Over 60 professionals drawn from government and the private sector participated in the workshop. The participants included architects, engineers, accountants, musicians, entertainers, lawyers and doctors.
Dr.Timothy Harris, in his feature address underscored the importance of the service sector as the largest contributor of economic activity globally and also in St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr Harris told the gathering that professional services were significant components of the WTO services classification and that without such a cadre of support services the economy would neither grow nor develop.
Dr Harris acknowledged that small island states face structural constraints on the supply side in the provision of a large pool of quality professional service providers in the growing global market for professional services. Minister Harris said that quality infrastructures for training, accreditation and the purveying of quality services were important; if St. Kitts and Nevis were to meet international standards.
According to a Commonwealth note on the project, services contributed to 70 percent of the GDP of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2009. By 2010/2011 its contribution declined by over 10 percent on account of the global economic downturn.
Other speakers at the opening ceremony were Charleton Edwards, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Estella Aryada Trade Advisor at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Lavy Placide and Mark Beresford, Consultants.
The technical assistance project on professional services is of 6 months duration and will result in a strategic plan for professional services and a marketing plan.