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St. Kitts, Brazil sign partial scope agreement

Published:Monday | May 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM

St. Kitts & Nevis and Brazil Friday signed a partial scope agreement that Basseterre said made the twin-island federation the only Caribbean country with almost zero-tariff access to the Brazilian market.

Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas said that local manufacturers will now have the advantage, unlike their competitors, of accessing the Brazilian market.

This enhanced attractiveness of St. Kitts & Nevis as a manufacturing base will, in turn, mean additional employment, additional entrepreneurial opportunities, and increased revenue inflows for our federation, he added.

The agreement was signed by Brazils special envoy, Ruy Pereira and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Charleton Edwards.

Partial scope means that the agreement covers only certain products.

Dr. Douglas described the agreement as historic, recalling it began as a vision, an idea, a hope, and a vision in which the objective was clear, but the path, at first, less than a straight line.

As is the case with all historic accomplishments, however, this initial idea soon gave way to meticulous planning, in-depth analysis, and careful cost/benefit deliberations as we strove to establish this mutually beneficial economic alliance, he said, making reference to the enhanced trade, expanded entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.

Dr. Douglas said that although St. Kitts & Nevis are the smallest countries in the western hemisphere, our commitment to excellence is also an indelible part of who and what we are, and this aspect of our national character has been demonstrated time and again.

As a result, to give just one example, we have repeatedly secured and held the lead position throughout the Eastern Caribbean plus Barbados - where the export of manufactured products to the United States is concerned. This is the type of competitiveness on which we intend to build via this partial scope agreement, he added.