PM Douglas to Chamber: stop starting discussion with public sector via the media

Chamber President Mr. Michael Morton (left) and St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 27TH 2011 – A call for the private sector body in St. Kitts and Nevis stop the start of discussion with the public sector via the media.

Addressing the 28th Annual Private Sector Banquet on Saturday, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said public-private sector dialogue should focus on positive and progressive ideas and programmes designed to stimulate and facilitate economic growth, strengthen the social safety net, and to improve the quality of life for all of citizens.

“I also prefer that our various conversations at least commence in privately organized communications and then blossom out into more public dialogue as is necessary, with the ultimate aim to bring optimum improvement and growth for our country,” suggested the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister.

He said: “Unfortunately, I have found that increasingly too much of our public-private sector discourse starts in the public media and in other public arena which of course can cause mistrust or doubt of motive, and too often questions the objectivity as the case may be. While I understand all too well that emotions can sometimes get the better of us, we all have to be careful that we do not allow our own personal feelings to cause us to lose our mutual respect before we even start our exchanges among ourselves.”

Prime Minister Douglas renewed a pledge to continue to welcome constructive input at all levels and that “we will do our best at all times to listen to wisdom wherever we hear it, even when we hear it in more public or political arenas than we would prefer.”

In his address Prime Minister Douglas spoke of the work being carried out by the Ministries of Tourism and Agriculture which he stressed are crucial to the economic growth and development prospects of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“Together with local stakeholders and regional organizations, we continue to look closely at our product and begin to delve further into niche marketing and subsector development, particularly in education, heritage and sports tourism. It is important that we build stronger linkages to agriculture. We have to strengthen the agribusiness sector, as this is fundamental going forward,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said that tourism increases demand for goods and services which must be met from local inputs wherever possible.

“We are increasingly taking a more business oriented approach toward investing in Agriculture and meeting the needs of our local population as well as the tourism customer with a more reliable and sustainable delivery of quality products and services in order to spread the benefits of development to the widest possible cross section of the country and our people,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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