Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 28, 2017 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts-Nevis Coalition of Service Industries was officially launched on Friday, July 28, at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) and is already promising to play an integral role in helping those in the service industry expand their horizons.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Lindsay Grant said that considering the expansion of services trade and the importance of the sector to the region, the CARICOM Council of Trade and Economic Development, in 2001, agreed on a regional services sector plan, which included the establishment of national coalitions in each of the member states.
“So, as we become more services oriented and the pace of globalization quickens the relationship between trade and technology, it is essential that we aim to extend our base not only in tourism and related areas, but in financial services, notwithstanding the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) initiatives in telecommunications and information technology,” said the minister.
Minister Grant said that the establishment of a coalition of services industry in the federation allows members to realize the growth and development of their businesses, creates better organization of the sector, builds stakeholder awareness, enhances competitiveness and provides exposure to regional and international markets.
The ministry will only serve as support for the coalition, said the minister, noting that the rest is up to them.
“You have been charged with the mandate to deliver and to take full advantage of the wide range of opportunities that are out there,” he said. “I encourage you to build your membership and know that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry is there only as a supportive arm, the rest is really up to you.”
Services account for approximately 70 percent of the GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis, revealed the minister, adding that globally the exponential growth of services trade influences job growth, generates foreign currency and reduces overall export volatility.
“Accordingly, efforts are underway in most member states to rationalize private sector umbrella bodies and work is therefore being undertaken to merge some of these bodies or enhance the level of collaboration among them to improve synergies, cohesion and complementarity,” said the minister.
The Trade and Industry Minister said that the rationale behind this was that the regional umbrella organization would “support national coalitions and strengthen their capacity to represent the interest of the service sector stakeholders as Member States shape their trade and development policies for the sector.”