SKNCIC Get Involved with SDGs

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Understand, be inspired, get involved.

SKNCIC attends Commonwealth Meeting

 

The St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce (SKNCIC) will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to be held in London, England.

The Commonwealth, (of which St. Kitts and Nevis are members) is an association of sovereign nations. These nations support each other and work together towards international goals. Although the Commonwealth is more than a political alignment. It is equally about the people that make up the population of the Commonwealth.

“The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of independent sovereign states… consulting and cooperating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding and world peace.”

 

 

Importance of this meeting

The upcoming meeting includes a 2-day Business Forum, that will allow the Chamber to explore new market opportunities for businesses in St. Kitts and Nevis. With the growing imperative to increase competitiveness, Chamber members appreciate the need to engage in the dialogue and remain focused on best practices, new methodologies and technologies that can advance our national growth. The Commonwealth Business Forum will discuss practical ways to enhance trade, showcase investment opportunities and promote sustainable development.

 

SKNCIC & Direct Assistance Grant Scheme – DAGS

Members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Commerce can access funding to help expand their business through the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme – DAGS.

What is DAGS?

DAGS is a reimbursement grant funding facility, offered by Caribbean Export with support from the 11th European Development Fund (11th EDF).

What can DAGS be used for?

The scheme accommodates firms in their efforts to advance their products and/or services with a view to:

  • Enter new markets
  • Increase exports to the Caribbean region and/or other international markets
  • Lower production costs
  • Identify new sources of supply for raw materials or other inputs
  • Increase productivity through training and staff development
  • Facilitate Trade Mark, Intellectual Property and Copyright Protection
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Capitalize on the benefits of trade agreements such as the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME), CARICOM-Dominican Republic FTA or any other bilateral or multilateral arrangements signed by the region within the region or with ACP or EU partners
  • Foster intra-regional cooperation to enhance productivity and capitalize on economies of scale
  • Promote programmes which will impact on under-developed areas or disadvantage sectors within the region (e.g. rural area development and gender).

Who can apply?

The scheme is specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organizations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services.

When can firms apply?

Caribbean Export will open the Call for Proposals on April 23, 2018.

Interested?

Interested firms can contact the office of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce for more information.

St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber elects new Board

The members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce elected the Board of Directors that will guide the Chamber’s initiatives for 2018-2019 under the leadership of

Mr. Faron Lawrence, President

 

Board of Directors

Mrs. Giselle Matthews, Vice-President

Mrs. Carol Boddie, Treasurer

Mrs. Brenda John, Secretary

Mr. Jose Rosa, Immediate Past President & Chair of Manufacturing Division

Ms. S. Patricia Claxton, Director & Chair of Nevis Division

Mrs. Kiran Chandiramani-Perkins, Director

Mr. Errol Wilkinson, Director

Ms. Kara Daly, Director

Mr. Gordon Julien, Director

Ms. Natalie Kelsick, Director

Mr. Earle Kelly, Director

 

SKNCIC – Academic Excellence Recognition Awards

 

Dr. Cherese Godwin articulated with perfection a message that spoke to the heart of the theme: Deepening the Conversation…the Sky is the Limit at the 31st Academic Excellence Recognition Awards Ceremony, jointly sponsored by FLOW and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

Read her stellar speech below

Good night esteemed guest.

I thank you for the opportunity to speak before such amazing and outstanding academic achievers and those who assisted them in their development. I want you all to look to those on your left and right and tell one another job well done.

It is not easy, as you know, to stand out academically. One never truly knows how much hard work goes into challenging yourself and working hard. For some it may come easy, yet sustaining the growth of knowledge over time and being able to show the practice of all the theory you have learned is what exemplifies greatness …. And with that stated,

I challenge you to not only continue to work hard, but to work smart as knowledge means nothing if you do not use it wisely and you do not use it to gain. It is one thing to hold knowledge and be able to display your level of content by test scores, yet it is another to take that knowledge and become innovators and change agents in your societies; to not settle for the status quo, but to go out and make a difference. Make a difference by smashing glass ceilings and breaking limits, to hold high positions at a youthful age, to change policies and mindsets, and to build the infrastructure of people, organisations, and countries and if it does not exist, I challenge you to create it.

The world is yours for the taking, and you have proven that by sitting in this room today. (Give yourself a round of applause).

The time is now, the time is now to start strategically planning how you will conquer the world provided to you, to start doing, to start beginning with the end in mind, to start learning and unlearning, to start figuring out life as you know it, but to also know you will never figure it out all at once, as life is a journey and destinations are stopping marks along the way. See, I believe each of you can attest to that because today marks a destination of celebrating your achievements, yet discipline, homework, studying, was all about the journey that got you to your destination- that is what people rarely see. As humans, we strive and challenge ourselves, yet once we reach a goal, we often seldom stay there and rest for long, as new goals emerge and we therefore grow and develop.

