Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is attending the Caribbean Development Bank’s 49th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors, at which economic transformation is a major theme.
The meeting, being held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, featured a stirring address at Wednesday’s (June 5th, 2019) opening from CDB’s President Dr. William Warren Smith.
Dr. Smith spoke of the region’s agenda to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality and deliver on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The President acknowledged that Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) of the CDB have begun to implement difficult reforms in response to fiscal and debt challenges.
Significantly, in the BMC of St. Kitts and Nevis, the heavy burden of a cumulative outstanding public debt has been reduced from an untenably high rate of 145 percent of GDP in 2010 to under 60 percent in 2019, well ahead of its peers in the OECS sub-region. Under Prime Minister Harris’ stellar leadership and management of the economy, St. Kitts and Nevis is the first independent country in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to achieve this international benchmark, which eludes many advanced countries.
Dr. William Warren Smith called for the democratisation of education in the region, by using new technologies in poor, underserved and remote communities.
The intense CDB meeting includes discussions on agriculture and information and communication technologies (ICTs), in addition to seminars; a memorial lecture, and a youth outreach initiative.
ICT is the fastest growing industry today, inspired by rapid global developments and the introduction of new technologies.
Dr. Harris recently attended an ECCB-World Bank digital economy conference in Washington, D.C., and spoke of working strategically with Eastern Caribbean partners in accessing resources and implementing change.
At the CDB conference, Dr. Smith said: “One exciting opportunity for our BMCs to leapfrog to the 2030 Agenda is to harness the power of digital technologies that are now part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
High-powered and influential leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as in academia, are attending the CDB conference.
Prime Minister Harris is St. Kitts and Nevis’ Governor at the CDB.
The Caribbean Development Bank assists Caribbean nations to finance social and economic programmes.