National Manufacturing Strategy Aims to Boost Jobs
Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — New jobs are expected to be created in St. Kitts and Nevis with the implementation of the National Manufacturing Strategy (NMS).
The strategy was designed by the Manufacturing Division and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, to enhance manufacturing and improve global market share.
Minister with responsibility for Industry, Hon. Richard Skerritt stated that the Government will assist in any way possible to make sure that this strategy survives and is implemented.
“The implementation of this strategy will be reviewed from time to time by the Ministry, in close collaboration with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce,” said Minister Skerritt. “This launch is a celebration of a constructive group effort between the Government and the private sector, as public-private sector partnership always brings good results.
“The production of the formal manufacturing strategy itself is unprecedented. Nowhere in [St. Kitts and Nevis’] history have we been able to find any instance of a manufacturing strategy being produced by any Ministry of Government or private sector organization.”
Chairman of the Manufacturing Division, Lincoln Maynard boasted of the evolving manufacturing sector in the Federation.
“It is a fact that manufacturing in the broadest sense in St. Kitts and Nevis has emerged as an important component of our overall economic activity,” said Maynard. “The demise of King Sugar as a viable revenue generator in the Federation came in 2005 when the sugar’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of St. Kitts and Nevis was .87% of GDP.
“This was a definitive indicator that St. Kitts and Nevis had truly moved on from sugar manufacturing as a significant component of the country’s economic activities. As a new NMS is launched, it is an opportune time to reflect on this manufacturing journey. We can more critically evaluate why at this time the launch and implementation of a NMS is an imperative step in the further development in a truly balanced economy.”
The Chairman noted that the main objective of this strategy is to “have in St. Kitts and Nevis, sustainable, profitable manufacturing that is internationally economy.’
“The strategy document to a large extent identifies the critical prescriptive road that we that we need to take to ensure that our manufacturing structure grows from strength to strength,” he stated. “It clearly outlines the critical areas identified in manufacturing needs assessment study conducted in the Federation.”
According to Maynard, the needs assessment included areas such as fiscal constraints, high energy cost, raw material procurement challenges, human resource and training needs, Government-manufacturing sector interface, Agri-processesing challenges and financing.
The National Manufacturing Strategy is designed in such a way that it identifies six interconnecting goals that would be fulfilled over the period 2014-2020.
The goals are: to create growth in the manufacturing sector contribution to GDP by 2020, to create 150 new jobs in manufacturing by 2015 with an additional 500 jobs by the year 2020, to improve the depth of quality manufacturing and value added, to increase global manufacturing competitiveness of St. Kitts and Nevis, to steadily attract, encourage and facilitate environmentally sustainable manufacturing and to promote best practices and cutting-edge manufacturing industry standards.