Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 11, 2020 (SKNIS): Minister of International Trade, Honourable Lindsay Grant, stated during a visit to the C. A Paul Southwell Industrial Site in Basseterre on February 10, that the manufacturing industry contributes significantly to the economy.
The minister visited the industrial site, along with other Cabinet members, including Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards; Senior Minister the Honourable Vance Amory; the Honourable Eugene Hamilton and the Honourable Ian Liburd.
While at Sun Island Clothes, Minister Grant made remarks highlighting the importance of not only the manufacturing industry, but the hard work and dedication of the workers.
“The manufacturing industry plays an important role in the economic development of St. Kitts and Nevis and why it’s so important for us to meet with you and for you also to understand the significant role that you play in our earning capacity in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
Minister Grant said that the industrial site employs in excess of 2000 workers, noting that the manufacturing industry is important as it has created the ability for these persons to earn a living.
The Minister of International Trade commended the work of the 65 persons currently employed at Sun Island Clothes.
“The quality of work that you do is tremendous,” he said. “Not only is the quality of work that you do tremendous, you make an impact on not only St. Kitts and Nevis, not only regionally, but you make an impact on the regional scene. I say that because St. Kitts and Nevis alone produces more on the export market internationally than all the Caribbean and the OECS countries combined. That is significant. Your work produces about 8 or 9 percent of the GDP of this country. That again is significant. For the 65 persons or so who work here it means that we have another 200 or 300 families that are being supported because of the work that you do. That is very important.”
Minister Grant also commended persons who have been employed since the company’s inception in 1976.
“I believe Sun Island Clothes is like a family because many of you are here for many years,” he said. “It shows that you like what you are doing, you enjoy what you are doing and you are helping to build not only your families, but St. Kitts and Nevis as a whole.”
The minister stated that the Government of National Unity wants to ensure that both employers and employees of the manufacturing sector are satisfied.
“We here as the Team Unity Government, we are here to provide the opportunity for your employer and for you as the employee to make sure that you are satisfied and that you build your family because the important thing for you, I know, is to ensure that you put the bread on the table for your family,” said Minister Grant. “That’s why we want to make sure that we have the enabling environment for you to be able to do that. So, I want to congratulate you for the wonderful work that you are doing and to say to you keep on pressing and that there are better things in store for you as we go forward to the next five years.”