Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 04, 2016 (SKNIS): Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, Honourable Lindsay Grant, continued his tour to manufacturers this week, visiting Caribelle Batik in Old Road.
The minister was accompanied by the Director of Industry and Commerce, Phillip Browne, and others from the ministry. Mr. Browne said the series of visits are part of the ministry’s strategy to engage with key stakeholders to learn more about their operations, interact with management and staff and explore how Government’s policies and programmes are impacting them.
“The management of Caribelle Batik was elated and took the opportunity to update the minister about some of the issues they face,” Mr. Browne said, adding that Minister Grant was proactive in addressing an issue between the company and tourism authorities. “While he was there he made a [phone] call to start dealing with one of the issues immediately.”
He summed up that issue as “nothing major”, noting that there was a miscommunication between the two parties while adding that it was an example of how activities of trade and commerce are dovetailing nicely into tourism,” which is also in Minister Grant’s portfolio.
The touring group visited various sections of the site and got a better understanding of how the batiks are made and where each step takes place. Mr. Browne described the experience as “an eye opener.”
The director added that the manufacturing sector is important to the economic thrust and overall development of St. Kitts and Nevis as it accounts for 8 to ten percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually. This is why it is incredibly important for manufacturing centers to be up to code and use the supplies required for smooth operation, from doing machinery checks on a regular basis to using products like ambersil foam cleaner to clean away grease and dirt that could affect production if overlooked. There is a lot that manufacturing plants must take into account so they can provide the outcomes needed in their sector.
“All in all, it was a really successful visit and I think what it really did for us as a department and Caribelle Batik is to reiterate the fact that we are ready … to work together for the ultimate benefit of the country,” Browne stated.
The tour to manufacturing sites continues on Wednesday, March 09 with a visit to the St. Kitts Bottling Company and Carib Brewery. The following day (March 10), the group travels to Nevis to visit Nevis Furniture (Island Molding), Nevis Spring Water and Nelson’s Spring Purified Water.