NIA Thinking Outside The Box In Seeking Investment For Nevis
During his monthly press conference on Thursday, January 27, 2022, Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Economic Planning and Foreign Investment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) spoke to the move from traditional avenues of investments such as trying to attract more hotels and outlined his government’s more modern and progressive vision with respect to advancing economic growth on Nevis.
“In terms of how we prioritize and how we look to order our economy, going down the road of greater dependency on tourism, I do not believe is the answer. I think that COVID-19 would have shown us that that cannot be the answer. In the Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis, Nevis need to move away from this over-dependence on one industry, which is tourism, because as COVID-19 showed the minute the planes stop flying and the borders close, the hotels close and our people suffer.
“That is why certainly the NIA is making a hard pivot to other things- movie industry, using technology in agriculture, more local construction, financial services- we are saying that we must have other strings to our bow. Investment therefore that we are looking at is multifaceted.”
One such new avenue with potential that Nevis can tap into is cryptocurrency.
“It’s a revolution that’s happening internationally and we’re hearing about it but we’re not engaging in it. We are moving to a cashless society and it behooves us to get involved. I believe that that is the next wave and that these are the areas that we who are in the privileged positions at this point in our history as leaders should be looking to, talking about, encouraging start-ups and incentivizing, and attracting investment in those areas, rather than the old sterile way of telling people to come to build a hotel.
“This is where my government is trying to position itself- greater technology, looking at things like crypto, looking at the financial services sector, seeing how we can leverage what is available to build better lives for our people, and that is where I think our economic angle is going to be and our effort to attract investment is largely going to be in those areas,” he said.
The Premier, who is responsible for Tourism on the island, says the NIA would encourage, welcome, and partner with developers or hotel brands that would wish to build hotels on Nevis.
He said, however, his administration is more focused on filling the rooms that are on hand, and ensuring that it incentivizes existing hotels so their standards are of a particular quality in order that they can attract the type of stays and type of visitors that will spend.
“From my perspective, we need a rethink about how we fashion our local economy going forward and COVID-19 I think has taught us that lesson in a very clear way and I think we should heed that lesson.”