June 17, 2024

St. Kitts-Nevis Ranked No. 1 In CARICOM Business Report, Sets Sights On Latin America, Caribbean

Kennedy DeSilva, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in the Office of the Comptroller. SKNIS Photo

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — St. Kitts and Nevis has been ranked No. 1 in the CARICOM in the “2016 Doing Business Report,” according to Kennedy DeSilva, deputy comptroller of customs in the Office of the Comptroller.

Appearing on local radio and television, DeSilva said the Customs and Excise Department has worked hard to help the nation become a high-ranking country and explained that to achieve this status, the World Bank looks at all the countries around the world and sets up a basic scenario.

“They look at things like what does it take or what is involved for a business to import 144 containers into your business, the time it takes to clear the goods, how is it to pay the taxes, what the technical requirement are, how much documentation you require … that sort of thing. So, it judges you based on that standard,” DeSilva explained.

The deputy comptroller said the bank may also consult the broker community, customs and the shipping association to get different opinions.

“So, we were fortunate that, last year, by our international standard, we’re are at 72,” DeSilva said. “If you look at Latin America and the Caribbean, we are No. 7 and if you look at CARICOM, we are No. 1.”

He noted that to get there was not an easy feat as there was a lot of competition. “We used the automation a lot, we used risk management a lot, we used selectivity a lot so that we target only what we need to target and this is a smarter approach of doing things and that was a result of that. We are pleased with that,” he said.

Also pleased was Prime Minister Timothy Harris. “This is, by far, a laudable commendation for the work of the Customs and Excise Department,” he said, “because at closer examination of this World Bank ranking, it must be understood that the report surveys the level of satisfaction of the local business community, customs brokers and other stakeholders in our local trading sector.

“Our Customs and Excise Department must continue to demonstrate that sound data collection and analysis will always be the central focus of its reform efforts in the post-implementation phase of the ASYCUDA World platform.”

DeSilva said that going forward, the department is working to become No.1 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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