BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 22, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris today (Tuesday, June 22) held fruitful discussions with officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a virtual meeting, which focused on the economic performance of the twin island Federation.
The IMF team was led by Mr. Bas Bakker, Division Chief of the Carribean II Division in the Western Hemisphere Department. He was supported by Mr. Gonzalo Salinas, Economist; Analyst Janne Akseli Hukka; Carolina Brozdowski, and Analyst, Raadhika Vishvesh.
Duringthe productive discussions, Prime Minister Harris stated that the COVID-19 pandemic remains the single most significant challenge faced by the Federation. The prime minister noted however that his Government is encouraged by the progress of its vaccination programme, which as at Monday (June 21) had seen 67.6 percent of the target population receiving at least their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 35 percent having received both shots.
Dr. Harris further stated that during these most difficult times, his Team Unity-led Government has managed to keep the Federation’s economy afloat without having to borrow from the IMF or having to make use of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s (ECCB) resources that are in place to assist COVID-19 affected countries.
It was also noted that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has not made use of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which are international reserve assets created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries. These accomplishments, according to Prime Minister Harris, are as a result of the Team Unity administration’s prudent fiscal management since it assumed office in 2015.
Joining the honourable prime minister at today’s meeting were the Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Skerritt; Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel and Deputy Financial Secretary, Mrs. Sylvia Manning-Gumbs.