The forum which was organized by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis had as its objective, to continue the dialogue between the public and private sectors on the current and future requirements for stimulating and sustaining growth in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil L Douglas who delivered the opening remarks, expressed his satisfaction with the turn-out by the representatives from both sectors.
“I believe that is a good sign and a good place to sort and build consensus to that by law which is a part of the process of building a stronger economy. This (forum) is an essential ingredient to successfully identifying, designing as well as implementing and managing the road map for sustainable growth and development,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
According to Dr. Douglas, the forum is the first of its kind to be hosted by the government. “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 that this event can yield in terms of consolidating, deepening and exploiting the potential for growth and development of this twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Sharing his opinion on the National Economic Growth Forum, Dr. Douglas explained that while the focus of the one day deliberation was on economic growth, “persons must be cognizant of the fact that the ultimate goal for endeavours is really economic development.”
He further noted that, “these developments can result in greater choices, improved self-esteem and increase living standards for all of our citizens of this island. (and) by extension maintain freedom civil liberties, the creation of more opportunities in education, health care and environmental conservation are important matters of true development.”
The forum was chaired by Minister responsible for Tourism Richard Skerritt, and featured addresses by Wendell Lawrence who spoke on Economic Growth in St. Kitts and Nevis, Charles Wilkins QC who focused on Competing in a Changing Global Environment.
Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, Timothy Harris, also address the gathering and outlined the prospect for expanding the Small Enterprise Sector.
Following addresses members from the different sectors were engaged in discussion on key topics related to growth including: Economic Growth in St. Kitts and Nevis; Facilitating Private Sector Investment; Competing in a Changing Global Environment; Emerging Opportunities for Stimulating Growth in New and Existing Areas: Prospects for Expanding Goods and Service Exports; Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Innovation; and Sustainability: An Essential Element for Future Growth.