St Kitts Economy
St Kitts economy is one which can be characterised as stable. The country’s economy is supported by a number of different sectors; agriculture, offshore sector, tourism and manufacturing. St Kitts is an island in the Caribbean with a population of about 35,000 people. A former colony of Great Britain St Kitts now forms part of Caricom (Caricom Community) and OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States). St Kitts jointly with the neighbouring island of Nevis form the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, sharing the same constitution, currency and government.
St Kitts currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD). The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) regulates the currency and also supervises the banks in St Kitts and Nevis.
St Kitts economy once mainly depended on agriculture, primarily the manufacture of sugar cane for export. The declining profits from this sector which began in the 90’s, eventually lead to the government bringing the sugar industry to an end with its closure in 2005. Since then the island’s administration has found other areas to explore to keep the economy afloat. A Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has been out in place with one of the aim being locating and securing funds to open new industries which will replace the sugar industry and provide employment for residents.
Tourism is one of the leading sectors in the economy of St Kitts. Cruise ships and the international airport make it possible for visitors to get to the island with ease. There are a number of attractions in St Kitts and St Kitts hotels which provides accommodations. The island itself is a natural beauty. The increase of tourist visits has impacted on other areas in the island’s economy. For instance there has been an increase in the demand for St Kitts real estate as many persons are looking for holiday rental properties, holiday homes and even retirement homes.
St Kitts offshore sector is an area which must be mentioned when discussing St Kitts economy. Offshore services offered in St Kitts and Nevis includes offshore banking, the incorporation of offshore companies, similar to Seychelles company, offshore trust and the unique Nevis Multiform Foundation among other services. This sector which is well managed contributed to St Kitts economy in a huge way.
St Kitts has one of the longest running citizenship programs in place. This well managed program provides a legal medium for persons who would have otherwise qualify for St Kitts citizenship to do so by making a financial contribution. There are two options for St Kitts citizenship; St Kitts citizenship by investment and the SIDF option. This is one of the leading contributions to the St Kitts economy today.
Figures show the export of manufactured goods mainly to the United States, the Netherlands and Canada plays an important part in the St Kitts economic developed. Exports to the other Caribbean islands must also be noted.
Economic growth in St Kitts have been recorded from 2002 as the government continues to implement programs to strengthen the island’s economic progress.