BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 16TH 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis earned nearly EC$10 million from the export of electronic components to the United States in 2011, is valued at nearly EC$10 million.
Delivering his recent Budget Address, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said earnings from the export of electronic components to the United States increased by 9.4% recording a total value of $91.7 million in 2011 when compared to 2010.
He said two major manufacturers in this sector expanded their operations thereby improving their capacity to meet the increasing demand and this was evidenced by the increase in value of exports which was recorded at $108.2 million in 2012.
He said the manufacturing sector continues to be impacted by the slow economic recovery in its major trading markets but shows resilience in its enclave sector which involves the assembly of electronic components.
A major employer in the Federation, the manufacturing sector continues to make every effort to maintain its cadre of highly skilled employees and forego as much as possible the reduction of the work force even as the global recession continues to impact its markets and create some level of uncertainty.
“A long standing strategy deployed within the sector is simply to consistently produce high quality products, at reasonable prices, on time,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who pointed out that his government applauds these efforts and will continue to provide the support necessary to ensure that the sector continues to be an important contributor to the health of the economy.
“In order to ensure the continued expansion of the sector, it is vital that we capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves in other burgeoning economies, as well as to improve the manner in which business is conducted on a daily basis,” Dr. Douglas said.
He said with the completion on negotiations for the Federation to accede to a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) with Brazil and a slowdown in the economic growth rate in that economy, there remains potential for further expansion thereby providing a viable market for consumption of St. Kitts and Nevis manufactured products.
“Efforts to bring this Agreement into fruition have continued and we expect that it will not be much longer before local manufacturers will benefit from improved access to the Brazilian market. The expected increase in exports as a result of this Agreement will translate into growth in employment in the sector and industries that provide complementary services,” said the Prime Minister.
He pointed out however, that the cost of energy has a profound impact on the capacity of local manufacturers to operate efficiently and expand their operations and Government, through the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), with the assistance of the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF), has taken the initiative to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of the sector under the Manufacturers Competitiveness for Energy Efficiency (MACEE) Project.
“This exercise will aid in identifying areas where the sector can improve energy efficiency through the reduction of leakages and wastage, and most importantly the incorporation of conservation, and renewable and energy efficient technologies,” said Dr. Douglas.