Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris was warmly received (yesterday) in London by a diverse audience of property developers, tax advisers, lawyers, asset managers, residential planners and Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) service providers at an International Citizenship and Global Residence Conference.
The Prime Minister provided an update of his government’s priorities in encouraging trade and investment to St Kitts and Nevis and talked of his appreciation of the role of the private sector in the development of the country. Dr Harris spoke of the strong tourism industry, the new Park Hyatt hotel and a range of other tourism developments that are underway, and educational tourism particularly with regard to training in healthcare. He also stressed his government’s willingness to partner with and support companies in the alternative energy sector and spoke of a completed feasibility study on geothermal energy in Nevis which would be able to satisfy the energy needs of the country as well as neighbouring islands.
The Prime Minister emphasised his commitment to the reform of the Citizenship by Investment Programme to ensure that due diligence adheres to high standards and said that St Kitts would like to move towards a system with a focus on high net worth individuals that contribute actively to the sustainable development of the country.
Chris Bennett, Managing Director of the Caribbean Council, provided a comprehensive summary of St Kitts’ economic background and commended the Government for successfully transitioning from a sugar-based economy to one based on tourism and services as well as the impressive increase in tourist arrivals.
Valmiki Kempadoo, Founder of Kittitian Hill, spoke about his experience doing business in St Kitts, referring to a stable and democratic government which had a smooth transition to the new government earlier this year; a stable currency; excellent infrastructure with good airports, roads, seaports and telecoms; a well-educated workforce; as well as the incentives of doing business in St Kitts such as tax free holidays and no personal income or capital gains tax.
The number of questions asked during the Q&A session that followed demonstrated the interest of companies in the opportunities in St Kitts and Nevis, and participants stayed after the event to network with the Prime Minister and other business attendees.