Holding its Own Globally, Says PM
The tiny twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, under the leadership of the Team Unity government, continues to punch above its weight in a number of areas – from economic performance to improvements in information and communication technology (ICT) – particularly when measured against the accomplishments of much larger nations regionally and internationally. “In every area in which we engage, we are being compared, not just with another small island, but … with the rest of the world, and so we have to think big,” said Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris at Friday’s ceremony to commission the new forensic laboratory.
On the economic front, St. Kitts and Nevis is the only country in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with a near 5 percent projected growth in 2018, driven largely in part by a robust construction sector and a booming tourism industry.
Also noteworthy is that St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme, the oldest and most trusted programme in the industry, has racked up several accolades in recent times that have solidified its position as the platinum brand of the industry.
Prime Minister Harris, who recently wrapped up a tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong, where he successfully promoted the country’s CBI programme, said “from my interaction with [more than] 200 international marketing agents and their support teams and developers, I was assured that St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is considered in the market place as the most reliable and it is now the most sought-after programme.”
Additionally, the nation continues to outpace its OECS counterparts in terms of ICT development. In the 2017 ICT Development Index, produced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), St. Kitts and Nevis ranked 37th out of 176 countries worldwide as it relates to developments in information and communication technology.
Prime Minister Harris further noted that he was filled with a sense of pride in knowing that St. Kitts and Nevis was evaluated as the least corrupt jurisdiction in the Caribbean region. The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2017-2018 ranked the nation 25 out of a total of 113 countries in the world. The WJP Rule of Law Index measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. “They evaluated the government, they evaluated the judiciary and they evaluated other sectors of the country and ranked your country among the least corrupt,” he said.
Noting that the continued growth and prosperity of the nation hinge on the safety and security of the people, the Team Unity administration has made substantial investments in the Ministry of National Security, including the opening of the brand-new forensic laboratory in Tabernacle.
“The peace, order, safety and security, and good governance are responsibilities [that] my Cabinet takes seriously,” Harris stated, adding that his administration has provided year-over-year increases in budgetary support to the Ministry of National Security in 2016, 2017 and 2018.