Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The private sector has a very important role to play in St. Kitts and Nevis and Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has "compelled it to forge more meaningful partnerships to ensure a sustainable future" for all citizens and residents of the federation.
The comment was made by Dr. Harris, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, at the Occasion of the 2015 Chamber of Industry and Commerce Annual Banquet held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on Saturday (July 18).
In his featured address, Prime Minister Harris stressed that "stronger public - private partnerships is a critical part of the answer to stimulating inclusive growth, maintaining macroeconomic stability, managing the high cost of doing business, creating decent jobs and enhancing social cohesion, as part of the government's bid to reduce the scourge of crime and poverty."
He further commented that "persons in society are in agreement, that the private sector is an essential pillar of the economy and has been a significant contributor to the economic achievements of St. Kitts and Nevis over the years."
"The partnership between the public and private sectors has placed St. Kitts and Nevis as a leader in the Caribbean Region, with a record of real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, estimated at 6.1 percent in 2014," Prime Minister Harris cited, quoting official sources. "I am pleased to inform you that the first quarter estimates for 2015 is indicating that the positive trend will continue, as the growth rate was recorded at 7.8 percent for the first three months of the year.
This, he said, is showing an even better result than what was achieved during the same period last year, when a 4.8 percent growth was realized in the first three months of 2014.
Growth in the construction sector continues in 2015, being estimated at 12.2 percent. The performance of this sector was attributed to the private sector capital investment, which positively impacted the level of employment as well as transportation and communication, mining and quarrying and the wholesale and retail sectors.
Positive numbers were recorded in the Tourism sector, which grew by 11.4 percent compared to the 7.8 percent growth during the same period last year. Output in the manufacturing sector was estimated at 3.7 percent in the first half of 2015, in keeping with a projected growth of 7 percent for the year.