national bank hq

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): St. Kitts-Nevis Anguilla National Bank unveiled plans to celebrate its 40th Anniversary earlier this week at a press conference. Managing Director Sir Edmund Lawrence called the occasion a significant landmark and milestone in the bank’s history, which started in 1971. The Bank, according to Sir Edmund now has $2.3 billion in assets and 173 employees. Since starting four decades ago the bank has introduced Automated Teller Machines, Debit Cards, Online Banking and Mobile Banking to the Domestic Market.

The Bank’s loans according to the Managing Director totaled just over $1 billion in 2010 compared to $473 million in 2000. Deposits totaled $1.5 billion in 2010 compared to $626 million in 2000. Investments in 2000 totaled $136 million increasing over the ten year period to $622 million in 2010. Additionally, National Bank share prices stood at just over $2.50 per share in 2010 compared to just under $3 in 2009.

Mr. Donald Thompson, Senior Assistant Managing Director for the bank unveiled the calendar of events under the theme “Vision, Resilience, Stability” which is designed to give back to all National Bank’s stakeholders. Several committees comprising of bank staff will organize and execute the events. Other events include volunteerism programmes, looking after the elderly, tree planting and beautification of spaces, school activities and a carnival float for the 2011-2012 National Carnival.

timothy harris

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Caribbean Government’s are failing to support the sustainable development of the agro industry in the region, according to senior minister and Minister of Agriculture Dr. Timothy Harris. “We know that we have a very high import bill in relation to food items,” Dr. Harris said. He said according to United Nation figures, US$393 million worth of food items were imported into the Caribbean when just over US$100 million was exported. These include items in sugar and sugary products, meat and meat preparations, fruits and vegetables. This created a deficit in foreign exchange in the region. “We boast about the fertility of our soils and yet we are not producing,” Harris said.

He said the governments have been giving the agriculture sector scant regard. Dr. Harris also expressed his views on lack of sustainability in the sector while speaking to attendees at the opening ceremony of the Regional Caribbean Agro Industry Forum last week Thursday. This session was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay. The forum was entitled: “More Markets to Tap, While Bridging the Gap.” Meanwhile, a new 113 acre farm was unveiled on Friday in St. Paul’s. Farm Capisterre as it’s called is intended to provide a range of fruits and vegetables including traditional crops breadfruit, dasheen, Tania, yams and cassava. 

Wendy Phipps

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN)  — Presidents of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce come and go, they may serve one term or more, but there has been a fixed voice and face of the Private Sector Umbrella organization.

After some 16 years of service to the business community, the resignation of the Chamber’s Executive Director, Wendy Phipps, takes effect in February 2011.

At the Chamber’s recently held pre-Christmas luncheon, the President, Michael Morton officially announced that Ms. Phipps would be leaving the institution.  Prior to that announcement, he stated that the Chamber had hired a Project Officer in the person of Howard Richardson who previously worked in the Ministry of International Trade.

WINN spoke with Ms. Phipps about her work with the Chamber and her reason for leaving, as well as, her most memorable moments and the disappointments.

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St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Caribbean economist Mr. Dennis Morrison believes regional economic integration is the solution to ailing Caribbean economies, including that of St. Kitts and Nevis.  He believes there is much room for cooperation among Caribbean counties in the area of agriculture, especially in light of predictions of a global hike in food prices. “If Europe that has very strong economies, which are very strong culturally individually, can come together in an integration movement to make their region stronger then the Caribbean and its leaders must be able (to come together),” Morrison said. He said the future will remain the same with high indebtedness and other fiscal risks for individual Caribbean countries because of the unwillingness of the region to integrate.

Mr. Morrison explained that uniformed energy prices across the region will benefit Trinidad and Tobago as the main gas provider in the region and the other CARICOM countries that use this energy for production of goods. This will make the respective economies just as competitive. He also believes that the larger countries should be producing agricultural products that all countries in the Caribbean can benefit from even while the smaller territories use their lands to produce for their subsistence markets.  Mr. Morrison explained why Caribbean countries today have become uncompetitive and financially challenged.

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