BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, November 6, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Participation of local businesses at the 2022 Taiwan Expo in St. Kitts and Nevis is an added advantage to the country coming in the wake of a recent approval by Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis, on the roll-out of a revised national manufacturing strategy aimed at fostering the manufacturing sector.
Those were the sentiments of the former Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Economic Development and Investment, Rt. Hon Dr Denzil L. Douglas, as he delivered remarks at the exhibition’s opening ceremony on Saturday November 5 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
“As the Minister with responsibility for Industry and Commerce, I cannot overstate my immense excitement at this Expo 2022, and those of you who are listening and you are not here, please run, come hurriedly and see what wonderful things we have here on display,” pleaded the Hon Dr Douglas.
The three-day Taiwan Expo has twenty six companies from Taiwan that are taking part, two have a physical presence even though staff of one of the two companies had not arrived by Saturday, and another 24 that were exhibiting virtually but with local staff assisting in providing more information. Also taking part are eight local businesses from St. Kitts and Nevis, which were invited to make use of some booth space and promote their products.
“My excitement is further heightened when I see our very own local businesses being afforded the opportunity to showcase their products free of cost, of course,” added Dr Douglas. “I believe at least eight of our local businesses will be featured over the next few days during this Expo. It says to me that we are indeed making great strides in this Federation and this culture of business development must be encouraged at all times.”
The Rt. Hon Dr Douglas who accompanied Prime Minister the Hon Dr Terrance Drew on his first official state to the Republic of China (Taiwan) in a delegation that left on the same day in the afternoon, told the Taiwanese Resident Ambassador to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Michael Lin, that relationship between the two countries has been of tremendous benefit.
“This government, of which I am a part, is always thrilled whenever there is an opportunity to collaborate with you our own partners of the Republic of China on Taiwan in our mutual quest to building partnerships in the areas of business, tourism, trade, services, and culture, and cultural reciprocity among other areas,” said the Hon Dr Douglas.
Collaborative efforts between St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan in the past have helped to improve food production and preservation in the Federation via an initiative called the ‘Food Processing Commercialisation Development Programme’, he said. The venture which involves processing foods such as breadfruit, green banana, flour, pumpkin, guava cheese among others provide a tremendous potential not only through the two countries’ agriculture and tourism sectors, but the spinoffs have been phenomenal.
Referring to the 26 Taiwanese businesses, the Honourable Minister of Industry and Commerce said he envisages opportunities to discuss possible business cooperation, and opportunities to foster and facilitate closer trade ties between the partners. He said it is a welcome opportunity for kick-starting and re-energising the potential for the local manufacturing sector, and encouraged the private sector present participating to also seek great possibilities that will emanate from the exhibition.
Saying that the manufacturing sector remains high on the government’s agenda given its overall contribution to the economy, he noted that only a few days ago the Cabinet gave its nod of approval on the roll-out of a revised national manufacturing strategy aimed at fostering the manufacturing sector, which will cover the period 2022 to 2027, and will be implemented shortly.
“The strategy identifies solutions and recommendations that will continue to make the Federation’s manufacturing sector competitive, productive, and the creator of more jobs for the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Hon Dr Douglas. “This I believe is definitely a step in the right direction, and I notice the Deputy Prime Minister (the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley) is nodding.”
The opening ceremony of the three-day 2022 Taiwan Expo in St. Kitts and Nevis, which was coordinated by Mr Damien I-Ching Liu, Third Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in St. Kitts and Nevis, was also addressed by Resident Ambassador His Excellency Michael Lin, and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Dr Geoffrey Hanley who represented Prime Minister the Hon Dr Terrance Drew.