BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 27TH 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis has approached the challenge of debt-reduction by entering into in-depth, sustained, and ultimately successful negotiations with its creditors, and by using a small portion of its assets to create a Special Purpose Vehicle capable of reducing the debt by roughly one half, within the space of just one year.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas speaking at the launching of the Caribbean Growth Forum – St. Kitts and Nevis Chapter said it was necessary to create the type of fiscal space that every nation needs to responsibly and effectively meet the social and economic needs of its people and ensure that the Government occupied a smaller footprint within the St. Kitts and Nevis financial sector by freeing up banking resources for non-Governmental interests, with their own priorities and objectives.
“We took this approach to debt-reduction as a means of encouraging and facilitating private sector growth. As a result of our efforts, the banks that operate in the Federation are now highly liquid, and have at their disposal an abundance of resources, ready and available to bring into fruition new and imaginative business ventures from our private sector – ideas that are capable of meeting currently unmet needs within the Federation’s social and economic space while, but at the same time, producing the kind of returns that private sector innovators both need and deserve,” Dr. Douglas said in remarks at the opening ceremony attended by private and public sector officials as well as financial experts from the regional and international community.
Prime Minister Douglas said his government remains vigilant about promoting policies and programmes that promote growth and it is a given that the private sector, by its very nature and purpose, both thrives on and welcomes growth.
“What the public and private sectors both within St. Kitts and Nevis – as well as throughout the rest of the region – must repeatedly demonstrate, therefore, is that shared commitment to do all within our respective spheres of activity – as public and private sectors – to achieve this jointly shared and all-important goal, not merely to be able to cite positive macro-economic statistics, but because of what, in the case of Government, these statistics actually translate into, in the lives of the men, women, and children (real people) whom regional Governments were elected to serve,” he said.
Prime Minister Douglas added that the Ministry of Finance and The World Bank have demonstrated an impressive level of cooperation and collaboration in order to bring the St. Kitts and Nevis Chapter of the Caribbean Growth Forum to fruition,
He said this type of collaboration is most important because with each passing millennium, century, and indeed decade, the interconnected nature of the planet becomes ever more pronounced – as the global challenges of the past five years have so starkly demonstrated.
“In light of this therefore, it is simply good sense for us to ensure that in both our responses to these global challenges, as well as the pursuit of our respective opportunities, we maintain these inter-related, international dimensions as well. This is why the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the United Kingdom Agency for International Development, and the Canadian International Development Agency being integral components of this undertaking is so welcome, and indeed so essential to its overall effectiveness,” said the Prime Minister.
He expressed thanks and appreciation to the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank, the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union for their full support and cooperation.