According to Dr. Douglas, “we have been working consistently on improving the management of the public debt through the establishment of a dedicated Debt Management Unit and a credible Debt Management Strategy which is currently being refined with the assistance of international experts.
“Further, over the past year staff from the Statistics Department worked diligently with the ECCB to complete an important exercise to rebase the series of national accounts from 1999 to 2009. As you are aware Gross National Product is the main indicator used to measure economic growth in the Federation. The national accounts therefore constitute an important element of the overall macroeconomic framework of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said the Prime Minister, who added that it provides critical information to guide policy formulation and analysis of the performance of the various sectors that make up the economy.
The new base year increases the accuracy, reliability and relevance of the GDP estimates. Copies of the publication “2009 National Accounts Statistics” is now being circulated by the Statistics Department, Ministry of Sustainable Development. “The quality of our statistics such as GDP estimates are in large measure due to the willingness of the private entities to provide accurate data when requested,” said Douglas added.
With regards to the recently held National Economic Growth Forum, he said it was a good sign and a good place to start to build consensus that dialogue is a part of the process of building a strong economy, an essential ingredient in successfully identifying, designing, implementing and managing the roadmap for sustainable growth and development.
“Some may say that an event like this is overdue and although I am tempted to agree with that statement, I prefer to dwell on the rich opportunities this event can yield in terms of consolidating, deepening and exploiting the untapped potential for growth and development of this twin island Federation, St. Kitts and Nevis,” said the Prime Minister, who share his viewpoint that while the focus of the deliberations is economic growth “we must not lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal in all of our endeavours is really economic development.
“Development which results in greater choices, improved self esteem and increased living standards for all citizens of this fair land. By extension, maintaining freedom and civil liberties, the creation of more opportunities for education, healthcare and environmental conservation are important markers of true development. My esteemed colleagues, development partners, young people, business leaders, public servants, these are the reasons why we must have this dialogue. I can assure you that this Administration shares the perspective that the private sector must be the primary source of growth,” said Dr. Douglas as he expressed his Government commitment to performing the role of facilitation, regulation and protection.