St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber partners with Min of Nat’l Security in fight against crime

Members of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce partner with the Ministry of National Security in the fight against crime.

The official handing over of t-shirts that will spread the message of Project Stop n Think (PSAT) across the Federation took place at the CIC Conference Room on April 3rd, 2017, thanks to the 13 sponsoring members of the SKNCIC.  Read more

CIC President – FIM 2016

Improving the OECS Business Climate was the topic ably addressed by thejose-eccb President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce at this years Financial Information Month ((FIM).

Click here to view the full presentation.

St. Kitts-Nevis National Consultation – 2016

12376788_449171378615787_7476551677134939657_nMr. Jose Rosa

President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry & Commerce comments on what is required to Accelerate Growth and Build Resiliency in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Read the speech accelerating-growth-and-building-resilience-national-consulation-revised-by-jr

Brexit vs Caribbean

Is Brexit a threat for the Caribbean?

brexit vs caribbean

Britain has spoken! Availing themselves of their democratic right to be in full control of their own destiny, Brexit caused shock waves, felt around the world. Amongst those concerned, are the small islands territories making up the Caribbean.

There has been enough buzz for months about the potential impact of such an action. While many may have hoped for a different outcome as a means of security for themselves, today the reality is what it is and plans have to be made accordingly.

In the weeks ahead, while Britain defines its future in trade, immigration, tourism and other key areas, the Caribbean needs to pay close attention. Donor funding, while critical, is not the only area that needs to be reviewed. From CARIFORUM-EPA’s to foreign policy and tourism, there is much to be considered.

The Caribbean has enjoyed and anticipates continued strong ties to what, for most of the islands, was the proverbial “motherland”. The UK is home to many of our nationals proving that the ties that bind us are more than commercial ones.

Caribbean’s Correspondent Banking

Correspondent banking

Caribbean countries continue to pay very close attention to the challenges faced within the banking sector.

Alicia Nicholls in an article published on Caribbean Trade Law and Development clearly articulates the relationship between Caribbean banks and the international world.

“Correspondent banking relationships are Caribbean countries’ umbilical cord to the international financial system. They allow for the conduct of international trade and investment by facilitating crossborder payments, as well as the receipt and sending of remittances through international wire transfers. At the microlevel these relationships help local exporters to receive payments for their goods and services, local businesses to pay for imports, and poor families to receive remittances for their day to day survival. As I mentioned in an earlier article, the loss of correspondent banking relationships could spell disaster for the small, open economies of the region which are highly dependent on trade and investment flows, with implications for poverty reduction and eradication.”

Read more here

Cricket Support

A Message from SKNCIC President12376788_449171378615787_7476551677134939657_n

We were advised of the intent to close Government Offices tomorrow (June 15th, 2016), at 2:00 p.m. in support of the cricket match.

The official communique is pending, however, we would like to encourage our members to consider supporting the event in like gesture to that taken by Government.

Blazing the manufacturing trail…

Blazing the manufacturing trail

Keithley Phillip, Chairman – Mfg Div.

 

Blazing the manufacturing trail…

Manufacturing – how do we blaze the trail.?  Joan Lunden, noted journalist, author and television host opined, “It’s not always as comfortable blazing the trail as it is walking on it.” With this as a proviso, the new Council of the Manufacturing Division took office in February of 2016 and immediately set about “blazing the manufacturing trail” on behalf of members. Our team meets monthly and is comprised of the following persons:

 

Blazing the manufacturing trail with meaningful dialogue

Meetings

We met with the Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and raised some familiar and not so familiar questions

  1. ARTICLE 164 (Treaty of Chaguaramas) – how should we proceed on this matter? Should we follow the other OECS countries that have already implemented this article, by “cherry-picking” those commodities that are important to us? Or do we opt for a full implementation? The tone of the discussion seemed to suggest that full implementation would result in increased cost of living thus any possible action would have to go the route of cherry-picking. We await follow-up on this most urgent matter.
  2. BRAZIL-GUYANA-ST. KITTS PARTIAL SCOPE AGREEMENT – Our division is still very concerned with the fact that to date there has been no implementation of the Partial Scope Agreement between St. Kitts Guyana and Brazil. At our most recent meeting with the Minister of Trade it was decided that a delegation meet with the Brazilian Ambassador with a view of understanding where we stand in regards to the full implementation.
  3. EXPORT FACILITATION – our members are concerned about ways in which they can increase their level of business. We are of the belief that the following can be a first step in the achieving of the export objective.
  4. TRADE EXPORT DESK –there is the urgent need amongst our sector to increase our marketspace. Our local market, limited by our population size, is all but saturated. We have no recourse but to go further afield; but sometimes the process is so difficult that there is the need for someone to help in the facilitation of this endeavor.
  5. TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE – an EXIM Bank type arrangement to facilitate International Trade and to create viable opportunities for St. Kitts and Nevis products to enter new markets. As a first step, we need the opportunity for Trade Credit Insurance to protect against the loss of domestic and foreign receivables. Following on that, provision can be made whereby SMEs can procure trade financing arrangements including international lines of credit.

