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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2020 (SKNIS): There are tremendous trade opportunities to be borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Jasmin Weekes, during the April 28 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing.

Mrs. Weekes said that in St. Kitts and Nevis manufacturers have responded to the demand for masks and have pursued mass production of the items to cater to its consumers. She added that manufacturers have also begun to produce hand sanitizers and alcohol. Mrs. Weeks said these efforts are commendable.

“We believe that the wearing of masks can very well be the norm for us going forward and can therefore be a visible business venture,” said Mrs. Weeks. “Likewise, we would have seen some of our distillers who would have ventured into expanding the scope of their product lines and have for the first-time manufactured hand sanitizers and alcohol. These are commendable efforts and can now be extended to not only the local or regional level, but for the international level as well.”

The permanent secretary said that this is a time for small businesses to begin to look at opportunities for expanding their products and services and exploring market opportunities.

“It is time for businesses to evaluate where they must be and where they could be flexible, she said. “For example, we think that in the entertainment and gaming industry, we should encourage new ways of disseminating content and promotion of businesses. Likewise, in the healthcare and health technology, we wish to see more robust advances and bigger ventures for example in the area of telemedicine or online consultations.”

Mrs. Weekes said that the lock-down will enable persons to be more creative and think outside of the box.

“From where we sit, we are convinced that COVID-19 will force a rebirth of many industries as we all sit at home in lock-down reassessing and reimagining most of consumption, supply, interaction and productivity,” said the permanent secretary.

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