BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 04, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – At his press conference held today, Wednesday, December 04, 2019, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris again expressed his satisfaction with the health of the manufacturing sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Prime Minister Harris reported that merchandise export from St. Kitts and Nevis by sea increased by 179 percent from 23,883 tons for period January to November 2018 to 66,628 tons for the period January to November, 2019.

Outbound cargo by air increased from 260 tons for the period January-November 2018 to 267 tons for the comparative period in 2019.

“This speaks to a recovery in manufacturing volume notwithstanding the competitive challenges which the plants here face from China and elsewhere,” Prime Minister Harris said, while commenting that St. Kitts and Nevis continues to compete globally.

The prime minister indicated that this increase in production in the manufacturing sector is now being reflected in the creation of additional jobs for the people.

“Kajola Kristada boasts 222 jobs in 2019, almost doubling its employment base of 117 jobs in 2018. Kajola started a second shift this year and added 2 new production lines. Jaro Electronics provides 319 jobs in 2019 against 270 in 2018.  Importantly, the majority of the workers made redundant by Lutron Liamuiga were absorbed at Jaro. To date, Jaro has provided jobs to such 40 workers from Lutron. I am told that Jaro has paid this year a 10 percent merit increase and Jaro anticipates that by next year it will need other employees,” Prime Minister Harris stated.

Carib Brewery (St. Kitts and Nevis) Ltd also increased its number of employees this year, moving from 130 jobs provided in 2018 to 140 in 2019. API Harowe Servo in Sandy Point maintained its 2018 employment figure of 225 employees throughout 2019.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Harris highlighted the performance of Carib Brewery, noting that the plant has already surpassed its 2018 production numbers.

“Last year, for the period January to November, the Brewery produced 944,342 cases of beverages. This year to date, it has already exceeded one million cases. Last year it achieved that feat later in December, so it is moving ahead. In fact, according to Mark Wilkin [Managing Director of Carib Brewery (St. Kitts-Nevis) Ltd], 1,039,286 cases have already been produced [this year]. For the second time in a row in its 59th year of operation in St Kitts and Nevis and only under Team Unity the Carib Brewery (St Kitts) Ltd will surpass 1 million cases of drinks produced in a single year,” the prime minister added.