GENERAL INFORMATION

- Coming Events
- News
- Press Releases
- Economic Affairs



How We are Governed
- Structure & Process
        - The Queen
        - Governor - General
        - Prime Minister
        - Cabinet
        - Parliament
        - Speaker
        - Opposition
        - Chief Secretary
- How a Bill is Passed



ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

Contents:
- Introduction
- Message From the Prime Minister
- About Our Islands
- Contacts for Additional Information
- Where to Invest?
- Highly Attractive Incentives


Introduction

St. Kitts and Nevis has developed a sound base for the growth and expansion of its industrial activity. The economy is still influenced by sugar, but Government aims to reduce this dependence through further diversification into manufacturing, tourism and non-sugar agriculture.

Further prospect for diversification will depend heavily on a variety of factors, both external and internal. These include competition from other countries, general trade agreements, trends in the developed industrial economies, political stability in the region, policy decisions, infrastructure, institutional framework and the availability of labor.

Economic Affairs Division (EAD) is a centralized unit established to promote industrial development and investment promotion. The EAD provides a systematic and coordinated approach to dealing with local and foreign investors and to providing information on investment needs of existing businesses.

The role of EAD includes activities such as:

  • promoting and encouraging the development of businesses that are compatible with the Country's aims and capable of contributing to economic: growth and social development;

  • matching local businesses with foreign investors in joint venture and sub-contracting opportunities;

  • assisting with marketing of goods through participation at trade shows, expositions, seminars and conferences;

  • evaluating and analyzing fiscal incentive applications and making recommendations to the Minister of Trade and Industry for approval in an expeditious manner;

  • providing an extension service to local businesses;

  • arranging and facilitating investors' visits;

  • providing information to investors on investment opportunities and incentives, government policies and priority sectors; and economic data.

The EAD was established by the Government in recognition of important role for foreign and local investment in the development process of the country, and of the consequential need to organize for the effective solicitation of investment. St. Kitts and Nevis is not alone in such recognition - Governments of all the other OECS States have already established investment promotion institutions. Investment promotion units are, thus, regarded as a natural step in the development process of industrializing countries.

Provide Support & Investment Promotion

Toward a goal of increasing trade and investment in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Economic Affairs Division will work to provide necessary support services to the Mission and Ministers of Government which includes and is not limited to:

  • Financial checks on interested foreign investors

  • Investment Promotion: gathering information and contacting potential investors and responding try their interest in doing business with St. Kitts and Nevis (by telephone, letter or personal meetings). The Economic Affairs Division will work relentlessly to arrange introductions for foreign business people to meet with executives from public and private sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis. It will also arrange for meeting with individual donors and companies willing to give assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis.

  • Research Support: conducting research projects as requested on a continuing basis.

  • Sourcing Aid: provide sourcing assistance on various equipment and material manufacturers and exporters both in United States and abroad.

  • E.C.I.P.S. (based in Washington DC): works closely with the Economic Affairs Division of the permanent mission to provide support for new trade and investment contacts for St. Kitts and Nevis.

  • Whenever possible, all attempts are made to attend exhibitions in the United States and Canada related to Caribbean trade and investment, and

  • assist with development of promotional materials including oral presentations, brochures, video tapes and advertisements.




MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER
HONORABLE DR. DENZIL L. DOUGLAS

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to creating a diversified economy in which tourism, agriculture, light manufacturing, offshore financial services and informatics sectors play important roles. We invite you to explore our country and to discover viable areas for investment. We welcome proposals for establishing new business ventures.

We are developing flexible strategies to achieve this diversification. Why a flexible strategy? The world is rapidly changing and we understand the importance of constantly monitoring and evaluating international and regional developments to maintain a competitive edge.

Our government acknowledges the private sector as an important engine of growth. Therefore, we actively foster development of this sector. We have implemented measures to create an atmosphere conducive to the establishment, growth, and development of business enterprises.

St. Kitts and Nevis has a highly educated and efficient labor force. Our islands offer a wide spectrum of advantages including excellent physical infrastructure, low operating costs and a strategic location for marketing.

We warmly welcome you to join the government, people and business community in our journey toward a prosperous future.




AN INVESTOR'S PARADISE:
ABOUT OUR ISLANDS

St. Kitts and Nevis is located in the northern sector of the Eastern Caribbean approximately 1,250 miles southeast of Miami and 1,500 miles southeast of New York. The islands are two miles apart; St. Kitts is 68 square miles and Nevis is 36 square miles. They are 100 percent English speaking.

The country's capital, Basseterre, is known for its excellent architecture and is situated on the southern shores of St. Kitts. Complementing our outstanding scenery and abundant natural vegetation is our tropical climate and steady cool breezes. Our GDP is USD 172.9 million with a per capita income of over USD 4,000.

The Southeast Peninsula is one of our newest development areas. It has a highway that stretches 6 miles long and is 3 miles outside of Basseterre. As you travel this road, you will go through unique, breathtaking and picturesque areas which have an excellent potential for hotel and tourism development.




INVESTING IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

Additional information on matters related to trade and industry can be obtained from the following.

MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
CHURCH STREET
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS
TEL: (869) 465-2521
FAX: (869) 465-1778

PERMANENT MISSION OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS TO THE UNITED NATIONS
414 EAST 75TH STREET, 5TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10021
TEL: (212) 535-1234 AND (800) 582-6208
FAX: (212) 535-6854 AND (212) 734-6511

EMBASSY OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
OECS BUILDING
3216 NEW MEXICO AVENUE, N.W.
3RD FLOOR
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20016
TEL: (202) 686-2636
FAX: (202) 686-5740

EASTERN CARIBBEAN INVESTMENT
PROMOTION SERVICE (ECIPS)
3216 NEW MEXICO AVENUE, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20016
TEL: (202) 363-0229
FAX: (202) 363-4328




WHERE TO INVEST?

Investment opportunities exist in many areas.

A. AGRO-INDUSTRY
Rum distilling and utilization of by-products of the sugar industry.
Dairying, fruit and vegetable preservation and processing.
Confectionary manufacture.
Beef cattle production, floriculture, aquaculture and mariculture.
Production of fruits and vegetables for export.
Deep sea fishing and fish processing.

B. MANUFACTURING
Electronic components, electrical fixtures and appliances.
Precision instruments, apparel and jewelry.
Plastic products, PVC lounge furniture, boat building.
Moped assembly, wind generating sets, solar power.
Screen printing, sporting goods, footwear, packaging.

C. TOURISM & OTHER SERVICES
Hotel, condominium and other resort development.
Water sports facilities.
Information technology.




HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE INCENTIVES

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is stable, cooperative and democratic. It offers many opportunities and incentives to prospective investors. Some of these advantages are:

  • Corporate Tax Holidays up to 15 years.

  • Additional Tax Rebates.

  • Exemption from import duties on parts, raw materials and productive machinery.

  • Repatriation of profits, dividends and imported capital.

  • No Personal Income tax.

  • Hotel Aids Ordinance which provides relief from customs duties and pier duties on items brought into the country for use in the construction, extension and equipping of a hotel.



    HOW WE ARE GOVERNED -
    STRUCTURE & PROCESS

    The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is a constitutional monarchy. Our head of state is the Queen of St. Kitts & Nevis who is also Queen of Britain, Canada and a number of other countries around the world. Every act of government is done in the Queen's name but the authority for every act flows from the people of St. Kitts & Nevis. We have a Cabinet responsible to Parliament and a Parliament answerable to the people.

    Government impacts on all aspects of our lives and understanding how it works is important to every citizen of St. Kitts & Nevis. This booklet provides a brief overview of the structure and process of our government, the institutions and symbols that represent it, and the people to whom we have entrusted it.

    THE QUEEN
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the formal head of state of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, She is also the symbolic head of the Commonwealth comprised of St. Kitts & Nevis and fifty three other former British colonies. Parliament meets only by royal summons and no bills become law without Royal Assent.

    GOVERNOR-GENERAL
    The Governor-General is the personal representative of the Queen in St. Kitts & Nevis. He is appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and performs the functions of the Monarch in her absence including Royal Assent for all bills and authorization of all government appointments.

    PRIME MINISTER
    The Prime Minister is the leader of the political party which won the largest number of seats in the National Assembly in the last general election. He is invited to form a government by the Governor-General, The Prime Minister is the senior minister in the government and is ultimately responsible for all government policies and programs.

    CABINET
    The St. Kitts & Nevis Cabinet is comprised of the Prime Minister, other ministers and the Attorney General. Cabinet ministers are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. They control the departments of government and implement, administer and enforce the laws made by Parliament. Cabinet members must stand together on government policy - a minister who is not willing to do so must resign.

    PARLIAMENT
    The Parliament of St. Kitts & Nevis is comprised of the Speaker, elected members of the Government and Opposition parties (11), appointed Senators (3) and the Attorney-General when not an elected member. Parliament, also called the National Assembly, is the sole institution through which laws of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis are passed, taxes imposed, and public expenditure authorized.

    SPEAKER
    The Speaker of the National Assembly is elected by the members and is the presiding officer of Parliament. He decides all questions of procedure and order with complete impartiality and protects the privilege, freedom of speech by ensuring that all members, regardless of party affiliation, are given a fair opportunity to speak and express their views. The Speaker may or may not be an elected member of the National Assembly.

    OPPOSITION
    It is the Opposition's role to scrutinize the government's policies and programs and provide constructive criticism and alternative strategies in those areas where it disagrees with the administration.
    The Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly is the person who commands the support of the majority of the representatives who do not support the government.

    CHIEF SECRETARY
    The Chief Secretary, appointed by the Prime minister, is Head of the Civil Service. He is also Secretary to the cabinet where he ensures that cabinet decisions are implemented by the government bureaucracy in a timely and effective manner.



    HOW A BILL ID PASSED

    A bill is Proposed legislation that is presented to parliament for discussion. It is draughted by the government's legal department and approved in Cabinet before it is introduced to the National Assembly.
    The bill is introduced into the National Assembly by the Minister responsible or the Attorney-General. After its first reading it is circulated to interested groups or individuals for feedback and input. Changes may be made to the bill before it is submitted to the National Assembly for its second reading. The aims and objectives of the bill are presented by the Minister and a full debate follows with all members having an opportunity to express their views.
    Following debate on the second reading of the bill, it is referred to committee where it is reviewed in detail and any final amendments made.
    The bill is then read in the National Assembly for the third and final time and submitted to a vote. If Successful, the legislation is forwarded to the Governor-General for Royal Assent. The new law (now called Act) is then published in the Government Gazette and made available to the public.