LONDON, England (CUOPM) — Less than two months after going to the Paris Club seeking support for his government’s bold economic transformation efforts through the restructuring of the debts owed by St Kitts and Nevis to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas has been informed by the British government that his request has been granted.
|Britain’s Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan|
Confirmation has come from Britain’s Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan.
“I am pleased to confirm the full cancellation of all of your government’s debts to DFID [Department for International Development] with immediate effect,” said the British minister in a letter to Douglas.
Duncan informed the St Kitts and Nevis prime minister that the case for debt relief was assessed under three criteria: “sound economic management, good governance and commitment to poverty eradication.”
“I note in particular the extremely difficult external environment faced by St Kitts and Nevis and the impressive efforts made to get public finances back on a secure and sustainable footing,” said Duncan.
In wishing Douglas every success with the reform programme that St Kitts and Nevis has embarked on, the British minister of state hoped that the writing off of the debts to the Department for International Development “will help boost the chances of success and help free up resources to help protect the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of St Kitts and Nevis during this challenging time.”
The approach to the Paris Club late May was part of the comprehensive debt restructuring program launched by the government in May 2011.
Douglas said the cancellation of the debt owed to Britain by the twin-island Federation in the debt-restructuring programme will go a long way in the continued restoration of confidence to the economy.
“I commend the members of the Paris Club who cooperated and collaborated with us, especially the British government who has officially informed me that they have given complete debt forgiveness for the balance debt that we owed them,” said Douglas, who is also minister of finance
During a stopover in London on his way from home from a week of investment talks in Dubai, Douglas expressed thanks to the government of the United States for agreeing during the negotiations in May with the members of the Paris Club to extend the period of payment at a very low interest “thus making it possible to manage the outstanding debt with the United States government.”
Douglas also expressed thanks to the domestic and regional creditors for the support provided in the restructuring of the national debt.
“With all that has been achieved, we are seeing the continuing increase in confidence returning to the economy of St Kitts and Nevis, where we should now be doing everything that we can, not only to stimulate domestic investment to St Kitts and Nevis, but also attracting foreign direct investment and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one of those places that such investment would come,” said Douglas.