Bassetere, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 03, 2008 (CUOPM)
The people of the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis can look to the New Year with great confidence as the plans and programmes outlined by the governing Labour Party will not only boost prospects as the new year unfolds, but will contribute to the economic transformation of the economy over the medium-term.
So says St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in an address to usher in the new year said nationals can also confidently look forward to the implementation of a wide range of public and private sector capital projects, that will accelerate the transformation process, bring an abundance of wealth creation opportunities to the people and establish St. Kitts and Nevis as a leading provider of high-end tourism and other services.
“These projects include the West Basseterre By-pass Road; the continuing upgrade of the Electricity and Water Services; the expansion of the Marriott through the additional time-share facilities that will be offered by the Marriott Vacation Club; the implementation the magnificent St. Christophe Harbour Development, that will revolutionize the Southeast Peninsula and open new avenues of growth for the entire nation; and the continued construction of Ocean Edge in the Frigate Bay area and the Kittitian Hill Development in the Whitegate area,” Dr. Douglas told the nation.
He said that in 2008, the St. Kitts – Nevis Labour Party Government will also continue to enhance the business climate by streamlining the processes for establishing and operating business.
“The investment climate will also be significantly enhanced by the operations of the recently established St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA) and the National Enterprise Development Division that will be established in the Ministry of Commerce and will focus of the special needs of small and medium enterprises. Of course, we remain committed to the view that law and order must continue to be a priority of the Government if we are to continue to improve the business climate and maintain the image of our country as a peaceful, stable progressive nation,” said Dr. Douglas.
He also said that in 2008, efforts will be concentrated in the continuing fight against crime.
“Already, the National Defence Council has been taking the lead, and has initiated a range of programmes aimed at enhancing the visibility of the Law Enforcement Officers in our communities, breaking up criminal gangs, and bringing a halt to the illegal importation and possession of ammunition and guns. The performance of our Law Enforcement Officers was particularly noteworthy during the Carnival Celebrations and has contributed immeasurably to the peaceful way in which our people have participated in the various Carnival activities including the J’Ouvert Jam,” Dr. Douglas noted.
He further disclosed that during 2008, further support will be given to the Law Enforcement Officers by providing new facilities, improving their conditions of service, and equipping them with the latest crime fighting technologies including additional protective gears, Closed Circuit Television, and the latest fingerprinting technology.
Dr. Douglas said that the National Defence Council will be institutionalised and will continue to monitor the crime situation in the Country and will give appropriate policy and strategic directions wherever appropriate.
Government said Prime Minister Douglas, is of the view that the long-term progress and prosperity of St. Kitts and Nevis depend on the capabilities of a proud and hardworking people.
“Hence, we will continue to implement our people development programmes and to focus heavily on education and human resource development. In this regard, we will continue to refashion and to refine the school curricula to ensure that it caters to the various needs and abilities of our people. It is also our aim that the education system continuously enhance its capacity to provide our businesses with the skills and with the necessary expertise that they require to compete regionally and internationally, and take full advantage of the proposed OECS Economic Union and the Caricom Single Market and Economy that is already upon us. We expect our young people, in particular, to be fully integrated into the development process, and we will ensure that the Ministry of Youth enhances its youth advocacy activities with a view to ensuring that our young people get their fair share of the wealth creation opportunities that abound in our Federation,” Dr. Douglas stressed.