PM Douglas tells Gala young people must be given opportunities to unleash potential

The young people of St. Kitts and Nevis must be given the opportunities to unleash their potential and pursue their academic pursuits.

So said St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in brief remarks at the 11th Annual Prime Minister’s New Year Gala last Saturday night.


Dr. Douglas told the over 650 patrons from all walks of life, including the new Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence and Lady Lawrence; Deputy Governor General of Nevis, His Honour Mr. Eustace John and Mrs. John; Members of the Federal Cabinet and Guest Speakers, Mr. Danny Glover and Izzat Dajani, of the need to continue to stimulate the economy and to partner with the local private sector.

"There must be no university or college that they must not go to and excel. We need to give our young people a tremendous applause for their achievements today," said Prime Minister Douglas at the Grand Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

He said as Prime Minister, his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration "will continue to empower our people, our women folk, the elderly, the infirmed and the physically and mentally challenged, who must never ever be forgotten."

In raising the toast to the New Year, a tradition at the Gala, Prime Minister Douglas reflected on the challenges and the opportunities that have been presented and finding solutions to those challenges.

"I believe that we are aware that the world has been a very difficult one in the last year and the years before especially after 2008. But we here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the citizens of this country; the public and private sector, our friends who are abroad and who have lent us of their support over the years, especially those who have been foreign direct investors, those who are the representatives of friendly countries and our own citizens in the Diaspora around the world, who traditionally come home this time of the year to celebrate with us, we believe that we have come through 2012 with your full support and for this we eternally grateful," said the Prime Minister.

He said the year 2013 will continue to be a challenging one as the turbulence in the global economic community has not yet been resolved.

"We here in St. Kitts and Nevis have already developed a plan, a strategy, a path that we would follow in meeting the challenges that we are faced with. We will continue to ensure that we remain that open economy inviting to our investors, investors who are home locally, in the region and those who are abroad," said Prime Minister Douglas

"We will continue to rely on them for their support, for their partnership as we prepare this country for a brighter future not only for this generation but for generations to come. We will continue to use a very critical important vehicle that so far has been of assistance to us; the Economic Citizenship Programme which has allowed so many of our new citizens to become not only primary investors in our country, but who are also making significant secondary investments as well, We welcome our new citizens to our path," said Dr. Douglas.

Prime Minister Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance, promised his government will continue to stimulate economic growth in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

"We will generate new economic activities. We will continue to expand upon the tourism plant, building new hotels and thus increasing the opportunities for this destination to receive more traditionally reliable direct airlift," said Dr. Douglas.

He said that the government will continue to provide the necessary fiscal space that will enhance the services that "we already have, that would bring those persons into the mainstream of social, economic development here in St. Kitts and Nevis."

"We believe that there is enough for all of us and that is why, as we look into the New Year, we want to make it absolutely clear, that whatever differences there may be between our people, we are able to resolve them amongst ourselves.

We must make sure that our differences do not become standing blocks in the development of our country," said Prime Minister Douglas.

He noted that as the new Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence said at his inauguration, ‘those who are building and they are standing blocks must stop build immediately, because this country needs to be moved forward.’

"I want you to join me therefore in raising your glasses, and let us really drink after three cheers to this our proud nation," the Prime Minister’s concluded.

Photos by Erasmus Williams