BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS(CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party continues in its mission to attract local and foreign investment.
"We want investment opportunities to provide jobs for our people, to provide growth in the economy so that we would be able to grow ourselves out of the present global recession that we find ourselves being impacted by here in St. Kitts and Nevis," Dr. Douglas told Chris Collins of Vibes FM in London on Sunday.
Dr. Douglas said the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government has a suite of incentives to assist in the stimulation of existing businesses and also in creation of existing new businesses.
"We have in particular targeted the area of commercial agriculture. And so we are inviting investors to bring in the necessary capital, create public and private sector partnerships and look for joint ventures with existing private sector people and start-up new businesses, in particular agriculture," said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said tourism hospitality is now the driving sector in the economy and the government has been providing opportunities and has legislated the necessary incentives providing for new investment in tourism.
"We are looking at opportunities in energy. The high cost of electricity has forced our government realistically to speed up the necessary activities that would lead to renewable energy initiatives in the areas of wind energy and solar energy. We are prepared to partner also with the Nevis Island Administration to realise the true potential that geothermal energy has from the Island of Nevis," Prime Minister Douglas told listeners.
"These are some of the areas that we are really providing a suite of incentives for any person, whether they are local or overseas who wants to come into the country," said Dr. Douglas, who dismissed as "nonsense," suggestions that foreigners and foreign people coming into the country are treated differently and better than local entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Dr. Douglas said the Ministry of International Trade, Commerce and Industry is tasked with assisting small and medium sized businesses.
There is also the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency for St. Kitts and the Nevis Investment Promotion Agency for Nevis.
"Those are there to lead, to incentivise, to encourage and help to promote and make doing business easier for those who want to invest in St. Kitts and Nevis. There is no differential treatment for those who are locals, as against anyone who are coming from overseas; that’s not how it is done," said Prime Minister Douglas.
(Story by Erasmus Williams)