BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 22, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) –Thursday, June 21 saw the hosting of the first in a series of roundtable discussions between key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis that are designed to examine the way forward for creating and sustaining economic growth in the twin island Federation.
The Growth and Resilience Forum, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, brought together members of the Federal Cabinet including Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; executive members of the Chamber of Industry and Commence (CIC), including its President, Mr. Faron Lawrence; Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, as well as other key government officials and leaders within the private sector.
Mr. Lawrence, in his remarks, commended the Team Unity Government for its continued willingness to meet regularly with the members of the private sector. He noted that the Government, the Chamber and its partners will use the growth forum sessions, which are scheduled for June 21 and 22, as well as on July 10 and 11, to identify actionable solutions to stimulate growth and development and to foster inclusion and equity across all platforms.
“With the participation of members of Cabinet, industry leaders, senior government officials, key figures from both private and public sectors, we will be discussing key topics that are timely and relevant and which will promote growth and technological advancements, as well as improve the general welfare of the economy,” Mr. Lawrence said, noting that the discussions “will take into consideration fiscal policy, financial management [and] growth in existing and emerging industry sectors.”
Prime Minister Harris expressed his satisfaction with the commitment exhibited by the Chamber and the wider business community in partnering with the Government to stimulate economic growth, adding, “We are open to views on how we can better manage the country going forward for all of us.”
One expected outcome of the Growth and Resilience Forum is the creation of a team to conduct research and design strategies that can be implemented in the short and medium terms. The work of the team will be reviewed and finalized into a workable document at a subsequent meeting.
It is anticipated that this document, once completed, will help to inform the preparation of the 2019 Budget and create a platform for another round of dialogue between key stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
Prime Minister Harris stated that the consultative meetings will culminate with the staging of the National Consultation on the economy later this year. “It means by the time we get there in the last quarter of the year, we would have had significant and substantive discussions that could impact more meaningfully on the budgetary process. By September of each year the budgetary process is normally substantially advanced and so it minimizes significant changes if the consultations only take place then,” the Prime Minister said.
Thursday’s session saw presentations by the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel and by the Chair of the Chamber’s Finance Committee, Ms. Dawne Williams. It also included a round table discussion on the topic, “The St. Kitts and Nevis Macroeconomic and Financial Landscape – Issues and Opportunities for Stimulating Growth and Development.”