Prime Minister Douglas said, “In a nutshell, the global environment is changing rapidly, and we must continue to embrace social and economic change as the means of coping with global developments.”
“We must also be creative in the deliberations today in order to continue to chart a course that is home-grown and sustainable,” said the Prime Minister, who expressed a firm commitment to the view that progress as a nation in the face of massive external shocks, global change, fiscal and debt challenges as well as social issues will require cooperation and collaboration as well as sharing, as critical components of the solution.”
Douglas explained that the St. Kitts and Nevis economy is projected to experience a 1.5 percent growth this year and slightly higher in 2012.
He told participants the mild recovery is driven primarily by the outlook for the Tourism Sector and is expected to pick up gradually in the medium term as the quality of services is enhanced and competitiveness increases.
“Several projects are ongoing and even though they may be progressing at a slower pace than originally anticipated we are thankful that none of them have been discontinued. In the end these projects will bring much needed hotel rooms to the Federation so that we can approach that critical mass that makes the sector more sustainable,” Dr. Douglas told economic and social stakeholders from a wide cross section of twin-island Federation.
The Prime Minister said he believed that with these ingredients, coupled with experienced leadership the country will be able to build an economy in which all can thrive and reach their highest potential.
The one-day consultation in preparation for the 2012 Budget was held under the theme: “The Architecture of an Efficient and Sustainable Public Sector in Support of our Economic Growth Agenda.”
Dr. Douglas said the selection of this topic signifies that Government’s strategic planning process is designed to deal with the current realities of the economy.
“The reality that we now face is the need to grow the economy and in order for growth to take place and be sustainable we need to continue to build an efficient and effective public sector. Therefore at this time when we begin our strategic planning process we are opening up ourselves to you, our stakeholders, to tell us what you see as the tactical direction that Government should take in order to spur growth and in so doing improve the livelihood of our citizens in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis,” he said.