The current state of the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as its future outlook, will be a major focus next week when the stakeholders from various fields gather at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Tuesday for the staging of the 2019 National Consultation on the Economy.

The annual consultation, running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and hosted by the Ministry of Finance, will be held under the theme “The Digital Economy.”

Addressing the nation during his press conference Thursday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said next week’s consultation comes against the backdrop of a St. Kitts-Nevis economy which has grown year after year since 2015.

“In contrast, in 2010 the economy under the Douglas administration contracted by 3.8 percent. In 2011, it contracted by 1.9 percent and in 2012 it contracted by a further 1 percent. Over the last 5 years [of the former administration], 2010 to 2014, the economy grew at an anemic rate of just about 1 percent on average per year,” the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister said St. Kitts and Nevis will not have a stronger, safer future without continued economic growth.

“That is why we will focus on the modernization of the economy and particularly the impact of the digital economy in improving efficiency and effectiveness, production and productivity of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Harris said.

The prime minister noted they will be engaging the socio-economic actors at the National Consultation against the backdrop of a significantly improved security environment.

“Homicides are down 43 percent over the period January to September 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.  In 2018 we had 22 homicides at this time.  This year, homicides have fallen to 12; still too many, but this is a significant drop in homicides and it is a huge relief that is welcomed by all patriotic citizens and well-wishers of our country,” said Harris, who is also the Minister responsible for National Security.

Stakeholders for the 2019 National Consultation on the Economy are expected to be drawn from the financial services, social development, agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), manufacturing and tourism sectors, among others.