St Kitts and Nevis debt reduction strategy bearing fruit
Britain debt cancellation is continuing confidence in the economy says St Kitts PM.
BASSETERRE, St Kitts and Nevis, Monday, July 16, 2012 – St Kitts and Nevis has for many years held one of the highest debt-to-GDP ratios among heavily indebted poor countries but over the last six months the government has been aggressively working on a debt reduction strategy that is bearing fruit.
This past weekend, Prime Minister of the twin-island Federation, Dr Denzil Douglas revealed that Britain had now cancelled the debt owed to it by the Caribbean nation.
“I commend the members of the Paris Club who cooperated and collaborated with us, especially the British Government who has officially informed me that they have given complete debt forgiveness for the balance debt that we owed them,” said Dr Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance.
According to the Office of the Prime Minister in St Kitts, the British Government informed Douglas that the case for debt relief was assessed under three criteria: sound economic management, good governance and commitment to poverty eradication.
Alan Duncan, the British Minister of State for International Development is reported to have said that he hoped that the writing off of the debt “will help boost the chances of success and help free up resources to help protect the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of St Kitts and Nevis during this challenging time.”
During the stopover in London on his way from home from a week of investment talks in Dubai, Prime Minister Douglas also expressed thanks to the United States for agreeing during the negotiations in May with the members of the Paris Club to extend the period of payment at a very low interest “thus making it possible to manage the outstanding debt with the United States Government.”
Douglas also expressed thanks to the domestic and regional creditors for the support provided in the restructuring of the national debt.
“With all that has been achieved, we are seeing the continuing increase in confidence returning to the economy of St Kitts and Nevis, where we should now be doing everything that we can, not only to stimulate domestic investment to St Kitts and Nevis, but also attracting foreign direct investment and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one of those places that such investment would come,” said Douglas.