An Audience with the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris
Date: 8 July 2015, 10.00a.m. – 11.30a.m
Venue: Hamilton House, London
The Caribbean Council organised a business meeting with the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, who took office in February 2015, following the former incumbent Denzil Douglas’ 20 year tenure with the Labour Party.
This event in Central London provided businesses and investors with a unique opportunity to hear about the new Prime Minister’s approach to trade and investment; opportunities in St Kitts in a number of sectors such as tourism, energy (including geo-thermal) and industry; and the new Government’s policies aimed at attracting foreign investors, encouraging trade and reforming the citizenship by investment programme.
The new Government led by Dr Harris and his coalition Party “Team Unity”, came into office with a programme of reform and a determination to reinvigorate the tourism sector. Key plans include:
- a cruise ship pier for the 2016 season
- the recent launch of Kittitian Hill, a sustainable luxury development on a 400-acre organic farm on St. Kitts’ north coast
- another upscale property, a Park Hyatt hotel, scheduled to open in 2016
- a Koi Resorts property should be on stream within 24 to 36 months
The Government additionally removed VAT of 17% on food and formalised the legislation for taxi and tour operators in the country as well as a number of pro-business policy initiatives including:
- The creation of new incentives for foreign industries to relocate to St Kitts and Nevis through competitive tax holidays, the waiver of import duties on the importation of plant and machinery, and a pro-business agenda for growth
- The implementation of 20 recommended reforms for its citizenship by investment programme to enhance its long term sustainability
- An emphasis on promoting investments that are not dependent on citizenship by investment including in medical and sports tourism, and the arts; and joint ventures with private sector entities engaged in the business of harnessing and marketing intellectual capital.
- The provision of incentives for renewable energy companies focussed on wind, solar and geothermal energy production
- The proposal of encouraging off-peak tourism and the development a new national brand
- The reduction in the electricity price for businesses and residents
We were pleased also to welcome our event sponsor Kittitian Hill, resort developers in St Kitts and Nevis who discussed the practical issues of doing business on the island, and the challenges and opportunities they have experienced in building their sustainable green development.
The agenda for this event was as follows;
10.00-10.05: Chair’s welcome remarks
Baroness Hooper, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Caribbean
10.05-10.25: Prime Minister’s words: Investment and trade opportunities in St Kitts and Nevis
Dr. The Honourable Timothy Sylvester Harris, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Sustainable Development, National Security, People Empowerment and Constituency Empowerment
10.25-10.35: The economic climate in St Kitts and Nevis
Mr. Chris Bennett, Managing Director of The Caribbean Council
10.35-10.45: Doing business in St Kitts and Nevis: A private sector view
Mr. Valmiki Kempadoo, Founder and Developer of Kittitian Hill
10.45-11.10: Questions and answers and further discussion
11.10-12.00: Networking over tea and coffee
This event was kindly sponsored by: Supporting Sponsors: