As published on zizonline.com, Thursday 20 October, 2022.
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew and other Heads of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will tackle myriad issues over the next two days (October 19-20) as they participate in the 72nd Meeting of the OECS Authority being held in Montserrat.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew, who made his inaugural address to the august body on October 19, said that a number of critical issues to be discussed include the Portability of Social Security Benefits; Contingent Rights Policy Implementation; Capacity Building for officials, and the finalization of an OECS Unique Identification Card.
“An important part of the discussion should also include a strategy for enhancing the viability and sustainability of our Citizenship by Investment Programmes. Many of our countries are dependent on the revenues generated by this programme but we must not be short-sighted or sell our countries short,” said Dr. Drew. “We must be cognizant of the risks associated with devaluing our programme and develop a united approach which will ensure the viability and continued success of the programme for all our Member States who are involved and all of our citizens who benefit and will continue to benefit.”
In addition to the opportunities, there are several challenges that should not be overlooked. These challenges, Dr. Drew noted, must be addressed in earnest.
“It is difficult for us to achieve our development objectives if we ignore the challenges posed by the proverbial elephant in the room – Glaring gaps in our intra-regional transportation sector. An efficient and sustainable transportation system will yield benefits for investment, trade and movement of people- two pillars of our regional integration movement,” said the honourable Prime Minister.
Realizing that the region cannot have an efficient economic union without addressing these issues, Prime Minister Drew reaffirmed St. Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to strengthening the OECS Economic Union.