St. Kitts and Nevis expects growth in several sectors in 2012

Construction continues at Silver Reef, Frigate Bay, St. Kitts.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 4TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The people of St. Kitts and Nevis can look to the future “with hope and optimism.”

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said he is convinced that the sacrifices that have been borne as a people have not been in vain and will bear positive results as a result of the pre-emptive and creative policy initiatives of his Government.

“Indeed, after a decline in output of 2.7% in 2010, we expect that when statistics are prepared for 2011 they would show that our growth rate would move out of negative territory and that this year the economy would grow by 1.5%. Moreover, the signs in the key sectors of the economy are quite heartening,” he said pointing to the tourism sector, where stay-over arrivals are expected to increase by 5.9% in 2011 and expand even further this year.

Cruise ship arrivals which crossed the half million mark in the 2009-2010 season is expected to jump to a massive 650,000 in the 2011-2012 season.

The manufacturing sector, which reported a decline of some 19.6% in 2009 grew by 2.2% in 2010 and is expected to have grown by some 6% in 2011.

“This improved performance is expected to continue into 2012. Similarly the construction sector, after declining in 2010 and 2011 is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2012,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He recalled stating in his recent budget presentation that a number of major projects will continue to be implemented in 2012.

Fruits and vegetables on display.

“We have been advised that construction activity will continue at Kittitian Hill and will be boosted significantly during the course of this month so that by year end some 90 rooms, a spa and golf course should be in operation as part of the first phase of the project,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He said he is heartened that a range of projects involving hotels, condominiums, villas and other tourism-related residential units are being implemented and will continue throughout this year and beyond.

These include Marriott Residences, Christophe Harbour, Ocean’s Edge, Sunrise Villas, St. Christopher Club, Manor-on-the Sea, Sundance Ridge, Peninsula Cove, and condominiums at Scotch Bonnet,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said his Government intends to take whatever action is necessary to rebuild the momentum at Beacon Heights to ensure that this expansive and important project realizes its objectives of providing modern homes for our citizens and residents, spurring economic activity, creating employment, and generating returns for Social Security.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister said a number of other growth enhancing initiatives will serve to propel the economy in 2012.

“We will make additional lands available to commercial farmers and will foster the creation of groups or clusters of farmers to take advantage of this initiative. We will also build dams in a number of areas, including Phillips’, Estridge, Mansion and Fahies, to provide water to farmers, especially those with farms at high elevations. We will continue to train our fishermen and encourage them to employ new technologies and modern methods of fishing. We were particularly pleased that fish landings increased by a massive 29.8% in 2011 as a result of assistance of the Japanese International Cooperative Agency,” said Dr. Douglas.

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