Saint Kitts and Nevis

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Coordinates: 17°20′N62°45′W / 17.333°N 62.750°W / 17.333; -62.750

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Contents

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Motto: "Country Above Self"

KNA orthographic.svg
Saint Kitts and Nevis - Location Map (2013) - KNA - UNOCHA.svg
Capital
and largest city
Basseterre
17°18′N62°44′W / 17.300°N 62.733°W / 17.300; -62.733
Official languages English
Vernacular language Saint Kitts Creole
Ethnic groups
(2001) [1]
Demonym(s) Kittitian or Nevisian
Government Federal parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
  Monarch
Elizabeth II
Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton
Timothy Harris
Legislature National Assembly
Independence
27 February 1967
 from the United Kingdom
19 September 1983
Area
 Total
261 km2 (101 sq mi)(188th)
 Water (%)
Negligible
Population
 2016 estimate
54,821 [2] (209th)
 2011 census
46,204
 Density
164/km2 (424.8/sq mi)(64th)
GDP  (PPP)2016 estimate
 Total
$1.458 billion [3]
 Per capita
$25,913 [3]
GDP  (nominal)2016 estimate
 Total
$945 million [3]
 Per capita
$16,793 [3]
HDI  (2017)Increase2.svg 0.778 [4]
high ·  72nd
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Time zone UTC-4
Driving side left
Calling code +1 869
ISO 3166 code KN
Internet TLD .kn
  1. Or "Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis".

Saint Kitts and Nevis ( /kɪtsˈnvɪs/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, [5] is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as queen and head of state.

Island country state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands

An island country is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 1996, 25.2% of all independent countries were island countries.

West Indies Island region in the Caribbean

The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the Lucayan Archipelago.

Leeward Islands group of islands in the West Indies

The Leeward Islands are a group of islands situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean. Starting with the Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, they extend southeast to Guadeloupe and its dependencies. In English, the term Leeward Islands refers to the northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain. The more southerly part of this chain, starting with Dominica, is called the Windward Islands. Dominica was originally considered part of the Leeward Islands, but was transferred from the British Leeward Islands to the British Windward Islands in 1940.

The capital city is Basseterre on the larger island of Saint Kitts. The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".

Basseterre Place in Saint Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre is the capital and largest city of Saint Kitts and Nevis with an estimated population of 14,000 in 2018. Geographically, the Basseterre port is located at 17°18′N62°44′W, on the south western coast of Saint Kitts Island, and it is one of the chief commercial depots of the Leeward Islands. The city lies within Saint George Basseterre Parish.

Saint Kitts island in Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies. The west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. Saint Kitts and the neighbouring island of Nevis constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis are separated by a shallow 3-kilometre (2 mi) channel known as "The Narrows".

Nevis island in the Caribbean Sea

Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the neighbouring island of Saint Kitts constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Nevis is located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 km west of Antigua. Its area is 93 square kilometres (36 sq mi) and the capital is Charlestown.

The British dependency of Anguilla was historically also a part of this union, which was then known collectively as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. To the north-northwest lie the islands of Sint Eustatius, and Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten and Anguilla. To the east and northeast are Antigua and Barbuda, and to the southeast is the small uninhabited island of Redonda, and the island of Montserrat, which currently has an active volcano (see Soufrière Hills).

Anguilla British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean

Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 16 miles (26 km) long by 3 miles (4.8 km) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The island's capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 35 square miles (91 km2), with a population of approximately 14,764.

Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla Crown Colony and later, a Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom located in the Caribbean Sea

Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was a British colony in the West Indies from 1882 to 1983, consisting of the islands of Anguilla, Nevis, and Saint Christopher. From 1882 to 1951, and again from 1980, the colony was known simply as Saint Christopher and Nevis. It gained independence in 1983 as the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Sint Eustatius Special municipality of the Netherlands

Sint Eustatius, also known affectionately to the locals as Statia, is an island in the Caribbean. It is a special municipality of the Netherlands.

Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, and thus has also been titled "The Mother Colony of the West Indies".

Caribbean region to the center-east of America composed of many islands and of coastal regions of continental countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean is a region of The Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.

