Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, November 16, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO)– Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, held a significant meeting with the Head of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, during the eve of the inaugural CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit on Wednesday, November 15, 2023. The signing took place in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a build-up to the Saudi – CARICOM Summit which began today, Thursday, November 16, 2023.
The focus of the discussions was on fostering key projects for the development of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Prime Minister Drew expressed his commitment to fostering bilateral discussions and cooperation to attract investments to Saint Kitts and Nevis. Emphasizing their seriousness, he stated, “We are steadfast in our commitment to engaging in bilateral discussions and fostering cooperation, aiming to attract investments to propel the development of Saint Kitts and Nevis.”
During the discussions, Prime Minister Drew highlighted specific areas of interest aimed at boosting economic growth within the Federation. The agricultural project, collaborative energy investment, and the Federation’s sustainable island state master plan, incorporating the seven key pillars of the sustainable island state Agenda, were key topics of conversation.
In a significant development, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has agreed to contribute an amount of Saudi Riyal (SAR) 150,000,000, equivalent to US$40 million, for the Financing Development of the Expansion of Needsmust Power Plant Project. This project encompasses the installation of new generators and a meter system for the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC). By funding this project, SFD will help to support the nation’s energy supply, alongside the socio-economic development of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Caribbean nation to receive visa exemption to Saudi Arabia. Additionally, it is the second CARICOM nation to formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kingdom.
Both Prime Minister Drew and the Head of the Saudi Fund for Development expressed their mutual desire to further strengthen the ties of collaboration and friendship between Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saudi Arabia. The commitment to ongoing discussions and joint initiatives signifies a new chapter in the cooperative relationship between the two nations.
Also present at the signing was the newly appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Saint Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Abdullah bin Muhammad Alsaihani, Minister of Foreign Affairs the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Wakely Daniel, Ambassador to CARICOM HE Larry Vaughan.
The MOU signing underscores SFD’s dedication to promoting sustainable development in the Caribbean area and reiterates the significance of global collaboration and unity in realizing the SDGs. This commitment aims to foster both social and economic growth, with a particular focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The MoU also reiterates the Prime Minister’s commitment to the overall advancement of the Federation towards becoming a sustainable island state.