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Saint Kitts: E-Commerce

Introduction

The government is highly aware of the need to push forward with e-commerce development. Says the Prime Minister: "Information technology and telecommunications will play an important role in my Government's strategy for stimulating increased economic growth and advancing the development process in our Federation. The global market for information technology has exhibited phenomenal growth in recent years, and as such, globalization and the phenomenal advances in telecommunications have opened up new avenues of growth and development for developing countries such as ours. No modern society today can survive and grow in the global space without continually updating and developing its technological resources to match changing technological demands and advancements."

"To date the Federation has benefited from investment in a first class communications infrastructure, which allows the interconnectivity necessary to connect to the rest of the world. The liberalization of the telecommunications sector has brought innovations, new business and business opportunities to the market. Although the liberalization process is not complete, already there have been some attempts to bring lower cost services to the general public. In Saint Kitts & Nevis, the liberalization process is still in its infant stage, but it is gathering momentum and we are determined to expeditiously remove all remaining impediments to the development of a free, competitive and well regulated telecommunications industry."

The government of Saint Kitts and Nevis announced recently that it has a "clear path" for the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the expansion of e-government services.

The Taiwan government has aided Saint Kitts and Nevis in the area of ICT since the signing of a co-operation agreement in November 2006. The two parties met to share developments and suggestions at an e-government seminar in December 2008, also attended by neighbouring islands Jamaica, Belize and Barbados.

Saint Kitts and Nevis Social and Community Development Minister Rupert Herbert spoke after the occasion:

“They were thoroughly impressed with the presentations, particularly the morning session which highlighted Taiwan’s road from a newly IT-based society, to what it is today.” He added that Taiwan, which is widely regarded as the Asian technology hub for state-of-the-art manufacturing and research, has an impressive IT infrastructure and excellent E-Government services.

“The beauty of their E-services is that they did not just throw them at the people. They were all based on information which they collected from the population with regards to their needs,” he said, adding that the stories from Taiwan were instrumental as it outlined some of the do’s and don’ts in establishing and expanding E-services.

Mr. Herbert stressed that the Saint Kitts and Nevis e-government development is still information-based, incorporating email and a government web portal. He indicated that the second half of 2009 may see the expansion into greater service provision. Whenever that time comes he promised that a vigorous public consultation campaign would aim to ensure the government meets the needs of the populace in relation to e-services.

“We have a keen eye out there and we see what’s working. We want these services to be to the benefit of the general public, not just the government,” Herbert concluded.

In January 2009 Nevisian Premier Joseph Parry thanked local Internet and phone service provider LIME, which had recently set up operations in Nevis, for improving telecommunications on the Island. The government acclaimed the improvements that the company has brought to the island and said that the increased tax-take generated from the company’s operations would help secure greater financial independence for Nevis.

 

 

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