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Sweden promises to transform sugar economy in St. Kitts
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2 June Basseterre St. Kitts: Sweden has made a commitment to assist in transforming the sugar-based agricultural economy of this island  by sending ethanol and information technology experts to conduct feasibility studies on the establishment of viable industries.

Sweden’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Mr. Sten Ask, in paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Denzil L. Douglas, was responding to the concerns of the St. Kitts and Nevis leader on the social and economic impact that the closure of the sugar industry will have on the Federation.

Mr. Ask said that Sweden is regarded as the leading European nation in information technology and has established several technology parks in the south of the country and would be willing to share this expertise with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We have been ranked at the leading IT nation for four years in a row and as a friendly Government would be willing to exchange visits between students and professors, and train students by providing scholarships,” Ambassador Ask told Prime Minister Douglas.

He said the European nation has established an ethanol industry and would be willing to work with local experts in St. Kitts and Nevis to conduct the necessary feasibility studies aimed at developing an alternative to the growing of the cane plant for the production of sugar.

Prime Minister Douglas welcomed the offers of assistance from the Swedish Ambassador and promised immediate follow up action on the issues.

Sweden’s interest in becoming a member of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was also discussed. Ambassador Ask informed Prime Minister Douglas that the President of the regional financial lending institution, Dr. Compton Bourne, is to visit Stockholm shortly to discuss Sweden’s membership.

Ambassador Ask said Sweden will assume the Presidency of the United Nations General assembly later this year and will seek the cooperation of member states in strengthening the world body and pushing through urgent reforms at the United Nations.

Sweden is this year celebrating the 100th birthday of its former Prime Minister, Dag Hammarskjold, who was born in July 1905 and who while serving as Secretary General of the United Nations, died in a plane crash near the border between Katanga and North Rhodesia in September 1961.

The Swedish Diplomat said he will spare no effort during his tenure of accreditation to the Federation to “maintain and strengthen the already strong ties of friendship between St. Kitts and Nevis and Sweden.”

He said there was need for a more ambitious agenda to attract more Swedish tourists to St. Kitts and Nevis.

While here, Ambassador Ask presented his credentials to Governor General His Excellency Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris.

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