St Kitts and Nevis: Nevis Premier Mark Brantley stated that business owners are starting to invest in non-traditional areas, thanks to the lessons learnt from coronavirus and the NIA’s provision of an enabling environment for such investment.
Mark Brantley, who is also the Minister of Finance, gave this remark while addressing journalists at his monthly press conference on March 24, 2021, in Cabinet Room at Pinney’s Estate.
“Coronavirus taught us that the traditional way to our economy of having all our eggs in the tourism basket that cannot work. I suppose we always knew it, but coronavirus brought it to us most forcefully, and I am happy that as I stand here today in 2021, on the 24th day of March that we have been able to attract a film industry.” He said.
“We have been able to bring light manufacturing. We have seen a higher emphasis on agriculture. We have seen our construction sector inflation with the concessions that we have given, and that we see now that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and that people who would traditionally look to tourism are now looking elsewhere, and that I feel is to be encouraged and commended,” Premier added.
Mr. Brantley expounded two new businesses owned and operated by locals, which recently opened up on Nevis and commended the owners.
“Our people are now manufacturing masks here on the island of Nevis, and I would want to commend those involved because they are manufacturing masks they say for export, and what I like about it they have brought down the price considerably because they are selling EC$1.00 per mask…I am delighted we now are manufacturing masks on a large scale on the island of Nevis. I’m told the capacity of the plant is 30,000 masks per day. So that is significant.
“Just yesterday, I took the chance to visit a new manufacturing venture at Long Point that is now doing chain link fencing, and so we are now producing chain link fencing on the island of Nevis as well,” he said.
The Premier stated that the considerable investment and uptake on the island in terms of manufacturing is important to the NIA.
“In an environment where we see construction that is growing and was largely incentivised by this government, we are seeing that those who support the construction industry are stepping up to the plate, and I wish all those manufacturers well…
“We have, of course, had here furniture being made. We have artisans in Nevis who are now the principal kitchen manufacturers in the Federation who are doing luxury kitchens not only here in Nevis at developments such as Four Seasons but also in St. Kitts at developments like Christophe Harbour.
Mark Brantley further noted that Nevis those who are making doors and mouldings.
He added, “In fact, I was very happy to hear that one of our manufacturers here in Nevis was the principle manufacturer of doors & mouldings for the Kittitian Hill development in St. Kitts. So our people have been responding positively to the environment that the government has built for local investment to flourish,”
Mr. Brantley stated the view that Nevis is on to something good with the niche manufacturing being produced on the island, which is generating jobs, socio-economic activity, and most importantly, giving the island much-needed diversification of the economy.