(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis stands to benefit from the establishment of a closer relationship with the Government of the Kingdom of Norway.
This view was expressed by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris today, Thursday, May 04, 2017, when he received a courtesy call by Norwegian Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, Her Excellency Ingrid Mollestad, at Government Headquarters.
Ambassador Mollestad, who visited the federation during the period April 30 to May 4, 2017, presented her Letters of Credence to the Governor General, His Excellency Sir S. W Tapley Seaton, on Wednesday, May 3, and also paid courtesy calls on Premier of Nevis and Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Kaye Bass.
In his meeting with the visiting Ambassador, Prime Minister Harris discussed a number of areas of possible cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis and Norway, some of which include climate change, alternative energy, agriculture and fisheries, and scholarship opportunities.
Dr. Harris also made an appeal for Norway’s assistance in the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is a government-owned investment fund.
Noting that Norway has one of the largest such funds in the world, the Prime Minister believes St. Kitts and Nevis can benefit from technical assistance in setting up its own fund.
“This was a matter we discussed yesterday in our Article IV Consultations with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) as how do we manage to set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund that could safeguard whatever gains, whatever fiscal surpluses we have been able to manage over time, and to have them on call whence they are most needed in the event of disaster or where there is an imperative to have some change in the economic outlook and to reverse negative trends and build infrastructure that could be sustainable for our people,” the Honourable Prime Minister continued.
Her Excellency Mollestad pledged to use her role as Ambassador to further strengthen the relationship between Norway and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Ambassador Mollestad responded favourably to the prime minister’s request for Norway’s assistance on the issue of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“Norway is one of the main contributors – I think the seventh biggest contributor – to the Green Climate Fund and we also have a permanent member on the board and I am allowed to say that our board member would be at your disposal,” the Norwegian Ambassador said, noting that it is important for small island states that are vulnerable to climate change to be able to access those funds.
“So this is definitely something where Norway would try to be as constructive and helpful as possible to you in accessing funding from that.”
Since 2011, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis can travel to Norway for up to a period of 90 days without the need for a visa.
On January 12, 2011, the Kingdom of Norway and St. Kitts and Nevis established a Tax Information Exchange Agreement.