Press Releases and Notices

Others

6/21/2017
CONSULTATIONS ON THE CARICOM PUBLIC PROCUREMENT NOTICE BOARD (CPPNB) – PROJECT 10TH EDF/CSME/1.1.3/SER 13.14- DEVELOPMENT OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND INSTRUMENTS FOR AN INTEGRATED CSME PROCUREMENT REGIME

A two day training/consultations on theCARICOM Electronic Notice Boardfor Public Procurement will take place at the Ocean Terrace Inn conference ro..
read more


11/16/2016
Honorable Minister Lindsay Grant Speech for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2016

Please see link for Minister's Speech for Global Entrepreneurship Week   https://www.youtube.com/watch?..
read more


6/21/2016
Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Second Quarter of Activities/Workshops

For the second quarter of 2016, the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs has been involved in a series of works..
read more


6/21/2016
Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs: First Quarter of Activities/Workshops

First Quarter of Activities/Workshops For the first quarter of 2016, the Ministry of International Trade, Industry,..
read more





Contact Us

The Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis

P.O. Box 1234
Bladen Commercial Development
Basseterre, St. Kitts
email: info@iticca.com
tel: (869) 467-1098 / 1096 / 1203


 

Ministers Remarks on the signing of The Brazil-Guyana Partial Scope Agreement

I am honored to witness this milestone event at which we affix our countries signature to a partial scope agreement between St Kitts and Nevis, Brazil and Guyana.  Today Mr Charleton Edwards, our Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade and Ambassador Ruy Pereira of Brazil will do the signing on behalf of our respective countries.  As the sole Minister of International Trade over the life of the negotiations up to this point, I am honored that this milestone has been achieved under my watch and I am indebted for the opportunity to play a role.

 

This project has a long gestation going back to the formal indication of our interest in acceding to the Brazil/Guyana partial scope agreement to COTED in Antigua 2008.

 

This agreement holds out several opportunities and possibilities for us in St Kitts and Nevis’ manufacturing sector and the enclave sub sector in particular.  But the opportunities expand beyond the manufacturing sector, to the broader commercial and consuming public.

 

For our manufacturing sector, the principal demandeurs of this partial scope agreement, its overriding interests have been:

 

1.                 An ability to access the Brazil’s market directly rather than through circuitous routes of shipping to parent companies for rerouting to Brazil.  Exports from Brazil to St. Kitts and Nevis has been very dynamic, expanding by over 25 percent annually whilst Brazilian imports from St. Kitts and Nevis have been expanding on average 9.3% annually. The Brazilian imports are currently re-exported from the USA. The products imported by Brazil included electrical machine and apparatus, dimmer units, electrical apparatus and switching and protecting electrical circuits and signal generators.

 

In 2009, Brazilian worldwide import spending on electrical machines and apparatus was recorded at over US$211mn, with US$363mn spent on dimmer units, US$60mn spent on imports of electrical apparatus for switching/protecting electrical circuits, and US$46mn spent on signal generators. Brazilian imports of these four items alone in 2009 represented almost triple the sales of St. Kitts and Nevis exporters to the entire world. Just targeting an import market share of 0.5% of Brazil’s imports of these four items would result in a 5% increase (US$3.4mn) in merchandise export sales for St. Kitts and Nevis. We expect the market share to expand significantly as exporters increase production and exports with the support given by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

2.                 Removal on entry imposts on products originating in St Kitts, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of their products.  Exports from the electronics sector in particular attract an MFN tariff of 35% in Brazil. This rate is considered prohibitive by our domestic manufacturing enterprises. Removal of this duty could lead to increased orders for the various manufacturing enterprises operating in the manufacturing enclave sub sector.   The reduction or removal of duties on imports as reflected in the PSA presents an opportunity for the expansion of trade between Brazil and St. Kitts and Nevis. Manufacturing enterprises can source raw materials from Brazil, which is closer, thus reducing cost and enhancing ‘just in time’ delivery, as compared to sourcing from the Far East.  One company currently exports parts for the cable television industry to Brazil via Miami; hence business contacts have already been established. Increased production serves to enhance the trade profile of St. Kitts and Nevis, and by extension the wider region.

