Libyan Investment Bank for St. Kitts By Sheena Brooks

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The nation’s leader, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas has announced that the Federation’s proposal to have a Libyan Investment Bank established in St. Kitts-Nevis has been accepted By Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi. The Prime Minister and parliamentarian-elect Dr. Earl Asim Martin were in Africa attending the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Ethiopia. After the Summit wrapped on Tuesday, the St. Kitts-Nevis delegation, along with other Caribbean Heads of Government travelled to Tripoli, Li Bya where they held discussions on economic collaborations with the country’s top government officials. Dr. Douglas said the Summit was an exceptionally important as it demonstrated the region’s commitment in support of the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora. “Being a fixed region of the African Union we were able to put forward a very strong case for assistance for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We left Addis Ababa on Tuesday and travelled to Tripoli in Li Bya. This afternoon (Wednesday) we the heads of the various delegations had a very important bi-lateral meeting with the Prime Minister and other members of the Libyan government.” Dr. Douglas said they discussed three important initiatives that were first opened last July- the establishment of a diplomatic presence in the Eastern Caribbean By way of a Libyan Embassy; the establishment of an Investment Bank; and the establishment of a Holding Company through which Li Bya would finance projects in the region. He said the grouping had consolidated the presence of a Libyan Embassy in St. Lucia and that the initiative is currently ongoing with some six Libyan government officials being present in St. Lucia to establish the People’s Bureau of Li Bya in the Eastern Caribbean. The PM also informed that with regard the Investment Bank, the proposal made By the government of St. Kitts-Nevis has been finally accepted By the Libyan government through expressions of support By the Libyan Prime Minister. “President al-Gaddafi himself expressed full support for the establishment of the Investment Bank in the Eastern Caribbean, which as I said before will be located in St. Kitts and Nevis and other initiatives to be pursued aggressively. That is important to us especially as we continue to diversify our national economy and look forward for additional financing to support a number of important developmental projects which are critical to the continued advancement for the quality of life for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.” The PM said on the matter of the Investment Company, that is still to be determined and within the next few weeks the governments of the OECS would decide in which Eastern Caribbean country the Investment Company would be located. “In discussions with the Prime Minister we have agreed to establish a diplomatic mission here in Tripoli, Li Bya and so over the next few weeks, months it would be my duty as Chairman of the OECS to pursue this important initiative so that the Eastern Caribbean countries would have a presence here in Tripoli Li Bya. “We had the opportunity to meet with President Gaddafi himself and I expressed on behalf of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis best wishes and that we were very pleased with that the initiatives for economic social and political advancement and development of relationships between Li Bya and the Eastern Caribbean were being pursued,” Douglas said. No specific timeline was given as to when construction of the Bank would commence, how much the facility would cost or where in the twin islands it would be physically located. PM Douglas did say however that the establishment of bi-lateral diplomatic relations between the countries would prove to be mutually beneficial.