Ms. Shawna Lake, CEO of the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA) made a presentation to the Manufacturers’ Division of the St. Kitts & Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The Manufacturers’ Division is the product of a successful amalgamation of the St. Kitts Manufacturers’ Association into the Chamber in 1988. The 33 members of the Manufacturers’ Division of the Chamber play a vital role in our local economy by making a significant contribution to GDP, providing employment opportunities, providing training opportunities for our local work force and promoting St. Kitts through the export of products made on the island. The objective of the presentation was to update the Division on the progress of SKIPA and open a dialogue between both organisations.

 

Ms. Lake began the presentation with an overview of the agency’s four main functions that include investment promotion, investment facilitation, aftercare services and policy advocacy. Since, its inception on December 11, 2007 the agency has participated in 3 overseas promotional events. Ms. Lake explained that although, she would like SKIPA to participate in more overseas events the changing global environment has negatively affected the agency’s ability to do so. An Investment Guide for St. Kitts has recently been produced. The Investment Guide is a full colour print publication that is filled with useful information for anyone who is interested in starting a business in St. Kitts. This initiative was funded primarily through the sale of advertising slots to local businesses. The investment guide will be distributed overseas through our Foreign Missions and locally through the agency’s network of contacts.

 

SKIPA’s website has also been used to promote St. Kitts as an attractive investment destination. Launched in February 2009, the website has gained repute in the online community through its comprehensive investor based content, news articles, links and list of investment opportunities. In the five months in which the website has been operational it has attracted over 1000 hits from potential investors in 97 countries which include St. Kitts, USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and India just to name a few. Ms. Lake expressed her pleasure with the website’s ability to offer a relatively inexpensive medium through which the agency can publish investment related information that is easily accessible to both local and foreign investors.

 

During the presentation, Ms. Lake confirmed that SKIPA is an organization that assists local investors as well as foreign investors. She cited SKIPA’s work with the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Association in establishing a concession package for small hotels and the recently approved concession package for full service-stand alone restaurants as evidence of the agency’s commitment to improving the investment climate in St. Kitts for both local and foreign investors. Ms. Lake also alluded to ongoing work being done with the St. Kitts & Nevis Building Contractors Association geared towards improving their ability to deliver a more efficient product to citizens of St. Kitts and the investment community in general.  Ms. Lake noted that more will be done in the coming weeks to increase awareness of SKIPA and its services among the local population.

 

The Manufacturer’s Association responded favorably to the presentation and expressed their gratitude for the work that SKIPA has been doing. In a gesture of good faith, the Association offered their support to the agency as it continues in its quest to improve the investment climate in St. Kitts.