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Encyclopedia > Economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis

The economy of Saint Kitts and Nevis has traditionally depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane; decreasing world prices have hurt the industry in recent years. Tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking activity have assumed larger roles. Most food is imported. The government has undertaken a program designed to revitalize the faltering sugar sector. It is also working to improve revenue collection in order to better fund social programs. In 1997, some leaders in Nevis were urging separation from Saint Kitts on the basis that Nevis was paying far more in taxes than it was receiving in government services, but the vote on cessation failed in August 1998. In late September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $445 million in damages and limited GDP growth for the year. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Species Ref: ITIS 42058 as of 2004-05-05 Sugarcane is one of six species of a tall tropical southeast Asian grass (Family Poaceae) having stout fibrous jointed stalks whose sap at one time was the primary source of sugar. ... An offshore bank is a bank located outside the country of residence of the depositor, typically in a low tax jurisdiction that provides financial and legal advantages. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... For other uses, see Nevis (disambiguation). ... Country Saint Kitts and Nevis Archipelago Leeward Islands Region Caribbean Area 65 sq. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Lowest pressure 937 mbar (hPa; 27. ...

The economy of St. Kitts and Nevis experienced strong growth for most of the 1990s but hurricanes in 1998 and 1999 contributed to a sharp slowdown. Real economic growth was 0.75 % in 2002 after a decline of 4.3 % in 2001. The economy experienced a mixed performance during 2002, with some sectors experiencing positive growth while others experienced varying levels of decline. The construction sector recorded a 4.51 % decline, manufacturing and hotels and restaurants also recorded significant declines of 4.01 and 9.89 % respectively, and sugar production fell by 5.1 %. Significant new investment in tourism, including a 648-room Marriott hotel and convention center that opened in December 2002, as well as continued government efforts to diversify the economy, are expected to improve economic performance. Consumer prices have risen marginally over the past few years. The inflation rate was 3%-4% for most of the 1990s. For the band, see 1990s (band). ... This article is about weather phenomena. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about the year. ... A slowdown is an industrial action in which employees perform their duties but seek to reduce productivity or efficiency in their performance of these duties. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues a common currency (the East Caribbean dollar) for all members of the ECCU. The ECCB also manages monetary policy, and regulates and supervises commercial banking activities in its member countries. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is the monetary authority of a group of six Caribbean nations namely, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and two overseas territories of the U.K namely, Anguilla, Montserrat. ... The East Caribbean dollar (currency code XCD) is the currency of eight members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. ...

St. Kitts is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications (ECTEL) authority, which is developing the regulations to liberalize the telecommunications sector in the region by 2004. Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...



St. Kitts and Nevis was the last sugar monoculture in the Eastern Caribbean. Faced with a sugar industry that was finding it increasingly difficult to earn a profit, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis embarked on a program to diversify the agricultural sector and stimulate the development of other sectors of the economy, particularly tourism. Monoculture describes systems that have very low diversity. ... The Lesser Antilles are part of the Antilles, which together with the Greater Antilles form the West Indies. ...

History of the sugar industry

In the 1700s, sugar was the most important crop in the world. Sugar cane grows in warm, tropical climates and the Caribbean islands were the perfect places to grow it. European settlers from England, France, Spain, and Holland (now called the Netherlands) came to the region, cut down the islands’ forests, and planted sugar cane in hope of becoming rich. The valuable crop was used to make sugar, molasses, and rum. Any Caribbean island with farmable land was used to grow sugar cane.

St. Kitts was the oldest and wealthiest of the English colonies in the Caribbean. This 68-acre island had rich volcanic soil, a climate of sun and rain, and an endless supply of slaves. Annually it yielded a fortune in sugar and rum for its wealthy, mostly absentee, landholders. Around 1775, the time of the American Revolution, 68 sugar plantations existed on St. Kitts alone! The plantation owners sold their sugar products to American, British, French, and Dutch customers, and anyone else who wanted to buy them. By the end of the 19th century, however, all that was gone. Slavery had been abolished and Europe¹s beet sugar had pre-empted Caribbean cane. Depressed market prices could not offset the production and transportation costs for an island crop.

Today St. Kitts is the only Leeward Island, of the Caribbean, that still grows sugar cane. However, sugar cane is very expensive to grow, harvest, and process. The fields are now state owned and the entire island crop is processed in one government-run factory. The dozens of sugar plantations, which had dotted the island, climbing from the shore up into the mountains, were gradually abandoned. In time, the handsome stone structures -- complete factories- fell to wind, weather, and vandalism. Here and there on the island one can still see a signature smokestack rising a hundred feet into the sky, or the egg-shaped base of an old windmill.


