PM Douglas to attend Nevis’ Fourth Consultation on the economy

Mr. Laurie Lawrence (file photo)

ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 6TH 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas will be in Nevis Wednesday to participate in the Fourth Annual Consultation on the Economy, hosted by the Nevis Island Administration.

According to the Nevis Government Information Service, this year’s consultation will focus on the economic growth and decline on Nevis at the Occasions Conference Centre.

Nevis’ Financial Mr. Laurie Lawrence said the event which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., will be held under the theme “Addressing the Decline in Economic Growth: the Nevis Case.”

He disclosed that the rationale behind this year’s theme was due to one of the worst recessions to affect the world since the 1930s, and was blamed for high rates of unemployment worldwide which highlighted the need for growth generation in the Nevis economy.

“In terms of Nevis in particular we suffered a double whammy with the closure of the Four Seasons, resulting in people being laid off; government’s debt increasing as it copes with the fiscal situation, the private sector suffering significantly, especially the tourism sector,” said Lawrence, who added that with a lot of emphasis being placed on generating growth and trying to restore the equilibrium in the economy, “we thought it best that we should be looking seriously in Nevis at how do we generate growth because for 2011.”

Mr. Lawrence said that growth generation would be the focus of the NIA, as it strived to put the island’s people back to work and that the issue of diversification was important to the island as it sought to become less dependent on the traditional tourism.

Mr. Robert Mathavious

The Financial Secretary said it was of extreme importance that a plan of action would come from the public sector-private sector conference, as to how growth in the Nevis economy could be engendered and employment restored.

The opening ceremony would see a private sector prospective on the Conference theme and the way forward. The Federal Government’s prospective would be given by Prime Minister Hon. Denzil L. Douglas, while Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry will outline his policy to engender growth in Nevis for next year and the foreseeable future.

The first segment will be followed by several panel discussions. “Taxation and Reforming the Tax System” will be addressed by representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) and Head of the Tax Reform Unit in St. Kitts, Mr. Edward Gift.

It will be followed by “Addressing the decline in the Tourism Sector” and will be addressed by a representative from the hotel industry, the Tourism Authority in St. Kitts and an overseas representative with expertise in that particular area.

The topic “Addressing the decline in the Financial Services Sector” will follow and St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank’s Managing Director Mr. Edmund Lawrence, Ambassador His Excellency Mr. Wendell Lawrence and Director of the Financial Services Industry in the British Virgin Islands, Mr. Robert Mathavious as well as a representative from the Basseterre-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank will address the topic.

The last session of the Conference would be on the topic “Looking New Avenues for Growth” is expected to bring all the topics together and focus the areas specific to Nevis that could be developed to engender growth. That session would have representatives from the Central Bank, the CDB and two private sector representatives.

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