CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (NIA) -- The fiscal and financial future of Nevis was the topic of discussion on Wednesday, when premier and minister of finance in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Vance Amory met with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and other funding agencies in Washington DC.
Nevis Premier Vance Amory
One meeting saw Amory discussing, with representatives of the Kuwaiti Fund, the possibility of debt reduction for the NIA. He said he expected that the Kuwaiti Fund would provide a positive guideline to the NIA within the next two weeks.
“This meeting was to discuss the possibility of debt reduction for the NIA which fell behind in its debt servicing payment over the last six years. The representatives of the Kuwaiti Fund have been asked to consider what relief could be given to enable the NIA to have a measure of comfort and thereby restore its creditworthiness with the fund.
“It is important that our people recognise that this present NIA has a tremendous task on its hands to stabilise its financial and fiscal position and place the country on a path to financial and economic growth once again. It may take many months and long discussions but we will do what we must to restore stability and then growth in Nevis,” he said.
According to Amory, another meeting in which he participated dealt with the “Challenges Confronting [Eastern Caribbean Currency Union] ECCU (OECS) Member Countries,” when strategies for facing those challenges and planning a definitive way forward to move these countries out of financial and fiscal chaos were discussed.
“There were representatives from agencies: the [Eastern Caribbean Central Bank] ECCB, the World Bank, [Canadian International Development Agency] CIDA, [United Kingdom’s Department for International Development] DFID, all being involved in seeking to find a resolution to the existing problems of high debt, low economic growth, weaknesses in our fiscal system all in an effort to reverse the economic quagmire in which our countries have been plunged,” he said.
The premier noted that the meeting refocused the need for countries to maintain strict expenditure control as they seek investment to finance capital and other private sector projects to create economic growth.
Amory said he also used his visit to Washington DC to meet with St Kitts and Nevis nationals in the Diaspora for an opportunity to report to and to hear from them, as part of his responsibility to dialogue with them.