Etymology

Saint Kitts was named "Liamuiga", which roughly translates as "fertile land", by the Kalinago who originally inhabited the island. The name is preserved via St. Kitts's western peak, Mount Liamuiga. Nevis's pre-Columbian name was "Oualie", meaning "land of beautiful waters".[ citation needed ]

Island Caribs group of people who live in Venezuela and the Lesser Antilles islands

The Island Carib, also known as the Kalinago or simply Caribs, are an indigenous people of the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. They have descended from the Mainland Caribs (Kalina) of South America as well as the Arawakan people of the Greater Antilles. The women and children spoke an Arawakan language known as Eyeri. Meanwhile the men spoke a carib pidgin language of Karina origins.

Mount Liamuiga mountain

Mount Liamuiga is a 3,792-foot (1,156 m) stratovolcano which forms the western part of the island of Saint Kitts. The peak is the highest point on the island of Saint Kitts, in the federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and in the entire British Leeward Islands, as well as one of the tallest peaks in the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The peak is topped by a 0.6-mile (1 km) wide summit crater, which contained a shallow crater lake until 1959. As of 2006, the crater lake had re-formed. The last verified eruptions from the volcano were about 1,800 years ago, while reports of possible eruptions in 1692 and 1843 are considered uncertain.

Christopher Columbus upon sighting what is now Nevis in 1493 gave that island the name San Martín. The current name "Nevis" is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra Señora de las Nieves. This Spanish name means Our Lady of the Snows. It is not known who chose this name for the island, but it is a reference to the story of a fourth-century Catholic miracle: a summertime snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. Perhaps the white clouds which usually wreathe the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate. The island of Nevis upon first British settlement was referred to as "Dulcina", a name meaning "sweet one" in Spanish. Eventually the original Spanish name was restored and used in the shortened form, "Nevis".[ citation needed ]

There is some disagreement over the name which Christopher Columbus gave to St. Kitts. For many years it was thought that he named the island San Cristóbal, after Saint Christopher, his patron saint and the patron hallow of travellers. New studies suggest that Columbus named the island Sant Yago (Saint James). The name "San Cristóbal" was given by Columbus to the island now known as Saba, 20 mi northwest. It seems that "San Cristóbal" came to be applied to the island of St. Kitts only as the result of a mapping error.[ citation needed ]

No matter the origin of the name, the island was well documented as "San Cristóbal" by the 17th century. The first English colonists kept the English translation of this name, and dubbed it "St. Christopher's Island". In the 17th century, a common nickname for Christopher was Kit, or Kitt. This is why the island was often informally referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island", further shortened to "Saint Kitts".[ citation needed ]

Today the Constitution refers to the state as both "Saint Kitts and Nevis" and "Saint Christopher and Nevis", but the former is the one most commonly used.[ citation needed ]

History

The Spanish capture of Saint Kitts in 1629 by Fadrique de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza Spanish capture of St Kitts.jpg
The Spanish capture of Saint Kitts in 1629 by Fadrique de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza

The name of the first inhabitants, pre-Arawakan peoples who settled the islands perhaps as early as 3000 years ago, is not known. They were followed by the Arawak peoples, or Taíno about 1000 BC.

Peak native populations occurred between 500 and 600 AD. The warlike Island Caribs invaded about 800 AD. They had expanded north of St. Kitts by the time of the Spanish conquest. [6]

In 1623, the island was settled by the English, soon followed by the French; both agreeing to partition the island. The Spanish were superior to the Kalinagos in terms of warfare, [7] and the French and English were even more "economically aggressive and militarily determined" than the Spanish. [8]

The French and English, intent on self-enrichment through exploitation of the island's natural resources, [9] understood from the start that their establishment of settlements in St. Kitts would be met with resistance, and such resistance was waged by the Kalinago throughout the first three years of the settlements' existence. [10] Throughout the process of establishing settlements on St. Kitts, as elsewhere in the Caribbean, the French and the English, like their predecessors, were intent on enslaving, expelling or exterminating the Kalinagos, since the latter's retention of land threatened the profitability of the European-controlled plantation economy. [11] To facilitate this objective, an ideological campaign was waged by colonial chroniclers, dating back to the Spanish, as they produced literature which systematically denied Kalinago humanity (a literary tradition carried through the late-seventeenth century by such authors as Jean-Baptiste du Tertre and Pere Labat). [11]

In 1626, the Anglo-French settlers joined forces to massacre the Kalinago, allegedly to pre-empt an imminent plan by the Caribs, conniving with the Kalinagos, to expel or kill; [12] or, according to Tertre's account, just kill [13] the European colonialists who had maintained their presence on the island by force for three years.

A Spanish expedition sent to enforce Spanish claims destroyed the English and French colonies and deported the settlers back to their respective countries in 1629. As part of the war settlement in 1630, the Spanish permitted the re-establishment of the English and French colonies.