Workshops

  1. Hosted by Ministries of International Trade and Justice & Legal Affairs, there was a “National Workshop on the Benefits for Compliance and the National Implication of Non-Compliance of the Implementation of Trade Agreement Obligation, facilitated by Dr. Kathy-Ann Browne – important within this presentation is that businesses must be aware of their rights as it relates to trade matters.
  2. St Kitts & Nevis National Energy Balances Launch and discussion. St. Kitts now has the baseline it needs to evaluate annual performance.
  3. Attended OECS Regional Intellectual Property Workshop, Antigua May 19 – 20, 2016 covered:
  • Nature of copyright
  • The importance of utilising copyright to building your business – (Proper usage of photographs, images in advertising to sell products)
  • What is it and how can a company avoid infringement?
  • How can trademarks and trade secrets help companies to establish a brand identity and to boost the intangible value of the company/business?
  • The value to SME’s of entering into long term deals with local celebrities (Endorsement Merchandise Deals)
  • The importance of the legal usage of music when creating TV advertisements to sell a company’s products
  • The role of a synchronization deal

Important Observations…to blaze the manufacturing trail

  • Workshop was very timely especial the fact that it opened my eyes to the rights and liabilities we have or may incur. Things that we generally may take for granted
  • How can we use our trademark to establish our business brand identity, thus making our trademark synonymous with our brand and our products?
  • Chamber members must seek more info regarding their trademarks so that they can protect their marks, especially if they are manufacturing and may possess “secrets”.
  • Chamber members must at all times be careful when using music for adverts. Permission must be sought from the creator of the lyrics and music and not necessarily the singer of the song (unless they are both one and the same). Note–if at any time we infringe the rights of the creator of the music and the writer of the song we will be opening ourselves to law suits.
  • Manufacturers must all seek to register their trademarks to distinguish goods and services from other enterprises.

National Manufacturing Strategy

  1. The National Manufacturing Strategy has been officially launched and coming out of this, the structure of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council has been formalised. There are FOUR working sub committees three of which have already met and outlined their terms of reference and now the work begins; namely
  • Human Resource Development and Occupational Safety
  • Business Facilitation
  • Energy and Natural Resource

For this to work there must be complete buy-in to the goals and objectives put forth in the National Manufacturing Strategy, with full concentration on the manufacturing priority areas. These areas will provide the impetus for the overall growth of the sector and will redound to well needed benefits for all stakeholders. Our input and continued dialogue with stakeholders is critical to the success of this strategy.

Core Focus as we Blaze the trail for Manufacturing

The core focus of our executive over the next two years will be focused upon:

  1.  Product & Market Research and Development – keeping abreast of trends and investing in research and development that will improve our competitiveness. We intend to ensure that our members are given the tools t0 successfully bring their products to market. To this end we invite other manufacturers to get on board. I am also sending a blanket invitation to the Agro Processing sector to get on board and let the Chamber assist in getting your products into the export market. Of significance is also the need for market intelligence. It is unwise for us to think that we can exist within without having the requisite information as to what is happening within our market. We will seek ways to get this type of information available to our members. Important within this core focus area is the need for incubator type business arrangements for start-ups and fledging manufacturing businesses. Imagine the comfort despite the small size of having business support systems that are necessary in providing that added competitive edge needed for the business to succeed. We will continue to explore this and other possibilities that will help to grow our sector.
  2.  Standards and Regulations – becoming compliant with the various standards and regulations that govern an export trade. Our sector is supportive of the grant awarded to the Bureau of Standards from the CSME Standby Facility of $198,791 USD EPA for Capacity Building Projects that will help finance the enhancement of the National Quality Infrastructure and facilitate the development of national standards. This augurs well for our sector and will indeed enhance our competitiveness as we seek to expand our export capabilities. We take on board practices that exists in Jamaica where a stamp of quality from the Jamaica Bureau of Standards assures the purchaser of a high level of quality and the goods are then free to be sold in the local market or to be exported. That level of acceptance of our Bureau of Standards is what we are aiming for.
  3.  Education and Skills Development – working with schools, colleges and the TVET Council to ensure that skills and subject areas required for success in the manufacturing sector are not only included in the curriculum but staffed with qualified personnel.

