwan’s 23.9 million population. And economically, while Taiwan, over the past six or seven a long time, has propelled itself into a serious economic force on the world stage by its exports of high-tech products like electronics, machinery, computers, semiconductors, microchips, even vehicles, Saint Lucia has lapsed in several areas, like agriculture and manufacturing for example, that it now leans totally on tourism as an export.
It serves Saint Lucia’s interest to not be often called much like Taiwan but moderately to be seen as a rustic which emulates Taiwan, which through discipline, hard and courageous work has transformed itself from a backwater island, into an economic giant in its region and the world.
The mantra: “If Taiwan can do it we will” ought to be our lodestar – to not change into boring through repeated chanting or expressions, but moderately to be a formula of sorts for us to follow to realize, as Taiwan has achieved, our full potential.
What Taiwan has achieved today is just not miraculous, as a few of us are inclined to consider. Labor and a dedication to the betterment of their country, respect for law and order, a penchant for cleanliness and a desire to get their country out of the slums of poverty are the tenets which have been driving the Taiwanese.
We cannot say the identical for Saint Lucia where, despite our stable political climate, incoming governments don’t see the necessity to proceed to construct on what their predecessors have began. What they do see is a necessity to interrupt down what has been began. There isn’t a continuity of development planning for Saint Lucia as incoming governments do whatever pleases them politically with the people’s money.
Emulating Taiwan is what we should always be doing, not searching for similarities, because by doing so, we’ll find ourselves all the time begging for a fish as an alternative of learning how you can fish, being all the time beggars and becoming adept at it as well, as an alternative of becoming expert and proficient at fishing hereby enabling us to earn an income.
The Taiwanese are all the time striving to create a sustainable and resilient Taiwan hence their promotion of agricultural policies that include a farmers’ welfare system, net zero emission policies, policies that may strengthen their food security mechanism, assist their farmers in strengthening agricultural mechanism, promoting smart agriculture and more.
Education is one other strongpoint of the Taiwan history, with a literacy rate amongst its people age 15 and above being 98.5 percent, and that was 10 years ago. The country also boasts considered one of the best health systems on this planet.
All of this we could copy, but are we doing that? We seem satisfied with dealing in similarities moderately than matching or surpassing Taiwan in certain areas.
We reiterate that emulating the residents of Taiwan is what we in Saint Lucia ought to be doing as not only would we be resilient as a people, citizen security could be respected and economic progress could be achieved, something we in Saint Lucia have been craving for.