As Spanish power went into decline, Saint Kitts became the premier base for English and French expansion into the Caribbean. From St. Kitts, the British settled the islands of Antigua, Montserrat, Anguilla and Tortola, and the French settled Martinique, the Guadeloupe archipelago and St. Barts. During the late-seventeenth century, France and England fought for control over St Kitts, with Brimstone Hill Fortress begun circa 1690. The French ceded the territory to the UK in 1713.

At the turn of the eighteenth century, St. Kitts was the richest British Crown Colony per capita in the Caribbean, a result of the sugar trade. [14]

Although small in size and separated by only 2 miles (3 km) of water, the two islands were viewed and governed as different states until the late-nineteenth century, when they were forcibly unified along with the island of Anguilla, by the British. To the present day, relations are strained, with Nevis accusing Saint Kitts of neglecting their needs.

Saint Kitts and Nevis along with Anguilla, became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. Anguillians rebelled and separated from the others in 1977. St. Kitts and Nevis achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1983. [15] It is also the newest sovereign state in the Americas. In August 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from St. Kitts fell short of the required two-thirds majority. [16] In late-September 1998, Hurricane Georges caused approximately $458,000,000 in damages and property and limited GDP growth for the year and beyond. Georges was the worst hurricane to hit the region during the twentieth century.

Politics

Government House, Basseterre, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Government House, Basseterre.jpg
Government House, Basseterre, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Government headquarters of Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis Government building 2.JPG
Government headquarters of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a sovereign, democratic and federal state. [17] The Queen of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Elizabeth II, is its head of state. The Queen is represented in the country by a Governor-General, who acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party of the House, and the cabinet conducts affairs of state. The country may also be described by the unofficial term, "Commonwealth realm", because it is a constitutional monarchy which shares the same monarch as fifteen other members of the Commonwealth of Nations.

St. Kitts and Nevis has a unicameral legislature, known as the National Assembly. It is composed of fourteen members: eleven elected Representatives (three from the island of Nevis) and three Senators who are appointed by the Governor-General. Two of the senators are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, and one on the advice of the leader of the opposition. Unlike in other countries senators do not constitute a separate Senate or upper house of parliament, but sit in the National Assembly alongside representatives. All members serve five-year terms. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament.

Foreign relations

Saint Kitts and Nevis has no major international disputes. Saint Kitts and Nevis is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Organisation of American States (OAS)

The Charter of the OAS was signed in Bogota in 1948 and was amended by several Protocols which were named after the city and the year in which the Protocol was signed, such as Managua in 1993 forming part of the name of the Protocol. [18]

St. Kitts & Nevis entered the OAS system on 16 September 1984. [19]

Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)

Three Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA) have been held with three past Summits, which were: Canada, Argentina and Panama. It was the intention of the leaders to have this Summit within the framework of that which was held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. [20]

The position of the OAS with respect to indigenous persons appears to be developing over the years. The following statements appear to capture the position of the OAS with respect to the ILSA as at December 2016 according to the website of the Summit of Americas: "The OAS has supported and participated in the organisation of Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)," according to the OAS's website. "The most recent statement made by the Heads of State of the hemisphere was in the Declaration of Commitments of Port of Spain in 2009 - Paragraph 86". [20]

The Draft American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Persons appears to be a working document. The last "Meeting for Negotiations in the Quest for Consensus on this area appeared to be Meeting Number (18) eighteen and is listed as being held in May 2015 according to the website. [21] [ check quotation syntax ]

Agreements which impact on financial relationships

Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994

At a CARICOM Meeting, representative of St. Kitts & Nevis, Kennedy Simmons signed The Double Taxation Relief (CARICOM) Treaty 1994 on the 6 July 1994. [22]

The representatives of seven CARICOM countries signed similar agreements at Sherbourne Conference Centre, St. Michael, Barbados. [22] The countries whose representatives signed the treaties in Barbados were: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. [22]

This treaty covered taxes, residence, tax jurisdictions, capital gains, business profits, interest, dividends, royalties and other areas.

FATCA

On 30 June 2014, St. Kitts & Nevis signed a Model 1 agreement with the United States of America in relation to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). [23]

At 28 April 2016, the status of the agreement went to "In Force" according to the updated site on 16 January 2017.

Military

Saint Kitts and Nevis has a defense force of 300 personnel. It is mostly involved in policing and drug-trade interception.

