Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The manufacturing sector continues to be a key contributor to the economic success of St. Kitts and Nevis despite COVID-19 challenges, said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during his monthly press conference held at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Conference Room on September 28.
Prime Minister Harris mentioned some of the most significant players including JARO Limited, Carib Brewery (St. Kitts & Nevis) Limited, Kajola Kristada Limited and API Harowe (St. Kitts) Limited to name a few and reflected on their contribution to the economy and their employment figures.
“All these entities are part of our manufacturing export enclave sector and are contributing to our GDP in real terms in spite of COVID-19 challenges,” said Prime Minister Harris. “A look at the manufacturing sector shows that this sector has been resilient. It has created direct employment for over 1,200 persons. JARO Limited is the largest employer in 2021, with 253 employees. We have Carib Brewery with an employee roll of 160, Kajola Kristada 157 employees and HAROWE SERVO 122 employees.”
Dr. Harris commended the sector’s continued work and commitment in spite of the difficulties that arose due to COVID-19.
“So, we are basically seeing recovery within the manufacturing sector and it also means that our entities in that sector continue to be relatively competitive,” he said. “Notwithstanding all the difficulties of the Pandemic, the increase in transportation cost of their inputs, generally, they are still able to do business. And this is important and a commendation to the quality of work being produced by our people in all these factories.”
At his last press conference in late August 2021, Prime Minister Harris announced that the manufacturing and export sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis are on the rebound as global economic activity picks up following the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. Harris reported that “Records from the Customs and Excise Department reveal that the dollar value of merchandise exports increased to $58.6 million for the period January to July 2021, from $53 million in 2020, for an increase of 10.6 percent.”