Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 29, 2021 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)- In keeping with the Ministry’s thrust to forge linkages with key partners to support the development of the local economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation hosted a virtual “Post COVID-19 Recovery: Trade, Investments and Resilience Forum”, on Thursday, July 29, 2021. The attendees to the Forum included representatives from the Ministry, its overseas missions, the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry (CIC), St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), the Nevis Investment Promotion Agency (NIPA) and the OECS Competitive Business Unit.
Permanent Secretary, Ms. Kaye Bass welcomed participants and the Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation noted that a new paradigm of partnership in development is needed, as government cannot do it alone. He emphasized, “We need to rally private sector partners in the project of resilience building and sustainable development” and challenged all stakeholders to remain committed to exerting their best efforts to assist in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. He further advised that his Ministry views the forum as an “assembly for opportunity” and encouraged the private sector to continue punching above its weight, to “help once again lead the Federation through increased, diversified and sustainable trade and investments.”
The featured speaker at the forum was Mr. Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency. He stressed the importance of Commercial Diplomacy in economic recovery and highlighted the need for greater focus to be placed on export promotion and development. He also articulated the need for businesses to quickly adapt to e-commerce and the urgency for businesses to constantly innovate and remain ahead of the game.
Presentations were also delivered by Ms. Monica Latoya Davis and Mr. Delwayne Delaney, representatives from the Ministry of Trade and the Small Business Development Centre in that Ministry. They gave participants an overview of the role of that agency, and how they have been supporting the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Federation even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce was represented by President, Mrs. Giselle Matthew and Interim Executive Director, Mr. Daniel Arthurton, who informed of the role, responsibilities, and constraints of the Chamber while sharing their vision for renewed engagement with the overseas missions to further the growth and development of business and buttress new relationships.
The Forum was chaired and moderated by H.E. Sherry Tross, High Commissioner of St. Kitts and Nevis in Ottawa, Canada.