The government instituted a program of investment incentives for businesses considering the possibility of locating in St. Kitts or Nevis, encouraging both domestic and foreign private investment. Government policies provide liberal tax holidays, duty-free import of equipment and materials, and subsidies for training provided to local personnel. Tourism has shown the greatest growth. By 1987, tourism had surpassed sugar as the major foreign exchange earner for St. Kitts and Nevis. A tax holiday is a temporary reduction or elimination of a tax. ... This article is about a tax measure. ... In economics, a subsidy is generally a monetary grant given by a government to lower the price faced by producers or consumers of a good, generally because it is considered to be in the public interest. ... Tourist redirects here. ... Year 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar). ... The foreign exchange (currency or forex or FX) market exists wherever one currency is traded for another. ...

At a Glance

GDP: purchasing power parity - $244 million (1998 est.) PPP The purchasing power parity (PPP) theory was developed by Gustav Cassel in 1920. ...

GDP - real growth rate: 1.6% (1998 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,000 (1998 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5.5% industry: 22.5% services: 72% (1996) Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1% (1998 est.)

Labor force: 18,172 (June 1995) Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ...

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (1997)

Budget: revenues: $64.1 million

expenditures: $73.3 million, including capital expenditures of $10.4 million (1997 est.) For the band, see 1997 (band). ...

Industries: sugar processing, tourism, cotton, salt, copra, clothing, footwear, beverages For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Salt (disambiguation). ... Copra drying in the sun Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. ...

Electricity - production: 85 GWh (1998) Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ...

Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% nuclear: 0% other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 79 GWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, yams, vegetables, bananas; fish Species Saccharum arundinaceum Saccharum bengalense Saccharum edule Saccharum officinarum Saccharum procerum Saccharum ravennae Saccharum robustum Saccharum sinense Saccharum spontaneum Sugarcane or Sugar cane (Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation) of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae), native to warm temperate to tropical... RICE is a treatment method for soft tissue injury which is an abbreviation for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. ... Yams at Brixton market For the term yam as used in the United States, see sweet potato. ... A plate of vegetables Vegetable is a culinary term which generally refers to an edible part of a plant. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ...

Exports: $42 million (1998)

Exports - commodities: machinery, food, electronics, beverages, tobacco The word drink is primarily a verb, meaning to ingest liquids, see Drinking. ... Shredded tobacco leaf for pipe smoking Tobacco can also be pressed into plugs and sliced into flakes Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. ...

Exports - partners: United States 68.5%, United Kingdom 22.3%, Caricom countries 5.5% (1995 est.) The Caribbean Community and Common Market or CARICOM was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas which came into effect on August 1, 1973. ...

Imports: $160 million (1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery, manufactures, food, fuels

Imports - partners: United States 42.4%, Caricom countries 17.2%, United Kingdom 11.3% (1995 est.) The Caribbean Community and Common Market or CARICOM was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas which came into effect on August 1, 1973. ...

Debt - external: $62 million (1997) For the band, see 1997 (band). ...

Economic aid - recipient: $5.5 million (1995) Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ...

Currency: 1 East Caribbean dollar (EC$) = 100 cents The East Caribbean dollar (currency code XCD) is the currency of eight members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. ...

Exchange rates: East Caribbean dollars (EC$) per US$1 - 2.7000 (fixed rate since 1976) Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Fiscal year: calendar year


  • CIA World Factbook - St. Kitts and Nevis. Retrieved on September 6, 2006.

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In the 1950s and 1960s, St. Kitts and Nevis were politically joined with Anguilla, though all three were still colonies.
Anguilla left the alliance in 1971 as St. Kitts and Nevis moved toward independence, a status they achieved in 1983.
The foothills, particularly to the north, form a gently rolling landscape of sugar-cane plantations and grassland, while uncultivated lowland slopes are covered with thick tropical woodland and exotic fruits such as papaya, mangoes, avocados, bananas and breadfruit.
Saint Kitts and Nevis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (661 words)
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, located in the Leeward Islands is a unitary island nation in the Caribbean, and the smallest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Saint Kitts and Nevis are a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Saint Kitts and Nevis was the last sugar monoculture in the Eastern Caribbean.
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