“Over the next five years, we will attract major investment to other rural communities such that the residents of Cayon, Ottley’s, Molineux, and Tabernacle, Old Road, Challengers, Lamberts, Middle Island and Half Way Tree could find employment and entrepreneurial opportunities closer to where they live,” said Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
He announced that his Government will provide extra incentives to investors who are interested in pursuing developments in these areas and will build and modernize the infrastructure in these areas to support major developments.
“The proposed highway from Basseterre to the Whitegate Area would play a critical role in this regard and will provide Old Road and Sandy Point towns with the well needed by-passes to ease traffic congestion at critical times,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
This policy has been commended by Kittitian Professor, Dr. Frank Mills, who recently stated that St. Kitts and Nevis is on a development trajectory which has placed the twin-island Federation in the forefront of Caribbean Development.
Delivering the feature address at the Annual Sandy Point Benevolent Society Banquet in the Bronx, New York, last September, Dr. Mills told hundreds of nationals that if the previous decade was the decade of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, the current decade is that of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts and the Kittitian Hill development.
Pointing out that it would be remiss of him not to share with the large audience his perception of the economic transformation that is taking place in the Federation.
“Whatever your political persuasion, it would be rather difficult, even disingenuous, to deny that St. Kitts and Nevis is on a development trajectory that has placed it in the forefront of
Caribbean development, with one of the highest rates of economic growth in the
Region,” said Dr. Mills, Interim Vice Provost of Research and Professor of Social Sciences at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), St. Thomas.
He confessed that when St. Kitts abandoned the sugar industry – the primary industry it had known for 350 years in 2005, he was uneasy about what the island would transition into, as many a country had collapsed economically and even plunged into civil war, during such drastic change.
“By sheer dint of effort, the leaders in the Federation have been able to grow the economy, thus making St. Kitts and Nevis, with a growth rate of 1.7% in 2013, the #1 country in the
Eastern Caribbean in terms of economic growth, almost paralleling that of the
United States itself with 1.9%,” said Dr. Mills, who has served as Director of the Caribbean Research Institute, Director of the Eastern Caribbean Center, Director of the VI Data Centre and Manager of the federal Census of Population and Housing, 1990, 200 and 2010,
He said some of the valid signs of this surging development in St. Kitts and Nevis can be found on the southern and northern ends of St. Kitts.
“The southeast peninsula of St. Kitts is now undergoing extensive development. If the previous decade was the decade of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, the current decade is that of two spectacular developments on opposite ends of the island, both of which are integral parts of the government’s program of economic diversification and sustainability,” Dr. Mills said.
He singled out as the first, the 2,500-acre resort community of Christophe Harbour.
“When the construction of the Kennedy Simmonds Highway began in 1987, perhaps no one had any idea how this penetration of the peninsula was going to transform this parched and rocky landscape into the most expensive real estate in St. Kitts at this time. The flagship development is the Park Hyatt that will eventually include 26 buildings, 11 of which are currently being erected, the first of which is scheduled for completion this month.
“The second major development is taking place in the northwest section of the island, with the primary focus on Kittitian Hill Luxury Resort. This 400-acre resort nestles in the gently sloping foothills of Mt. Liamuiga on the old Belmont Estate, and overlooks St. Paul’s,” said Dr. Mills.