IMF Representative – Alfred Schipke
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 07, 2011 (CUOPM)
The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to work with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and other administrations in the region to identify new areas for economic growth.
Alfred Schipke, Division Chief, Caribbean Division in the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told reporters it was important that the private sector take a lead.
He said that the Government has to generate the environment, the confidence and the infrastructure to support that and in going forward, the private sector has to take the lead.
“There are many opportunities, having a market like the United States close to you. With a little entrepreneurial spirit, there are enough niches that you can identify. The offshore services sector has shown some benefits and there is potentially more that could be done,” said Mr. Schipke.
He said while the IMF does not claim to have all of these answers, “we can try to bring some others to the table.”
He said the IFC ““ the International Finance Corporation would and should play a critical catalytic role as it is a semi-private entity.
“For the size of the economy and with a market as large as the United States, you just have to find a small niche and you would benefit a lot. I think it is that notion of risk and reward and I think what the Government should do is create an environment that flourishes and allow people to experiment and to find those and go forward.”
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said he has held discussions in Washington with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“Since that the IFC has been talking with the developers of Christophe Harbour, which is a massive multi-billion project,” disclosed the Prime Minister.
Dr. Douglas said he was recently briefed on how the sales are going.
“Sales are still going very much as they anticipated. Close to US$30 million in sales would have been achieved by the end of this year,” said Prime Minister Douglas who indicated the need to have a hotel built in that project.
“Despite the present activities there, construction of a hotel can change the image of the project,” said Dr. Douglas.