World Bank official praises St. Kitts and Nevis for tremendous efforts in addressing the international economic and financial crisis

Ms. Francoise Clottes

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 28TH 2013 (CUOPM) – World Bank Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Francoise Clottes, is praising the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for the tremendous effort to address the international financial and economic crisis.

“They have made substantial progress on the structural reform agenda to put the economy back on track. There is a sound fiscal environment. There is a much improved debt situation and this is of course is the ground that is required for growth to take off,” said the World Bank official, who expressed concern that growth has not yet efficiently materialized.

“This is a concern of course for all of us,” she told scores of public and private sector officials at the launching of the Caribbean Growth Forum – St. Kitts and Nevis Chapter.

She said St. Kitts and Nevis are partners in the second phase which is to build on the sound ground for success.

“It seems very clear at this stage that a collective effort is required under these accountancies. What we are engaging in today to address this matter, is something very innovative, where government, private sector and the traditional stakeholders, get together and start debating on the priorities for St. Kitts and Nevis in three specific areas which are seen to be critical to stimulate growth, investment climate, logistics and productivity and skills and productivity,” said Ms. Clottes.

“There is no automatic recipe for growth. Financial resources, technical capacity, political will are all necessary regions, but what we are emphasizing in this initiative is collective and consulted deliberate actions,” she said.

She disclosed that with the launch of Caribbean Growth Forum, we believe that if the appropriate conditions are in place, growth is always possible, even under difficult circumstances; for this Stakeholders have to come together and take the initiative,” said Ms. Clottes.

She said the region and the Caribbean Growth Forum are partners in bringing together resources from various organizations into the debate but the initiative has to come from and be led by interested parties.

“Essentially, you are the actors of the next stage; the financial institutions are partners and will facilitate this process, but really we are here to listen and support and provide and technical input in order to stimulate discussions,” said the World Bank official who pointed out that the initiative will not solve all problems affecting growth in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“But we can certainly assure you, based on our experiences in this engagement; the outcome of this forum will not be one of the many reports that end up on a shelf and be covered by dust within a few months. This forum will surely help to take action on those solutions that would be prioritized with your help. Think about what the impact could be here in St. Kitts and Nevis or in the Caribbean in general, for the economy and for the prospect of young people to entertain the dream that we have all of a sudden lowered the logistics cost to move goods across islands to our destinations,” she said.

Ms. Clottes pointed out that St. Kitts and Nevis has a rich and proud history, tradition and culture and she was very confident that this event can produce good results and would set the basics for which programme is going to be the best for attainable solutions and to tangible success and growth for the country.

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