Country Profiles FMCG
With more than 1,000 insight-rich pages covering 81
countries and territories, Country Profiles offer
current and comprehensive business information, from
local laws and taxes to political and market
conditions Make them part of your smart trade
Country profile: St
kitts and nevis
language: English Prime minister: Denzil Douglas
Federation of Saint Christopher
Of the islands' total land area, about 39% is
devoted to crops. The principal agricultural
product of St. Kitts is sugarcane; peanuts are
now the second crop. On Nevis, sea island cotton
and coconuts are the major commodities. Sweet
potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots,
and breadfruit are grown for local consumption
on both islands, mostly by individual
smallholders. In 2001, agricultural products
accounted for about 18.5% of total imports by
value and 11.2% of exports; the government has
embarked on a program to substitute for food
Sugar estate lands were nationalized in 1975,
and the sugar factory was purchased by the
government the following year. The output of raw
sugar slumped between 1986 and 1989, and as a
result the government entered into a management
agreement with Booke and Tate of Great Britain
in August 1991; a World Bank loan of US $1.9
million was utilized to provide financial
stability. Sugar production in 1999 was
estimated at 197,000 tons.
The former British colony of St Kitts and Nevis is inhabited mostly by the descendants of West African slaves.
Its beaches, scenery and a warm, sunny climate give it great tourist potential. It is also vulnerable to hurricanes.
The islands of St Kitts - also known as St Christopher - and Nevis have been in an uneasy federation since independence from Britain in 1983, with some politicians in Nevis saying the federal government in St Kitts - home to a majority of the population - had ignored the needs of Nevisians.
But a referendum on secession held in Nevis in 1998 failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed to break away.
Tourism, offshore finance and service industries are important sources of income - more so since a centuries-old but loss-making sugar industry was wound down in 2005 with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
By 2003, Nevis was home to around 17,000 offshore businesses operating under strict secrecy laws, making the islands a target for drugs traffickers and money launderers. Laws have been introduced to crack down on the problem.