Administrative divisions

The federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is divided into fourteen parishes: nine divisions on Saint Kitts and five on Nevis.

  1. Christ Church Nichola Town (SK)
  2. Saint Anne Sandy Point (SK)
  3. Saint George Basseterre (SK)
  4. Saint John Capisterre (SK)
  5. Saint Mary Cayon (SK)
  6. Saint Paul Capisterre (SK)
  7. Saint Peter Basseterre (SK)
  8. Saint Thomas Middle Island (SK)
  9. Trinity Palmetto Point (SK)
  1. Saint George Gingerland (N)
  2. Saint James Windward (N)
  3. Saint John Figtree (N)
  4. Saint Paul Charlestown (N)
  5. Saint Thomas Lowland (N)

Geography

A map of Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis-CIA WFB Map.png
A map of Saint Kitts and Nevis
A view of Nevis island from the southeastern peninsula of Saint Kitts Stkitts-view-lookingatsea.jpg
A view of Nevis island from the southeastern peninsula of Saint Kitts

The country consists of two main islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis. The highest peak, at 1,156 metres (3,793 ft), is Mount Liamuiga on St. Kitts. The southernmost point is Dogwood Point on Nevis.

The islands are of volcanic origin, with large central peaks covered in tropical rainforest; the steeper slopes leading to these peaks are mostly uninhabited. The majority of the population on both islands lives closer to the sea where the terrain flattens out. There are numerous rivers descending from the mountains of both islands, which provide fresh water to the local population. St. Kitts also has one small lake, a salt pond.

Fauna

The national bird is the brown pelican. [24]

There are 176 species of birds. [25]

Climate

By the Köppen climate classification, St. Kitts has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw) and Nevis has a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am). [26] Mean monthly temperatures in Basseterre varies little from 23.9 °C (75.0 °F) to 26.6 °C (79.9 °F). Yearly rainfall is approximately 2,400 millimetres (90 in), although it has varied from 1,356 millimetres (53.4 in) to 3,183 millimetres (125.3 in) in the period 1901-2015. [27]

Climate data for Saint Kitts and Nevis (1991-2015)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Daily mean °C (°F)23.9
(75.0)
23.8
(74.8)
24.0
(75.2)
24.7
(76.5)
25.5
(77.9)
26.2
(79.2)
26.3
(79.3)
26.6
(79.9)
26.4
(79.5)
26.0
(78.8)
25.4
(77.7)
24.4
(75.9)
25.3
(77.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches)150
(5.9)
102
(4.0)
99
(3.9)
153
(6.0)
219
(8.6)
181
(7.1)
214
(8.4)
232
(9.1)
222
(8.7)
289
(11.4)
286
(11.3)
225
(8.9)
2,372
(93.3)
Source: Climate Change Knowledge Portal [27]

Demographics

Population

Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts.jpg
Downtown Basseterre, St. Kitts

African descent 92.5%, Multiracial 3%, European 2.1%, Indian 1.5%, Other 0.6%, Unspecified 0.3% (2001 estimate). [1]

As of 2016, there were 54,821 inhabitants; their average life expectancy is 76.9 years. Emigration has historically been very high, so high that the total estimated population in 2007 was little changed from that in 1961. [28]

Emigration from St. Kitts & Nevis to the United States: [24]

Religion

Religion in Saint kitts and Nevis (2001) [29]

  Anglican (20.6%)
  Methodist (19.1%)
  Pentecostal (8.18%)
  Church of God (6.83%)
  Roman Catholic (6.70%)
  Other (6.48%)
  Moravian (5.47%)
  No religion (atheism, agnosticism, etc) (5.17%)
  Baptist (4.79%)
  Seventh-day Adventist (4.67%)
  Not stated (3.21%)
  Brethren (1.79%)
  Jehovah's witness (1.32%)
  Rastafarian (1%)
  Hindu (0.80%)
  Muslim (0.28%)
  Presbyterian (0.20%)
  Salvation Army (0.13%)
  Baha'i (0.04%)

Most inhabitants are Christians, mainly Anglicans and other Protestants. The Roman Catholics are pastorally served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown (on Barbados), while the Anglicans by the Diocese of the North East Caribbean and Aruba.

