By Eulana Weekes
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Pandemic has hit global trade with an unprecedented speed and scale and it continues to impact the global economy negatively. This was stated by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Mrs. Jasemin Warner-Weekes, where she and other panellists met on the programme ‘Working for You’, to discuss the topic, ‘Impact of Global Supply Chain Shortages On The Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis’.
Mrs. Warner-Weekes said since the onset of the pandemic, Transport, travel restrictions, as well as the closure of the manufacturing plants and businesses, establishments, together with reduced work and workforce capacity have dramatically declined.
She added that supply chain disruption has had a devastating impact on the goods and services chain and has exacerbated within the recent six months.
“We have seen supply chain shortages of food, other consumable goods, pharmaceuticals etcetera and this in part has to do with the high infection rates and the related absenteeism in the shipping logistics and agricultural sectors of key world markets; and I note agricultural sector (because) it is very critical to us for sustainable food; you know we import quite a lot. At the same time, we are trying to work on an agricultural policy that can help, at least in terms of sustaining us; the idea of security comes into play.”
According to the Permanent Secretary, the natural result stemming from these disruptions or shortages include high prices, price height in the cost of freight, fewer choice of goods for consumers and lower quality goods in some instances.
Mrs. Warner-Weekes acknowledged that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has been proactive in that regard, adding that a meeting spearheaded by the Minister of International Trade, The Honourable Wendy Phipps, was held on Monday (Jan. 17) to engage the Private Sector and to hear their perspective on the situation.