PM Emphasizes “Private Sector Role”

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 27, 2015 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris encouraged the Private Sector to accept its role in ensuring the success of the “Prosperity Agenda” at the Annual General Meeting of St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, held on Wednesday, 25th February 2015.

“We want to ensure that as the economy expands, it is the private citizens and residents who are the ones who are basically taking leadership and ownership,” Prime Minister Harris emphasized. “And in that regard we want to ensure that what has long been the prescription that the private sector become the engine of economic growth – that certainly can happen in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The Prime Minister revealed that ministers attending the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council Meeting held the day before, discussed matters that included the challenges of the financial sector “in the context of the globalizing economy, in the context of our small size and in the context of limited opportunities for investment and where do we go from there.”

It was stressed that it was important for wealth to filter down from financial institutions to entrepreneurs who are critical in the development of the Federation. Prime Minister Harris used the example of someone interested in starting a career in entertainment, who goes to a locally-based bank and is refused a loan. As such expectations have not been met.

“We have a disconnect between the expectations of real people for advancement for participation for productive contribution,” Prime Minister Harris noted. “Some of them new areas, but areas non-the-less for which there is a well established platform that foreign exchange can come and that people can do well with just a head start. This government sees itself as standing in the breach, standing in the breach for so many people, so many people with ideas, so many people with vision and imagination and all they would want is some little help – not a hand out but a hand up to participate more productively.”

The Prime Minister concluded by encouraging the private sector to do all within its power to assist in bringing “better days” for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
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