Culture

The Mongoose Play, a popular production of folk theatre and music MongoosePlay.jpg
The Mongoose Play , a popular production of folk theatre and music

English is the sole official language. Saint Kitts Creole is also widely spoken.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival (18 December to 3 January on Saint Kitts). The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival, while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August. [30]

Additional festivals on the island of Saint Kitts include Inner City Fest, in February in Molineaux; Green Valley Festival, usually around Whit Monday in village of Cayon; Easterama, around Easter in village of Sandy Point; Fest-Tab, in July or August in the village of Tabernacle; and La festival de Capisterre, around Independence Day in Saint Kitts and Nevis (19 September), in the Capisterre region. These celebrations typically feature parades, street dances and salsa, jazz, soca, calypso and steelpan music.

The 1985 film Missing in Action 2: The Beginning was filmed in Saint Kitts. [31]

Sports

Cricket is common in Saint Kitts and Nevis. Top players can be selected for the West Indies cricket team. The late Runako Morton was from Nevis. Saint Kitts and Nevis was the smallest country to host 2007 Cricket World Cup matches. [32]

Rugby and netball are also common in Saint Kitts and Nevis as well.

The St. Kitts and Nevis national football team, also known as the "Sugar Boyz", has experienced some international success in recent years, progressing to the semi-final round of qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the CONCACAF region. Led by Glence Glasgow, they defeated the US Virgin Islands and Barbados before they were outmatched by Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Despite not representing the country, Marcus Rashford is of descent.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Billiard Federation, SKNBF, is the governing body for cue sports across the two islands. The SKNBF is a member of the Caribbean Billiards Union (CBU) with the SKNBF President Ste Williams holding the post of CBU Vice-President.

Kim Collins is the country's foremost track and field athlete. He has won gold medals in the 100 metres at both the World Championships in Athletics and Commonwealth Games, and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics he was the country's first athlete to reach an Olympic final. He and three other athletes represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The four by one hundred metre relay team won a bronze medal in the 2011 world championships.

American writer and former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine was granted dual citizenship in an attempt to make the 2008 Summer Olympics representing St. Kitts and Nevis in women's cycling. Her story was chronicled online at ESPN.com as a part of its E-Ticket feature entitled "So You Wanna Be An Olympian?" She ultimately failed to earn the necessary points for Olympic qualification. [33]

St. Kitts and Nevis had two athletes ride in the time trial at the 2010 UCI Road World Championships: Reginald Douglas and James Weekes. [34]

Economy

The capital, Basseterre Basseterre from sea 2.JPG
The capital, Basseterre

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a twin-island federation whose economy is characterised by its dominant tourism, agriculture, and light manufacturing industries. Sugar was the primary export from the 1940s on, but rising production costs, low world market prices, and the government's efforts to reduce dependence on it have led to a growing diversification of the agricultural sector. In 2005, the government decided to close down the state-owned sugar company, which had experienced losses and was a significant contributor to the fiscal deficit.

Former sugar plantations dominate the St. Kitts landscape. Many of the cane fields are being burned to make room for land development, especially on the northern side of the island, in the parishes of Saint John Capisterre and Christchurch. The agricultural, tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore-banking sectors are being developed and are now taking larger roles in the country's economy. The growth of the tourism sector has become the main foreign exchange earner for Saint Kitts and Nevis. The country has also developed a successful apparel assembly industry and one of the largest electronics assembly industries in the Caribbean.

St. Kitts is dependent upon tourism to drive its economy. Tourism to the island has been expanding since 1978. In 2009 there were 587,479 arrivals to Saint Kitts compared to 379,473 in 2007. This growth represents an increase of just under 40% in a two-year period. As tourism grows the demand for vacation property increases in conjunction.

In hopes of expanding tourism, St. Kitts hosts its annual St. Kitts Music Festival.

St Kitts & Nevis also acquires foreign direct investment from their citizenship by investment programme, outlined in their Citizenship Act of 1984. Interested parties can acquire citizenship if they pass the government's background checks and make an investment into an approved real estate development.

In July 2015, St Kitts & Nevis and the Republic of Ireland signed a tax agreement to "promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information." The agreement was developed by the OECD Global Forum Working Group on Effective Exchange of Information, which consisted of representatives from OECD member countries and 11 other countries in the Caribbean and other parts of the world. [35]

Transport

Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport St. Kitts Airport Terminal from side.jpg
Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport

Saint Kitts and Nevis has two international airports. The larger one is Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport on the island of Saint Kitts with service outside to the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. The other airport, Vance W. Amory International Airport, is located on the island of Nevis and has flights to other parts of the Caribbean.

