SKN government considers financial incentives to encourage diaspora investment
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is actively considering offering financial incentives to members of the diaspora to encourage them to invest more and play a greater role in shaping the economic landscape of the twin-island federation.
This was revealed by the Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards at the opening of the inaugural Diaspora Conference at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort under the theme “Building Partnerships Towards Sustainable Development.” The conference runs June 26-28.
Two specific areas highlighted by the deputy prime minister that would be eligible for tax breaks or duty-free concessions are real estate development and agriculture. Other key activities will also be looked at for the nationals who return home to invest.
“We are making this appeal today: give us your projects wrapped with love,” said Richards as he delivered remarks on behalf of Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris. “My government is ready to throw its vigorous support behind diaspora entrepreneurs. We encourage you to identify market opportunities and create and invest in new projects that will spur further economic and job growth in your beloved homeland.”
Some of the economic accomplishments achieved by the government over the past three years include records for “the highest annual wage bill, the most business licenses issued in a year, and the largest numbers of jobs, workers and social security contributors.” The government intends to push forward with its programme and policies to promote resilience and minimise the impact of economic shocks to the development agenda, which ultimately is geared towards realising the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Whether it is to achieve entrepreneurship, property ownership, or wealth, whatever – or people’s hopes and aspirations – we are making things happen for all!” Richards said. “My government is opening doors and creating opportunities through service and empowerment, and today we extend a hand to you in the diaspora so that we can work together “Building Partnerships Towards Sustainable Development.”
Hundreds of delegates are expected to participate in the three-day conference that features a Cabinet panel presentation; a youth forum under the theme “Building Capacity Today for Success Tomorrow;” and two open forums: “Growing to Give Back” and “Pairing Development: Abroad and at Home.”