 

Conclusion

With those few words I will close as I began …… “It’s not always as comfortable blazing the trail as it is walking on it.”

Ours is a very challenging task but one that we relish and do intend to be forever mindful that the job that we have undertaken, we do so for the combined benefit of our sector and the individual benefit of our members.

 

 

Mr. Jose Rosa elected as President

A special congratulation is in order for our new president- Mr. Jose Rosa!

 

12376788_449171378615787_7476551677134939657_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UnknownOur 67th Annual General Meeting resulted in Mr. Jose Rosa being the newly elected President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce. We are truly excited to have Mr. Rosa lead as we continue in our endeavors to forge new beginning and improve the standard and quality of life of all people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Declaration Release Re: Crime & Violence

The St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday affirmed that the Organisation continues steadily with its strategy to address crime and violence in the Federation. The Chamber has submitted a paper with 40 recommendations to the Government, is a member of the National Crime Task Force and has met twice with the consultant to the Ministry of National Security, Mr Mark Mershon. The Chamber spokesperson, Executive Director Ms Wendy Phipps, also cited ongoing work with its tripartite non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, namely St. Kitts Christian Council and St. Kitts Evangelical Association – even in the face of what is regrettably now the recording of our Country’s twelfth murder for the year 2009.

Together with the Christian Council and Evangelical Association, the Chamber is also currently engaged in revisiting an ongoing project of setting ethical guidelines for the political process as our Federation approaches the next General Election. This initiative, whose genesis was in 1993, was bolstered and re-defined in June 1995 when the religious organisations on both islands, along with the Nation’s four major political parties jointly signed a Code of Conduct for the Political Process. This document set out the preferred behaviour and practices of (a) the Electoral Commission; (b) the Political Candidates, their Associates & Supporters; (c) the Voters; and (d) the Media.

 

Meanwhile, the Chamber calls for all of our leaders – be they civic, religious, political or Governmental – to conduct themselves with respect for self and others, to be responsible for their articulations on and off the platforms, airwaves, print and electronic media, and to avoid immature, irresponsible and inflammatory comments that will be destructive to others while inciting our criminal element into further anti-social behaviour. The Chamber feels strongly that any rhetoric of politicians of any party which has connotations of or suggest violence or disorder as a way of resolving political disputes is unacceptable and must be avoided. To do otherwise would be to send a wrong message and set a bad example to impressionable young people whom parents/guardians, educators and civic leaders are trying to mould into productive, law-abiding and respectful citizens.

 

The Chamber also admonishes the public to (a) continue being vigilant and intolerant of criminal activity and violence in the Federation and (b) give their full support to the Police in addressing crime. Ms Phipps also took the opportunity, once more, to express the Chamber’s gratitude to the general public for its overwhelming support of the April 2, 2009 March & Rally Against Crime that was organized in conjunction with the Christian Council and Evangelical Association. She also cited The Declaration on the Way Forward to Address Crime and Violence in the Federation which was signed at the April 2, 2009 Rally in Warner Park. It was noted that this document is available for public dissemination, discussion and implementation, and can be found on the Chamber’s website www.stkittsnevischamber.org .

Code of Conduct for Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As the people of St. Kitts and Nevis prepare for imminent General Elections, the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St. Kitts Evangelical Association and the St. Kitts Christian Council express their constituents’ strongest wishes that the elections will be free, fair, and free from fear. Cognizant of the heightened political campaigning and growing political tensions being exhibited on St. Kitts especially, our Organisations appeal to the general public, political candidates and their supporters to approach the electoral process and the General Elections with a strong sense of decorum, order, self-control and non-violence rather than political emotionalism which, more often than not, can lead to divisiveness, strife, civil unrest and economic instability.

We further admonish the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to exercise political maturity and political tolerance in the name of love for God, man and Country. At this time, our Organisations also call on all citizens and residents on both islands to revisit the Code of Conduct for the Political Process: Ethical Guidelines that was jointly facilitated by the Christian Councils, Evangelical Associations on St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Chamber in June 1995. These ethical guidelines are still very current today, have recently been revised, and our Organisations re-print them here:

A. TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION

• The Electoral Commission should be transparent and impartial.

• Ensure that any person who is eligible to vote and does so apply is properly registered.

• Any person who is eligible and properly registered to vote should not be denied the right to vote.

• Ensure that the Supervisor of Elections and persons assisting him in any manner perform their duties in accordance with the law.

