Glen Bart, MyVueNews.com
Basseterre, St. Kitts, 21st June, 2018 (MyVueNews.com) – In spite of the challenges St. Kitts and Nevis faces as a small island developing nation, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said the country is in a good position, but improvements are required.
Prime Minister Harris was speaking at the opening day of the 21st and 22nd June Growth Forum organised by the Ministry of Finance and with the involvement of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The Prime Minister pointed out that economic indicators are pointing upward and there has been positive movement in some challenging areas of the economy.
He indicated that the IMF report shows that during the period 2009 to 2012, the economy contracted. He said, “During 2010 to 2012, the economy was in continuous contraction.” But for the period 2015 to 2017, there was positive economic growth, he said.
In the case of the Debt-to-GDP ratio, the Prime Minister said there has been significant positive movement.
The Prime Minister stated, “In 2014, the Debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 77 plus per cent. In 2015, it was reduced to about 68.7 per cent, and at the end of 2017, it was about 64.6 per cent. Our Debt-to-GDP ratio was the lowest among independent states in the currency union.”
The expectation, he said, is that at the end of 2018, the ratio will be lower.
Harris explained, “The importance of that it frees up resources for Government to do essential things… When we are able to improve our Debt-to-GDP ratio, we free resources that can be put to better use for the development of the country.”
Additionally, he said, the Social Security Board has recorded, over the last three years, the best employment data.
He said also, “The earnings in the country, which in 2014 stood at $790 million, in 2017 the earnings has been put at $996 million… a 26 percent increase in a short period of three years.”
According to Harris, in the context of a challenging world, “St. Kitts and Nevis is holding its own above its peers and doing comparatively well among those outside its own league”.