Today, you celebrate Academic Excellence. Today is a day that marks what you have done thus far, the long hours of studying, the sleepless nights, the sacrifices, yet moving forward I am sure you may be asking yourself what’s next, or now that I have achieved this award, where do I go from here, what challenge do I conquer, because you are a victor, you all are winners, but a winner knows that the achievement marks a milestone, but to sustain it, you must continue to push yourself to levels of higher heights.

There’s a word called epistemology or the phrase the epistemological perspective. This means to truly know and to understand who is the knower and how did knower get to know, simply it is the study of knowledge. This derives from a full break down of the content of words and theory. Investigating history and the true facts. How we came to believe what we know is true and if there are gaps and inconsistencies, we research and find ways to provide new knowledge. That is where you come in, where you deepen the conversation. Where you provide depth to what is before you or you create it. This is no task for just a philosopher, but for a future banker, politician, lawyer, accountant, entrepreneur, teacher, the list goes on.

The world is constantly changing and we are faced with new challenges daily, yet we also have opportunities to fix these challenges and to also create the things we wished existed, or build on what we already know. I want you to think of your contribution to the world, not just the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. I want you to think globally and act locally, to travel in person and or on the internet and explore what is out there for the taking, to explore new concepts, theories, developments, the ease of doing business, and what persons are doing your age to make the world a better place and also themselves. As you think of your contribution, know that I am providing you a big task, not to scare you, or make you think can someone like me do what is being ask of me. I am asking you to do this task because I know that everyone in this room are the individuals to achieve whatever they put their minds to and even greater if done collectively as you can attest by the number of people here. You are LIMITLESS! Please repeat after me, I AM LIMITLESS! WHATEVER I PUT MY MIND TO, I CAN ACHIEVE AND THEREFORE, I AM EXCELLENCE!

Do not just say these words, but believe them, act on them! See, I know that a dream becomes reality when you put some action behind it and when you actually believe that it is already done, and that all you have to do is go through the motions and go through the process. Belief is what drives innovation and what drives creativity, what drives a person to actually do what they set out to.

When I was in the process of completing my PhD, so many people told me they couldn’t do what I am doing, or GOSH, how much longer do you have, how long has it been? There were few positive conversations in regard to my actual process. I never looked at how long it would take me, nor did I look at the process as anything negative. I knew that I had a job to do and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to stop me. I knew that if I believed in myself enough and if I believed in the process enough, I wouldn’t allow myself to not be determined. I would say, my PhD is already completed, I just have to finish the classes. What I spoke to myself, I believed. See how you speak to yourself is everything. If you tell yourself you can do it, you can, but if you tell yourself you can’t do it, then you won’t. There will always be naysayers, people who want to knock you for doing well or make you feel guilty for their position in life if its less than yours, but you have to be strong enough to endure and stay on the journey through the process of greatness.

So I challenge you to stay focused, to tune out the noise of others, think about how you will conquer the world, and begin with the end in mind, begin with knowing what your end goal is, and do not become discouraged if something doesn’t go as planned, it’s all a part of the journey, but I challenge you to start, to know that you are limitless, and to make this world a better place, not just by deepening the conversation, but also by creating solutions that derive from the conversation. I therefore challenge you to find your contribution and start now.

I am proud of you, I am so happy for you, and congratulations! This is just the beginning!

Thank you.

Disaster – changes how we do business in St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber declares it will not be business as usual in St. Kitts & Nevis.

The passage of two category five hurricanes, let alone two in the same season is unprecedented. Each storm ravaged several islands in one sweep.  The reality that both storms passed several miles away from us, did not change the fact that the twin-islands sustained infrastructural damage.  The impact on homes, public buildings, businesses, farms and roads was significant.

Yet it is the direct impact of the storm on other nations that concerns us.

How St. Kitts & Nevis provides for its people

St. Kitts and Nevis receives a substantial amount of supplies through the Port of Miami.  This includes all of our imported food. Retail providers adequately stocked up pre-storm.  Hurricane Irma disrupted the supply chain by hitting the Port of Miami.  Dominica supplies fruits and vegetables; these will be absent from the stands along the Bay Road for months to come.

Building material experienced a hard run as part of hurricane preparedness activities.  Repairs were quickly addressed after Hurricane Irma.  This action further depleted stocks.  Providers were unable to replenish their stocks, before Hurricane Maria plummeted more islands.  Material that was delayed after the first storm, was now further delayed.

These hurricanes were personal to citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis did not sustain a direct hit, but the impact on particular islands made this personal.  Kittitians and Nevisians have close family ties in Anguilla, St. Maarten, the USVI, the BVI and Puerto Rico. The compelling urge to help others in need gripped the Federation placing pressure on existing stock.  Increased demand for water and dry goods brought into question the country’s ability to feed itself.

