December 4, 2009
Invest SVG Wellness Exhibition

The Grenadine House hotel was transformed into a resort of sorts last Saturday, as a one-day exhibition displaying various health and wellness products and services was held on the compound.{{more}}

Under the theme “Healthy living, for a strong, vibrant and growing community”, more than 20 businesses showcased their wares, techniques and foods designed to promote better health and wellness in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and beyond.

The event was hosted by Invest SVG (formerly National Investment Promotions Inc.).

Services ranging from hair styling, hands and feet treatment, weight training and aerobics, to products such as alternative medicine, local juices and smoothies, literature and organic foods were available for sampling and consultation, much to the delight of the small but appreciative gathering.

Acting Executive Director of Invest SVG Cleo Huggins, making one of the five presentations at the expo, said that her organization is aware of the potential that the health and wellness industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has for the local and international market.

Huggins reported that in the USA alone, the health and wellness industry is worth two hundred billion US dollars and is expected to grow to one trillion in one year’s time.

“Imagine one small percentage of that coming to St. Vincent.”

She said that because of this potential, Invest SVG had decided to diversify from their traditional sectors, with hopes to inject some energy into the industry.

According to Huggins, the health and wellness industry also correlates with two of their dominant traditional sectors: tourism and agro-processing.

“A lot of the natural foods and other items that are used actually come from our own agricultural industry,” Jones indicated.

“And tourism, because many of the visitors to our shores would be more than happy to use the services that are offered in the health and wellness industry.”

The other dominant economic sectors Invest SVG is involved in are Information and Communication Technology (ICT), light manufacturing, international financial services and the creative industries.

Huggins indicated that her organization has helped local businesses in these sectors gain investments and there are others who have business ideas, which invest SVG is currently sourcing funding to develop.

She said that similar opportunities are available for persons in the health and wellness industry and those who provide for it.

“Think about you producing what is going into this industry,’ Huggins told those at the seminar.

“Snacks, root crops, juices, medications, health foods….Who better than St. Vincent and the Grenadines to provide oils? Already we grow herbs, spices and provisions that oils can be extracted from.”

“We do a lot of fishing where oils can be used for medicinal and wellness practices. There are opportunities that are taken for granted that we need to be looking at more closely.”

Huggins indicated that similar exhibitions such as this and the recently held workshop for persons in the entertainment industry will be held in the near future.

A team from Invest SVG is currently in Taiwan where they are sourcing investment opportunities as well as technical and financial assistance for local businesses. (JJ)