TAPIE, TAIWAN, (CUOPM) — The Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas wants the Republic of China (Taiwan) to be a key partner in the new phase of development in the Eastern Caribbean nation.
Prime Minister Douglas, who is on a official visit to Taiwan, made the request when he made a courtesy call Taiwan’s President His Excellency Dr. Ma Ying-Jeou at the Presidential Palace in Taipei on Friday afternoon.
Dr. Douglas, who during the week met with several business leaders at a “Trade and Investment Opportunities in St. Kitts and Nevis” forum and visited the Taiwan Power Company Da-Tan Wind Power Plant, in responding to welcome remarks from the Taiwan President, noted that in the three short decades that St. Kitts and Nevis has been an independent state, both Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis have developed a relationship of extraordinary compatibility.
“It is well known that the degree of cooperation between our two nations goes far beyond the traditional and highly important diplomatic protocols that undergird relations between states. Indeed relations between our states have advanced to each of our countries taking the time, on an ongoing basis, to understand the aspirations of the other, and to use all of the influence that we each possess to advance the interests of the other,” said the Prime Minister.
He noted that the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been an extraordinary friend and ally of the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis,
“Your country and mine have worked side-by-side for some thirty years now as my Nation has strode bravely forward, determined to erase from our landscape and our psyches the harsh effects of three centuries of brutal, crushing slavery and meticulously imposed exclusionary colonialism. And, with equal dedication and fidelity, we have stood side by side with you – always ready to impress upon the world community of nations your extraordinary strengths, the constructive force that you represent thousands of miles beyond your shores and the importance of your being granted full and unfettered membership within all of the world bodies that were established to advance the socio-economic, scientific, political and other interests of mankind,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He pointed out that from agriculture to renewable energy, from education to health care delivery and beyond, Taiwan has made lasting contributions to the advancement of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“My Government has just completed a most important annual exercise – our National Consultations on the Budget and the Economy. And in that session, my Government re-affirmed our commitment to the principles of a green economy via the embrace of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, tourism development, the responsible marshalling of our Nation’s resources, a social policy that is inclusive and just,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
“Today, Your Excellency, I invite Taiwan to be a part of this important – and indeed, historic – stage of our Nation’s continued forward movement,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who further pointed out that St. Kitts and Nevis is the leading exporter of manufactured products from the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados to the United States .
“We have one of the highest per capita GDP’s in the entire Caribbean. We continue to attract more foreign direct investment than any other Caribbean nation despite the global economic downturn. And our reputation for sound economic management has been repeatedly affirmed by the international financial community just as you alluded to earlier. As a result of the collaboration between our Nations,” Prime Minister Douglas said.
St. Kitts and Nevis, pointed out the Prime Minister, has the only solar panel manufacturing plant in the Eastern Caribbean and in this and so many other areas, the Federation intend to maintain and build on this lead.
“In light of our long and constructive history of cooperation and collaboration, I express to you, officially and in person, my Government’s interest in having Taiwan as a key partner as we move forward in this new phase of our development,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who added that St. Kitts and Nevis is highly attractive to investors.
“The opportunities are real and quantifiable and so, as I and members of my delegation, I invite the members of the Taiwanese business community to help St. Kitts and Nevis. And in keeping with our thirty-year tradition of partnership, I look forward to the establishment of new business ventures in St. Kitts and Nevis that will redound to the progressive benefit of both our nations,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who was guest at a State Banquet in his honour at the Presidential Palace.
Prime Minister Douglas is accompanied by Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Her Excellency Mrs. Astona Browne; St. Kitts and Nevis’ Resident Ambassador in Taiwan, Her Excellency Ms. Jasmine Huggins; Mr. Linkon Maynard, Chairman of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank and Vice Chairman of the Manufacturing Division of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Carol Evelyn, Chairman of the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), Manager of Api Harowe and Past President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr. Erasmus Williams.