BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 09, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris led another round of informative and productive discussions between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and representatives of the private sector on Thursday, April 08, this time with a focus on the nation’s safe economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The private sector representatives came from businesses in the tourism, manufacturing, and retail sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Government has long maintained that all stakeholders, particularly the private sector, must be included in national discussions on an effective path to full economic recovery post COVID-19.
Prime Minister Harris told the gathering of business executives and senior level government officials that the nation’s recovery relies heavily on the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme.
He said, “The vaccines are now here but it is relying upon you and me to make the right decision if we are to get the [pandemic] behind us, and that in itself poses a challenge. It poses a challenge for the overall trajectory of the country because the actions of one individual or a few individuals could determine whether or not we recover fast or we recover slowly. That is why we need to have all hands on deck, all involved and that is why the philosophy that we developed of an all-of-society response, which has kept us safe with the best record among independent countries in the hemisphere, that philosophy must continue even now.”
It was in that regard that the prime minister reiterated his call to the business community to strongly encourage all its employees to be inoculated as soon as possible.
“It’s a long journey but every step is an important one that gets us to the goal of herd immunity – the 70 percent target that we have set for ourselves and we need to commend each other and encourage each other for doing good. Taking the vaccination is not just about individual and individual rights. Taking the vaccination is an act of selflessness, in my view it is an act of patriotism because the very act can determine how far we go, how soon we will get there, whether 2000-plus people in the tourism industry will be able to get to work again depends on whether or not the taxi drivers, those in our restaurants, those in our schools get themselves vaccinated,” Prime Minister Harris said.
Presentations at Wednesday’s dialogue were also made by the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, the President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mrs. Giselle Matthews, and by the Ministry of Health.
Also in attendance were Cabinet Ministers the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, the Honourable Jonel Powell, and the Honourable Wendy Phipps, as well as Ambassador His Excellency Vance Amory.