Prime Minister Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
March 09, 2011 (CUOPM)
Ahead of a hectic schedule Thursday including meetings with the President, Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China on Taiwan in Taipei, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says the one week visit is “aimed at ensuring and exploring that we can continue to sustain the economic development of the country” through debt restructuring.
“We are also observing what best practices other countries have developed and how such can be applied in St. Kitts and Nevis to help us in that regard,” Prime Minister Douglas told several Kittitian and Nevisian students pursing undergraduate and graduate studies at several Taiwan universities Wednesday night (Taiwan Time) or Wednesday morning (St. Kitts and Nevis Time)’
Prime Minister Douglas, accompanied by Minister of Energy, Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin and other senior government officials including St. Kitts and Nevis’ Resident Ambassador in Taiwan, Her Excellency Ms. Jasmine Huggins, will meet and hold separate talks with Taiwan President, His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou; Premier, His Excellency Wu Den-Yih and Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Timothy C.T. Yang.
“We have found that the challenges that St. Kitts and Nevis is facing because of the international global economic and financial crisis can retard our development,” Prime Minister Douglas told the students assembled at the St. Kitts and Nevis Embassy in Taipei.
He pointed out that over the years his government has built the infrastructure and invested heavily in the human capital of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We have ensured that despite the smallness of our country, people would have had the opportunity to develop their potential socially. We have educated and continue to educate our people. We have ensured that healthcare is available to our people despite the social challenges that they may face and we have ensured that education, healthcare and shelter are available to our people,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Douglas said that Taiwan has been lending money over the years to finance the development of St. Kitts and Nevis and he and his delegation are in Taipei “to bring to the attention of the Government of the Republic of China the need for us to stop for a moment, reexamine the conditions and terms of which we have borrowed in the past to sustain our economic development to review those conditions.”
“We hope that because of the realities of today, we will be able to set new terms thus making it easier and more manageable that we would be able to continue to service our debt obligations and in such a way that the continued payments would not in any way retard the social and economic development of the country because of the global economic and financial crisis,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said his Government wants to make sure that the quality of life of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis is not eroded as a result of the challenges.
Dr. Douglas said he looks forward to the discussions on the issue of debt servicing “to ensure the development is sustained, it must go in a particular direction and take into consideration the realties that we are facing and at the same time bring hope and promise for the future.”