BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 17, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – On Monday, March 16, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, joined other leaders, Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors from across the region on a conference call with representatives of the Washington, D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss primarily the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economies of Caribbean countries.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ participation in this exercise formed part of the Government’s overall efforts to manage the fallout in the likelihood the novel coronavirus reaches the Federation and to bring onboard the expertise of all relevant stakeholders, whether nationally, regionally and internationally, in this regard.
The discussions centered on the topic, “Recent World Economic Developments, COVID-19 Impact and Outlook, and How the Fund can Help.” It was facilitated by Mr. Alejandro Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF.
In his contribution to the exercise, Prime Minister Harris indicated that St. Kitts and Nevis is the smallest independent state in the IMF’s western hemisphere division with very limited resources.
He further noted that, “Like most Caribbean states, we are heavily dependent on tourism; we have a small but important export manufacturing sector, and all of these are going to come under significant stress, and we would certainly rely upon the advice of the IMF to minimize the adverse impact.”
To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Harris was supported in the meeting by his Cabinet colleagues Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards; Senior Minister the Honourable Vance Amory; the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd; the Honourable Lindsay Grant; the Honourable Eugene Hamilton and the Honourable Wendy Phipps.
Also present were Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel and Deputy Financial Secretary, Mrs. Sylvia Gumbs.