Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 24, 2018 (SKNIS): Trade contributes positively to the economic growth of a country, especially St. Kitts and Nevis and it is critical to improving the quality of lives, said Monique Davis, Trade Policy Officer in the Ministry of International Trade, during the launch of the History of Commerce and Banking Exhibition at the St. Christopher National Trust (SCNT) on October 23, 2018.
“In St. Kitts and Nevis, we have accepted and promoted the view that trade is one of the most important indicators of economic development. Trade is essential as it is a major contributor to the overall economy of St. Kitts and Nevis,” she said, while delivering remarks on behalf of Jasmine Weekes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Over the years, trade has helped to boost development and reduce poverty by generating growth through increased commercial opportunities and investments, as well as broadening the productive base through private sector development,” Ms. Davis continued.
She added that trade has a practical impact on society.
“Trade encourages innovation by facilitating exchange of know-how technology and investment in research and development through foreign direct investment. Trade also plays an essential role in the improvement of quality labour and environment standards through increased competition, and the exchange of best practices between trade partners, building capacity in industry and product standards,” she stated.
Ms. Davis noted that the financial institutions also contribute to trade in the region, as well as globally.
“The banking sector plays a critical role in the cycle of regional and international trade. The nature of the trading industry exposes exporters and importers to substantial financial risk. Therefore, it is the role of the banking sector to serve as the mitigation agent of these financial risks,” she said. “Additionally, the banking sector offers trade financial services, which include lending, the issue of letters of credit, export credit and insurance.”
Trade has allowed countries to be competitive, financially attractive and to enhance their global influence. This she said, allows St. Kitts and Nevis “to access new markets and new materials, which open up new production possibilities.”