PM Douglas pleased with IMF comments on the St. Kitts and Nevis economy
St. John’s, Antigua (CUOPM) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says his Labour Party Administration is pleased that its “home grown” economic policies have resulted in a turnaround of the local economy and praises from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the twin-island federation because the first Caribbean nation to make early repayments on loans provided by the Washington-based financial institution.
The IMF in a statement this week said that Basseterre had repaid, ahead of schedule, US$17.1 million in obligations and that the payment made on June 24, is about one fourth of the US$73.1 million that St. Kitts and Nevis borrowed from the IMF under its Stand-By Arrangement.
“This is the first time that a payment of this magnitude has been repaid early to the Fund by a Caribbean nation,” the IMF said, adding that the twin-island federation borrowed less than the total amount approved under the three-year arrangement, equivalent to US$84 million.
Prime Minister Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance, in an interview on the sidelines of the 35th Regular Meeting of Caribbean Heads of Government told CMC’s Peter Richards that his administration had three years ago embarked upon measures to turn around the ailing economy and he was pleased that it was now bearing fruit.
“We worked very closely with the advisors of the IMF and our own officers in the Ministry of Finance…to restructure the economy which is now to a large extent demonstrating relatively robust growth. We had a 3.8 percent growth last year and we expect it to be higher this year.
“We are now looking at what we are going to do in terms of investing some of that extra additional monies….in order to ensure that on a rainy day there is something there to have,” he told CMC.
In its statement the IMF said the government should be commended for its “economic achievements under the programme.”
“There has been a significant improvement in fiscal and debt sustainability and a strong economic recovery. St. Kitts and Nevis’ ability to repay the IMF ahead of schedule reflects the improvement in its macroeconomic balances that reflect both policy efforts and the strong inflows under the Citizenship-By-Investment (CIP) programme,” the IMF said.