Townhouses On Lockhart Street
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Bassaterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 15, 2009 (CUOPM)
Land and home ownership and the economic empowerment of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are fundamental to a progressive outlook of a nation.
“Given the history of our country that had its economic base on the production of sugar and cotton, and the influence that an estate-oriented economy had on the social prospects of our people, it is crucial that the empowerment of people through land and house ownership continues,” said St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
He said that the medium-term and long-term prospects point to the reduction in poverty levels, the economic empowerment of the people, and the expansion in their ability to generate and pursue indigenous and innovative ideas that can positively impact the social and economic well being of our country.
Dr. Douglas told the Opening Session of the one-day PertoCaribe Summitt that one of the immediate necessities is the reorientation of agriculture and that with expansion in tourism and services, agriculture and fisheries must be significantly developed and linked to these sectors.
“This is important on two critical fronts. First is that it is imperative that the high import bill for food products be substantially reduced. I believe that there is a huge potential to significantly feed our people and provide export benefits in selected areas, thus enhancing our food security. Secondly, achieving a vibrant agricultural sector will have significant spill-off in the context of income generation for a greater majority of our people. It would spur the development of small agro-processing industries, and in addition, help to create new economic links with the tourism industry,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas told delegates that like all countries represented at the 6th PetroCaribe, St. Kitts and Nevis faces many developmental challenges but they are not insurmountable.
“Moreover, the PetroCaribe framework provides a workable and practical tool to enhance the effective of our development strategy and to spur the growth and transformation process in St. Kitts and Nevis and in all countries that are beneficiaries under the PetroCaribe Agreement,” said Dr. Douglas.
He reiterated his government like every country represented at the Summit is committed to the improvement in the quality of life for its people.
“We are focused on meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow in a manner that secures the well being of our nation and our people, and we are dedicated to the principles of cooperation and collaboration that would strengthen the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
He concluded that education and training remains one of the key priorities of the nation’s development.
“We cannot ignore the fact that global influences and challenges require of us to pay critical attention to human resource development in order to build competitiveness and sustain development. Our young people must be at the forefront of training and education in many areas that are important to our development in a globalized world,” said Prime Minister Douglas.