BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (CUOPM) – With the challenges presently facing regional governments, St. Kitts and Nevis and other member nations of the Caribbean Community are working steadfastly to do what is in their power to maintain sustainability of their economies.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in an address at the launching of a 500 low-income home project called for the growing of food in backyards, adherence to several conservation measures, prudent fiscal policies and increased cooperation between government and civil society.
“There are many challenges that small states like ours are currently experiencing. Globally, the cost of living is rising, and economies and social structures face serious difficulties every day. In some countries, unrest has been experienced. Here in St. Kitts and Nevis your Government is doing what is absolutely necessary to ensure that these things do not happen here in St. Kitts and Nevis,’ said Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
Dr. Douglas admitted that Caribbean Governments cannot do it alone and added that “every citizen and resident must become responsible in terms of behaviour.”
“For example, think about the things you can do to reduce your electricity bill and your phone bill. Think about the manner and frequency in which you use your own vehicles. And don’t forget to examine, also, the kinds of food products that you buy. What has happened to the piece of land behind your home? Do you have a kitchen garden from which you can find food on a daily basis to supplement that which you have to buy in the supermarket? There are times when you have to scrutinise everything that you do, and the more you stick with it…the better you will get at cutting your own costs,” advised the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
He added that governments too must practice prudent fiscal policies, and introduce and promote strategies that help the economy to grow and develop even in these difficult and challenging and trying times.
“Of course, at the heart of economic survival is the issue of productivity. We are now in a globalised economy, and it is important that St. Kitts and Nevis is internationally competitive in our production and export of goods and services. We have to take more seriously the opportunities for our own educational advancement and specialized training in a variety of fields. We have to ensure that the Public Sector becomes highly efficient and proficient. That is why with the assistance from our friends of the Republic of China on Taiwan we are now introducing e-government or e-administration to ensure that we can provide the services to our people in a much more effective and efficient manner,” said the Prime Minister.
“It cannot be business as usual. We have to take short-term measures and adopt long-term strategies. We have to make better use of our membership in the OECS and in CARICOM; both offer significant opportunities for economic sustainability,” said Dr. Douglas.