Economic citizenship by investment

St. Kitts allows foreigners to obtain the status of St. Kitts citizen by means of a government sponsored investment programme called Citizenship-by-Investment. [36] Established in 1984, St. Kitts' citizenship programme is the oldest prevailing economic citizenship programme of this kind in the world. However, while the programme is the oldest in the world, it only catapulted in 2006 when Henley & Partners, a global citizenship advisory firm, became involved in the restructuring of the programme to incorporate donations to the country's sugar industry. [37]

Citizenship-by-Investment Programmes are criticised by various researchers because of its risks of corruption, money laundring and tax evasion. [38] According to the official website of St. Kitts' Citizenship-by-Investment Programme they offer multiple benefits: "When you acquire citizenship under the St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship programme, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent. As citizens of St. Kitts & Nevis, you and your family are issued with passports which allow visa-free travel to more than 130 countries [39] territories worldwide, including all of the EU. Of course you have the right to take up residence in St. Kitts & Nevis as well as in most of the CARICOM member countries at any time and for any length of time". [40]

Each candidate must go through several legal steps and make a qualifying investment into the country [40] and should complete certain legal requirements to qualify for citizenship under the investment programme. There is a minimum investment that has to be made by the applicant, in either an approved real estate or in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (a public charity), to qualify for the economic citizenship of St. Kitts & Nevis.

According to Henley & Partners, the requirements are as follows: [41] [42]

The latest data indicates an acceleration in property appreciation when comparing it to the Department of Inland Revenue's 2009 statistics.

Education

There are eight publicly administered high and secondary level schools in St Kitts-Nevis, and several private secondary schools.

See also

Related Research Articles

Saint Kitts and Nevis have one of the longest written histories in the Caribbean, both islands being among Spain's and England's first colonies in the archipelago. Despite being only two miles apart and quite diminutive in size, Saint Kitts and Nevis were widely recognized as being separate entities with distinct identities until they were forcibly united in the late 19th century.

The history of Anguilla runs from the beginning of human habitation, probably via settlement from South America, through its colonization by the English in the early modern period, to the present day. Following a series of rebellions and a short-lived period as an independent republic during the 1960s, Anguilla has been a separate British overseas territory since 1980.

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.

Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Saint Kitts and Nevis political leader and labour activist

Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw was the first Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, and previously served as Chief Minister, legislator, and labour activist.

Timothy Harris Saint Kitts and Nevis politician

Timothy Sylvester Harris is the current Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, in office since 2015. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 10 August 2001 to 25 January 2008, as Minister for Finance from 2008 to 2010, and as Senior Minister and Minister for Agriculture from 2010 to 2013.

Paul Southwell Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell was the second Premier and first Chief Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. He also worked as a teacher, police officer, and trade unionist.

The West Indies Associated States was the collective name for a number of islands in the Eastern Caribbean whose status changed from being British colonies to states in free association with the United Kingdom in 1967. These states were Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Christopher–Nevis–Anguilla, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.

Sir Thomas Warner was a captain in the guards of James I of England who became an explorer in the Caribbean. In 1620 he served at the brief-lived English settlement of Oyapoc in present-day Guyana of South America, which was abandoned the same year. The Dutch controlled most of the territory. Warner is noted for settling on Saint Kitts and establishing it in 1624 as the first English colony in the Caribbean.

Outline of Saint Kitts and Nevis Overview of and topical guide to Saint Kitts and Nevis

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Saint Kitts and Nevis:

Saint Kitts and Nevis passport passport

The Saint Kitts and Nevis passport is issued to citizens of Saint Kitts and Nevis for international travel. Prior to 1983, Saint Kitts and Nevis was an associated state of the United Kingdom. The passport is a Caricom passport as Saint Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Caribbean Community.

Saint Kitts and Nevis is an island country in the Leeward Islands, consisting of the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 1883, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla were united into one colony. Anguilla formally separated from the union in 1980.

Constitution of Saint Kitts and Nevis

The Constitution of Saint Kitts and Nevis was adopted on 23 June 1983 and took effect when the country became independent on 19 September 1983. It consists of 11 chapters and various schedules, which establish the rights, responsibilities and definition of the citizens of the federation. It also provides the form and structure of government, and enumerates the powers of the different branches of government. Its treatment of the island of Nevis is rather unusual among federated nations.

India–Saint Kitts and Nevis relations refers to the international relations that exist between India and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The Embassy of India in Georgetown, Guyana is concurrently accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis. India opened its Honorary Consulate in Basseterre in August 2008.

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