Basseterre, St Kitts, January 20, 2020 – Plans to resuscitate St Kitts and Nevis’ floundering Citizenship By Investment programme (CBI) includes a new development option that will spur the construction and allied industries.
Former St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas told reporters that the new NextGen SKN economy also includes the establishment of a small enterprise ministry, local investment in the medical marijuana industry, strengthening the light manufacturing sector and unveiling of plans that will produce employment that will attract high paying jobs.
“All efforts will be made to resuscitate the CBI programme to the platinum brand that it once was. In addition to the donation option and the real estate option, we will create a new development option that will channel the donations directly into a long list of development projects that we want to achieve here for our people. It will attract new investment projects that will create jobs and put our young people back to work,” Dr Douglas told reporters at his monthly press conference.
He said the new NextGen economy under the Labour Administration will explore and develop new industries such as the Medical Marijuana Industry and other creative industries.
“We will grow our enclave manufacturing sector by attracting more factories that will produce value-added goods and offer higher paying jobs. We will bring economic development to all constituencies and find ways and means of using the unique features of each community to create special attractions that will lead to local employment. We intend to stimulate and grow our small business with our “Up from Zero” Package that would allow our small business owners automatic access to one duty-free vehicle and duty free concessions on all furniture and equipment,” Dr Douglas said.
He reiterated the creation of a new Ministry of Small Enterprise where small businesswomen and men can access those benefits and receive the necessary financial and other assistance such as training and resources that will help them to succeed.
“We will provide more opportunities, training and financial instruments that would encourage our citizens not only to save more, but teach them how to invest and build wealth,” said Dr Douglas, who added that the Basseterre-based Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange (ECSE) is second to none in the region and local businessmen and women will be taught how to invest in this facility and even how to buy shares in businesses around town so that they can grow intergenerational wealth. “The capital market will take shape here in St Kitts and Nevis,” he added.
He reiterated that the transformation ideas that a NextGen SKN Labour administration will bring to take the economy to higher levels of growth and development will be supported by a highly-skilled, competent, innovative and efficient Public Service.