MINISTRY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE HOSTS NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON WTO AND ELECTRONIC COMMERCE

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 27, 2020 (SKNIS): The Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Commerce held a two-day National Workshop on World Trade Organization (WTO) and Electronic Commerce from February 26 to 27 in order to chart the way forward to achieve and advance the development potential of e-commerce in St. Kitts and Nevis and the region.

Permanent Secretary, Jasmin Weekes stated, during the opening, that the Ministry of International Trade “through its robust engagements with the public and private sector would have identified this very subject as one of the most critical if not the most critical area that warrants focused attention at this time.”

“It is our firm conviction that e-commerce led development should be a new growth strategy, not only for St. Kitts and Nevis but for the Caribbean region as a whole,” she said. “St. Kitts and Nevis as a small island developing state is very mindful of the economic benefits likely to accrue from the digital economy and e-commerce, particularly for our micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).”

Over the two days, WTO experts shared with participants from both the private and public sector, the recent trends in global e-commerce. Participants were also updated on the WTO Work Programme on electronic commerce including decisions and ministerial mandates; the moratorium on customs duties; discussions in the WTO bodies; and work underway since the 11th Ministerial Conference.

The seminar also allowed participants to share their experiences in their respective areas of work.
Government officials updated the participants on national and regional strategies for e-commerce.

The private sector also shared its experiences with e-commerce. The private sector highlighted opportunities and challenges as they relate to imports, exports, outsourcing and joint ventures among other related concerns.

“St. Kitts and Nevis is very much onboard in terms of its preparedness for this unprecedented growth of the digital economy and e-commerce,” said Mrs. Weekes. “The Government, and the Legal and Justice Department and Communications Department, is actively engaged in the process of drafting national e-commerce legislative frameworks and rolling out a series of programmes and projects simultaneously.”

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