SKN’s Brantley Eyes German Investment In Green Energy LK Hewlett Story Updated: March 3rd 2015 at 9:36 am PHOTO: Hon. Mark Brantley (left) Foreign Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque (5th from the left), Secretary General of CARICOM and Frank-Walter Steinmeier (6th from the left) German Foreign Minister along with other Foreign Affairs Ministers from CARICOM Member States.
Foreign Minister Hon. Mark Brantley is optimistic that St. Kitts and Nevis will benefit from German investment in green energy projects in the Caribbean. Brantley, accompanied by Eustace T. Wallace, Second Secretary at the joint Mission of the Eastern Caribbean States to the European Union and Dr. Peter Ahner, Honorary Consul of St. Kitts and Nevis based in Hamburg, Germany, is in Berlin, Germany attending the first Conference of the Foreign Ministers of Germany and the Caribbean Community. Among agenda items for the March 2-3 conference are energy matters, climate change, development policy, and improving trade and investment relations between the EU and Caribbean regions. After the United States, Europe is CARIFORUM’s second largest trading partner. The 15-member group signed the trade-related CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008, and under the agreement the countries have received substantial aid and access to short term financial instruments from the EU. St. Kitts-Nevis has yet to ratify the Agreement . Some €165 million was earmarked for the 10th European Development Fund Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme from 2008 to 2013. During Monday’s plenary meeting Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for an increase in investment and capital flows between Germany and the Caribbean Community through the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, which he said has untapped potential to contribute to inclusive economic growth for the region. Speaking with The Observer Hon. Brantley explained that the discussions taking place are between Germany and the Caribbean as a region so there has been no specific opportunity for discussions between them and any individual state. With St. Kitts-Nevis’ expanding green economy initiatives, however, the Federal Minister saw the renewable energy sector as an area where the Federation could benefit from the foreign investment. “They are keen to invest in several areas in the Caribbean including the energy and hospitality sectors. They are especially interested in green energy and exporting their technology in wind and solar and other forms of renewable energy abroad,” he said. While in Berlin Brantley and the other members of the St. Kitts-Nevis delegation will meet with German government officials as well as private sector representatives.