PM HARRIS: ENSURING SAFETY AND SECURITY IS MOST IMPORTANT JOB, AS THIS WILL SAVE LIVES AND FURTHER EMPOWER THE PEOPLE

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Addressing approximately 150 civil society, public and private sector representatives at the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy yesterday, Wednesday, September 28th, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said that under his leadership the St. Kitts and Nevis Government will never waver from ensuring the safety and security of the country.

Dr. Harris said improving safety and security will not only save lives, as well as families from grief, but doing so will also enhance investment and send a clear message to the private sector and investors that the Government is working in partnership with them to protect their interests and those of the society. A more favourable investment climate would redound to the benefit of the people, by further increasing economic growth, job opportunities and the standard of living in the country.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our country is the most important job,” Prime Minister Harris said yesterday at the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy. The Consultation was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort under the theme Working Together – Accelerating Growth and Building Resilience.

“The most important job for any government is to keep its citizens and residents safe,” Dr. Harris added while noting that, “If you can’t do that then you become a failed state, and so we will do all that is necessary…to incentivize investment, not just local, but importantly the foreign investment, which we require.”

“The people who are investing millions of dollars in the Four Seasons Hotel and at the Park Hyatt, for instance, don’t want to hear, time after time, that crime is out of control in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Harris said during his impassioned speech.

“So we have to do all in our power to maintain a constructive environment in which people are willing to come and invest their money, knowing that it will be safe and secure. So when we hear people become so excited, attempting to stir up a frenzy within the country, we have to be careful not to join them. When we hear people say they want to turn Basseterre upside down, …we have to shun that kind of conduct and indiscipline that they incite because we have a country to preserve. We have a Prosperity Agenda, which is beckoning us and it is within our grasp. In that regard, I want to commend the Regional Security System (RSS) for the support it is providing to our local security forces at this time, to ensure that we take another bold and courageous step to stamp out anti-social behaviour and violent crime, in particular, in our country,” Prime Minister Harris said.

Dr. Harris added: If it is for one day that their [the RSS] presence stops one life from being lost, it is a day that is worth it because we cannot put a price on people’s lives. We cannot put a price on the cumulative effect of the homicide rate that reached crisis proportions way back in 2011 [in 2011, there were a record 35 homicides in St. Kitts and Nevis] when the country became the murder capital, top of the world. We have to ensure that those bad times are gone, never to be returned.”

On September 26th, 2013, the Team Unity Movement held its successful launch at Greenlands Park, where Dr. Harris was announced as the Movement’s leader. Almost a year and a half later, Dr. Harris led the Team Unity Movement to a resounding victory at the polls on February 16th, 2015, with the stirring declaration that he and his team would put the people of St. Kitts and Nevis first and ensure prosperity for all.

At yesterday’s National Consultation on the Economy, Prime Minister Harris said, “We need to develop the kind of cushion that gives us resilience and sustainability but, more importantly, we need to be able to invest in our key sectors that have a transformative impact on the quality of lives of our residents, citizens and businesses.”

After the Opening Session of the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy, the attendees were assigned to four groups to discuss Issues and Challenges to Growth and Resilience, namely Financial Services (Legal and Regulatory Environment), Social Development (Education/Safety and Security), Stimulating Growth in the Productive Sector (Agriculture, Information and Communications Technology, Manufacturing and Tourism), and Building Resilience (Climate Change/Infrastructure Development/Renewable Energy/Water).

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