B. TO CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION, THEIR ASSOCIATES AND SUPPORTERS

• Candidates in any General Election need to justify their suitability by presenting proposals for the betterment of St. Kitts and Nevis, its people and land, and its interaction with the Caribbean region and the world.

• The emphasis must be on issues rather than personalities. Candidates must also avoid defamation of character of their opponents, their families and supporters.

• No abusive attacks or innuendos may be directed to campaigners or their family members for reason of their political affiliation, race, social origins and background, education, gender, religion, or any other reason.

• Candidates must seek to be truthful about the past and present socio-economic state of St. Kitts and Nevis.

• Candidates must avoid raising unfulfillable expectations and making unrealistic promises.

• Care must be taken not to incite sectional hostility or violence.

• To further demonstrate political maturity and foster unity among the people, Parties not forming the Government should appeal to the Nation via the media to respect and acknowledge the Government formed by the due process of the Constitution of the Federation. Likewise, Government ministers must also respect themselves and their opponents, since respect is earned and not an entitlement.

• Campaign slogans and the like, affixed to walls, poles, etcetera, should be such as are easily removable when campaigning ends. Special care should be taken to avoid defacing historic sites.

• No one shall prevent the distribution of leaflets, and the display of posters, of other parties and candidates; and shall not deface or destroy the posters of others.

• Electoral regulations should be observed and not circumvented.

• Every person entitled to vote must be able to do so freely. Victimization of persons, interference with employment rights, intimidation, and the enticement with favours are gravely wrong. Persons are entitled to express their political views without fear of persecution or victimization.

• Avoid language that is abusive, indecent or inflammatory.

• Respect the freedom of the press.

• Refrain from excessive alcohol consumption and making alcoholic beverages available at campaign recruitment drives or public meetings.

• When the election results have been finalised unsuccessful candidates should accept defeat in the true spirit of sportsmanship and successful candidates should celebrate victory gracefully and humbly.

• All citizens have a responsibility to obey the law and to promote the maintenance of law and order throughout the Federation.

C. TO VOTERS

• It is the individual’s fundamental right to vote. A voter should not abstain from voting without good reason.

• All persons eligible to register should seek at all times to be honest with the information they impart.

• Do not sell your vote. You thereby forfeit your freedom of choice and devalue your worth as a person.

• Do not seek to vote more than once.

• Do not seek to vote in anyone else’s name.

• Exercise your responsibility for the well-being of St. Kitts and Nevis by voting for a candidate of ability and integrity. Integrity would include adherence to the ethical guidelines herein.

• Integrity, good character, and sound judgement as manifested in your behaviour as a voter are important to the Political Process, and those whom you seek to elect.

• Vote after serious consideration of all candidates’ policies.

• Each person has a right to his or her views and to support the candidate he or she prefers. Respect must be maintained for the opinion of others.

• Each voter has a responsibility to obey the law and promote the maintenance of law and order throughout the Federation.

D. TO THE MEDIA

• Report the campaigning honestly and impartially.

• Ensure that news stories are accurate.

• Avoid the temptation to sensational reporting

• Independent Candidates and Political Parties should be given equal time on the National Broadcasting Service to present their electoral platform. Such airtime should be paid for, not gratis.

• Election news coverage by state-owned media houses should also be balanced and fair, and not simply reserved for the reporting of the ruling party’s activities. Like their private sector counterparts, state-owned media houses must also distinguish clearly between news and commentary, and should report controversial issues fairly.

• The media must declare conflicts of interest, real or apparent, and safeguard their independence from Government, commercial and other interests seeking to subvert content for their own purposes.

• Media workers must conduct themselves professionally while defending freedom of information and resisting distortion, misrepresentation and censorship.

The St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the St. Kitts Evangelical Association and the St. Kitts Christian Council trust that the foregoing reproduction and revision of The Code of Conduct for the Political Process: Ethical Guidelines will serve as a reminder to all political parties, political candidates, voters, the Electoral Commission, and the media of their need to participate in the electoral process in a manner that is fair, honest, dignified, and becoming of a Country that is truly democratic. It is the Organisations’ expectations that (a) the various political parties and their candidates will endorse the principles outlined in the Code of Conduct; and (b) the political party leaders will demonstrate such endorsement of the Code’s tenets by signing the document. The Organisations also wish all parties and their candidates the best of luck at the polls, and trust that the General Elections and the aftermath will be peaceful.

ST. KITTS-NEVIS CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

ST. KITTS CHRISTIAN COUNCIL

ST. KITTS EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION

July 16, 2009