 

3.                 Enhance viability derived from alternative markets and a large and growing one such as Brazil.  In terms of our merchandise exports the electrical and electronics sub sector is our major export.  According to a recent survey by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) research across eight countries, Brazilians have the highest consumer electronics ownership and spending in 15 product categories. More than half (55 percent) of Brazilian consumers have bought a mobile phone during the past year, compared to the international survey average of 32 percent. Similarly, 40 percent of Brazilian consumers plan to buy HDTVs this year compared to 25 percent internationally; and 20 percent intend to buy 3DTVs this year compared to 12 percent internationally.

 

“Brazilian consumers are outpacing the rest of the world’s consumers in electronics usage and spending,” said Petronio Nogueira, senior executive with Accenture’s Communications and High-Tech Group. “Now as never before, Brazil has become a global epicenter for consumer electronics business opportunities.”

 

4.                 If these entities can have more active engagement in Brazil, then we can expect more jobs and sustainable jobs.  Indeed companies such as Jaro Electronics and Kajola Kristada have said that employment expansion in the near term is linked to our gaining access to the Brazilian market.

 

It is not possible to quantify the jobs to be added since that is contingent on the state of play after signature.

 

Other Beneficiaries of PSA

 

Understandably because the most consistent demandeurs of the Partial Scope Agreement have been our export manufacturing enclave sector.  We often forget that the Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) will involve and benefit a wider cross section of the public than enclave manufacturers.  Our consumers and broader commercial sector can now more successfully to explore the Brazil market for  better quality products of meat, poultry etc.  Of course affordability is almost important consideration.  Consumers in St. Kitts and Nevis are likely to benefit from greater access to a broader range of products at more competitive prices as an outcome of the Agreement. The Agreement is also expected to strengthen trade ties between Guyana and St. Kitts and Nevis, thereby reinforcing one of the main objectives of the Single Market. 

 

In sum the benefits can flow both in intended areas and unintended areas.  Our employers, employees, consumers, commercial sector can all win.

 

Gratitude

 

I want to place on record my deep appreciation to many persons who assisted us on this project. 

 

I place on record my thanks to the staff of the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, including Ambassador Rosalyn Hazelle, Charleton Edwards, Acting Permanent Secretary, Samuel Berridge and Andrew Satney, the team from the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations, the CARICOM Secretariat, especially Ms Desiree Ridley and Ambassador Erwin Laroque, the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce, in particular Mr Michael Morton, Mr Carol Evelyn, Ms Wendy Phipps, Mr Calvin Cable and all who supported our efforts in any way.  Of course, Mr Jose Rosa was exceptionally committed in following up on this matter.  The advent of the Brazilian Embassy provided a focus for engagement with Brazil.

 

The Ministers of International Trade from Guyana from Hon Dr Henry Jeffrey to Hon Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.  Madame Birquett has given me yeoman support on this project.  So too have their technical staff, High Commissioner Elizabeth Harper and Mr Neville Totaram, Coordinator of the National Advisory Committee on External Negotiations (NACEN) of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, to them all I say thank you.

 

PSA Journey Not Yet Complete

 

The signing of this agreement is not the end of the game.  It is a critical penultimate event in the processes to formalize this agreement.  The next step is ratification by three signatory countries – St Kitts and Nevis, Brazil and Guyana.

 

Thereafter, it will be for the private sector to work the agreements, adding to their bottom-line, efficiencies, employee count, expansion of trade, developing of special commercial relationships and networks with the business community of Brazil.  The government is acting as the facilitator.  But it is businesses that trade.

 

Conclusion

 

St. Kitts and Nevis’ accession to the Guyana-Brazil Partial Scope Agreement is an initiative that holds much potential for economic growth for the overall economy.

 

Success in the partial scope agreement is also likely to embolden our private sector and spur interest in pursuing larger business opportunities, thereby enabling the country to achieve its major trade policy objectives.  Achieving sustained economic growth, social and human development constitutes the crux of St. Kitts and Nevis’ engagement in international trade. The Guyana-Brazil Partial Scope Agreement, by virtue of its targeted approach to developing a few strategic products could assist St. Kitts and Nevis in achieving its trade policy objectives.