Premier Brantley engages private sector on post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 29, 2021) – Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, said he was honoured to participate in a virtual meeting with representatives from the private sector to discuss economic recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today I attended and spoke at a private sector dialogue organized through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and the Ministry of International Trade. It was truly an honour to engage in a meaningful way with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the business sector as we look towards a post-COVID-19 recovery through trade, investment and resilience,” he said.
Mr. Brantley, in his capacity as Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, Industry, and Trade in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had addressed the issue of economic recovery efforts on Nevis during his monthly press conference earlier on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
He said an assessment of the state of the island’s economy and the impact of the NIA’s comprehensive concession and support initiatives has been planned for the near future.
“We are in the next few weeks going to be doing a sort of deep dive in terms of where we are. We are still in a very difficult and precarious position now because our revenue stream has not only been significantly reduced but we have also had added demands on us…
“We have given considerable concessions to our farming community. We have given considerable concessions to our small business community, homeowners doing construction, so we think that that has resulted in us having an erosion of our usual ability to bring in revenue. We see that however as a necessary expenditure to generate economic activity on the island.”
He said as the island’s main engine tourism continues to be offline, in addition to the government having to forego a lot of revenue by giving free access to water, electricity, and concessions, the NIA’s revenue stream continues to be negatively impacted. The most recent figures he provided on a previous occasion indicated NIA revenue was down some 20 percent.
The Premier is hopeful that the full reopening of St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy planned for October 2021 will see the resurgence of the tourism industry and an uptick in income generation for citizens and residents, and the government alike.