The main industry of St. Kitts & Nevis was also hit.  Cruise ships began cancelling their calls. Rough seas were the initial cause. The subsequent cancellations were purely a business decision.  With St. Maarten, Tortola and Puerto Rico out of the loop there were insufficient stops on an itinerary. The cruise industry has inserted St. Kitts & Nevis on other itineraries, but the number of inbound voyages, or the lack thereof, has begun to take its toll.

Several islands in the Caribbean serve as hubs to other islands.  Puerto Rico is the regional hub for express mail. St. Maarten served as a hub for cargo shipments. The mail-order business has grown exponentially in St. Kitts & Nevis. The devastation of islands serving as hubs, brought to a temporary halt access to private imports and the importation of temporary shelter supplies.

The list goes on and on…read other views here.

How do we build resilience?

The impact of regional devastation on insurance premiums cannot be overlooked.  Sir Ronald Saunders shared his views on how the Caribbean needs to insure itself against disasters.  Read

As St. Kitts & Nevis grapples with its own situation, lessons from the experience of others can be learnt.  Dominica’s challenges with communication should drive us to build a more robust technology structure.  Barbuda’s total annihilation, should prompt us to look at our building codes and our inventory of shelters.  We must take a deeper look at our own vulnerabilities and put the necessary steps in place at personal, business and national levels.

Inherent in any plan for improvement, is the need to establish a designated fund, enabling us to help ourselves.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its in June 2017 report recommends the creation of a Growth and Resilience Fund. The intent is that such a fund will aid in the event of a catastrophic event.  The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, (ECCB), giving consideration to the same subject, covered the matter in a white paper on the matter entitled Sovereign Wealth Funds.

You can contribute to the discussion on disaster mitigation and recovery by submitting your views below.

 

 

Public Procurement

Click on the links below to learn more about this opportunity and to register.

(FOR LAC) CARICOM Public Procurement Protocol 12.05.17

FOR LAC 17 05 17 Model Public Procurement Bill

Presentation on the Community Public Procurement Regime

SKNCIC Celebrates its members…Caribelle Batik

SKNCIC celeMaurice Widdowsonbrates its members…Caribelle Batik’s owner

Maurice Widdowson

SKNCIC embraces the induction of Maurice Widdowson of Caribelle Batik, ushering him into the family of honorary recipients of the country’s highest award – a Medal of Honour.

Easily one of the Chamber’s esteemed historians, Maurice has a rich background of life here in Sugar City where he has had a hand in the transformation of life through engagement with key developmental initiatives such as the Beautiful Basseterre Committee, the St. Christopher Heritage Society (National Trust) among others.

The transformation at Romney Manor speaks for itself.  Since his arrival in St. Kitts back in the early 70s, Maurice has embraced Kittitian life – its culture, its people and its heritage, carving out a business that showcased the positive attributes of life here in St. Kitts.

The St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce salutes Mr. Maurice Widdowson, recipient of a 2017 Medal of Honour.

SKN Chamber Celebrates its Members…Dreamy Weddings

Natalie John

Natalie John, CEO Dream Weddings & Tours

featured speaker for The Wedding Planner Conference, to be held in Roseau, Dominica – June 7-9, 2017

Identified by Times Caribbean, the Wedding and Honeymoon industry is an important niche market for Dominica. Consequently, over the past years, Discover Dominica (DD) has undertaken activities to develop Dominica’s Wedding and Honey Moon product offerings. The seminar will focus mainly on strengthening the development of the Wedding and Honeymoon niche tourism product and building the capacity of relevant public and private sector persons and organizations involved or wishing to become involved in this market, featuring as guest speaker our very own Natalie John.  Read more

 

 

SKNCIC Celebrates its Members…Scotiabank

Scotiabank

Scotiabank has been named Bank of the Year 2016 in St. Kitts and Nevis

by The Banker Magazine.

 

Scotiabank St. Kitts and Nevis was named Bank of the Year by The Banker Magazine. “We are proud of this award because it is a reflection of the hard work of our employees and their forucs on helping our customers become better off”, said Dave Ramsumair, local Country Head.  “We are proud to be known for our customer service and for delivering superior results for our shareholders.”

The Bank was recognized across the region with a significant number of Scotiabank operations being awarded.

The Banker selects winners based on their ability to deliver shareholder returns and gain strategic advantage.  The magazine is the worlds longest running international banking magazine, recognized as a leading source of information on finance and investment around the globe.  The Banker selects one winning bank for each of the 120 countries judged. Over 1,000 applications are collected and the judges select winning banks based on which ones they believe have made the most progress over the past 12 months.

The Banker Magazine Issue: 3496 – 68th Year