BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 1ST 2015 (CUOPM) – Nationals and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis have been told that the creative blend of strategies implemented by the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government over the years have borne great fruit because of the commitment and hard work of the people.
In his New Year message ushering in 2015, the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas noted that in 2010, his Labour Government asked to renew its mandate because it was felt experience was needed to see the Nation through a global crisis that was already in full swing.
“We have delivered. Our Federation has come out of the crisis stronger and better than it was at the start of the crisis. Very few countries in the world, if any, can make a similar claim. The world we face today is still filled with uncertainties. Europe is still facing the risk of deflation and recession. Developing countries, including China, are encountering significant financial and economic challenges that could combine with the continuing economic malaise in Europe to depress global growth and exert a negative influence on the economic recovery that seems to be taking root in the United States of America,” said Prime Minister Douglas in his nationally broadcast message.
He stated that the Federation still needs safe hands, bold and creative strategies, and continued experienced leadership to secure the outstanding achievements as a people and to continue moving the country forward to an even brighter tomorrow for all.
“The creativity of our strategies played a critical part in propelling our country to greater heights but just as critical is the manner in which we have been a been able to bring our experience to bear on the problems we faced, and thereby ensure the speedy implementation of the many strategic initiatives that we crafted. Indeed, our ability to draw upon the resources of the European Union and the IMF during difficult times was positively influenced by our outstanding capacity to implement and execute the plans we decided upon,” said Dr. Douglas.
He noted that in 2005, in response to the demise of the sugar industry, a ‘home grown’ National Adaptation Strategy was crafted to guide the development and transformation of the economy in the post-sugar years and to provide the avenue for the EU to fund important elements of the transformation agenda.
“As part of the National Adaptation Strategy we decided on some 340 actions to be implemented. Today we are proud that we have completed 70 percent of the actions agreed upon and we are in the process of implementing another 25% of the planned action. In other words, in under 10 years, some 95% of the planned actions were either completed or are in the process of being implemented,” said Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister noted that similarly, in 2011 a ‘home grown’ economic recovery programme was created and monitored by the IMF as part of the Stand-by arrangement.
“Today, just over three years, we have completed 21 of the 24 structural reform activities that we decided upon and we have met all quantitative performance criteria agreed upon with the IMF, although one of these benchmarks was completed shortly after the due date. I point to these achievements because it is the implementation of our strategies that has catapulted us to the position of top performer in Caribbean in so many areas, and while anybody can generate ideas and speak glibly about strategies it takes experienced leadership to implement them and bring about real progress, real change,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He pointed out that in view of these impressive achievements, it is not surprising that the world is taking notice of the achievements in St. Kitts and Nevis, “even when some of our people, albeit a minority, continuously write negative and misleadingtrash about their own country in pursuit of narrow political objectives.”
“Specifically US News and Report ranked St. Kitts and Nevis 3rd on the list of best islands in the world and the best Caribbean Vacations; Places to See in Your Lifetime ranked us 8th on the list of the Best Islands for a Holiday; and the Caribbean/Mexico Hotel Development Report ranked us 4th on the list of Destinations Leading the Caribbean in the Number of Hotel Rooms under Construction. The list of accolades goes on and on but the message is the same – St. Kitts and Nevis has overcome great odds to become a model of social and economic progress and an outstanding tourist destination. Let us on this New Year’s Day resolve to work together and keep St. Kitts and Nevis on the path of progress for the benefit of all,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the job is not yet complete and there is still much to do to secure the outstanding accomplishments and to continue to build a haven of happiness and opportunity right here in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“When I returned from University in 1986 and decided to run as a candidate in the elections in 1989, my concern was with the plight of the poor. Moreover, when I felt the strong pull of my profession as a medical doctor and was forced to make a choice between medicine and politics I was incensed by a policy decision of the then Government to repair half of the island main road and leave the other half running through many poor communities in a state of disrepair. It would appear that in the opinion of the Government of the day, those communities could not be relied upon for political support so that they were to be left behind in the process of development.
It was then I knew that the fight for the poor and helpless that had been so valiantly fought by the Right Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw and the other Labour Leaders, had to be continued, with a view to bringing development to every community in St. Kitts and to protecting the poor and vulnerable wherever they were and whatever their political affiliation. I knew instinctively, in a moment of inspiration, that it was my task to rebuild the Labour Party and play a direct role in the development of our Federation. That is why I have fearlessly and boldly given of my time, energy and resources to rebuild our Party and to play a catalytic and leadership role in the development process. I understood that our Federation still needed, andeven now continues to need, a strong and vibrant Labour Party to advance the cause of lower income groups and create new opportunities for income generation and wealth creation for all,” said Dr. Douglas.
He expressed pride of what Labour in Government has achieved taking over the reins of political leadership in July 1995.
“I am proud that every Kittitian and Nevisian can now beat his or her chest with a sense of national pride and state definitively that, in the context of the Caribbean, we are # 1 in so many areas of social and economic development,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said that the job is not done as St. Kitts and Nevis is in a rapidly changing world in which there is still considerable uncertainty and risks that could undermine the achievements overnight.
“We must therefore protect our achievements as a nation and continue to build on them. We desire Consistency, Continuity, and stability in government and in our Progressive Country. We must continue to engineer real progress, real change,” said Prime Minister, who is of the view that if the job is to be completed, the policy of his Labour Government must continue to take development to every community in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are pleased that the development of the Whitegate area is well on the way with the opening of Kittitian Hill, the refurbishing of the Golden Lemon, and with the planned construction of the Heldons Estate Condominium Resort and Residences. We are also pleased that in the Frigate Bay and Southeast Peninsula areas, the Park Hyatt, the Koi Resort, Pirate’s Nest, Imperial, Rendezvous Hill and Christophe Harbour are under construction,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the Federal Government, was at the same time actively pursuing the development of a major tourist resort facility at La Vallee Green and have launched “Destination Sandy Point” in the Sandy Point Town area and there is a number of approved projects including Montebello Residences and Golden Rock Commercial Park in the Basseterre area.