The Manufacturing Sector in St. Kitts and Nevis
Desroy Tate– Chairman of the Manufacturing Division - SKNCIC
The manufacturing sector is very important to the economy of St Kitts and Nevis, contributing an average of 6% to the GDP over the last 5 years. Over 1000 persons are employed directly.
Manufacturing is a global business that started during the industrial revolution in the late 19thcentury to cater for the large-scale production of products. Since then the manufacturing business has changed tremendously through the innovation of technology, process, materials, communication and transportation.
In St Kitts manufacturing has been around for over 300 years since the production of sugar providing jobs, foreign exchange earnings, foreign direct investment and boosting of exports which contributed to the Federation being the main exporter in the sub-region of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The imminent changes in the global manufacturing arena demands that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis readies itself via the sharpening of education and skills development in the labour market, facilitation of research and development investments, incorporation of global standards in manufacturing innovations, fiscal reform that is pro-growth and pro-business, and the creation, in general, of a more attractive market that would make the country a preferred destination to live, work and invest. This transformation requires a true, demonstrative and results-oriented partnership between Government, the private sector and other key stakeholders in manufacturing.
The major challenge of manufacturing is to produce more products with less material, less energy and less labor involvement. Product quality and reliability has become the main competitive factor in the global trend. Lean manufacturing process optimization is a thorough assessment of each activity of a company with the aim of reducing waste at all levels.
It is against this background that as the incoming chairman, efforts will be made to engage all stakeholders both Governmental and Non-Governmental. It can also be concluded that the sector is amongst the most viable within the Federation as was evident with the minimal disruption experienced during the worldwide pandemic. The sector provides year-round employment opportunities, whereby the enclave sector characterized of mostly women are engaged in productive activities.
Mr. Desroy Tate -
Chairman, Manufacturing Division,