According to Timothy Antoine, governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is at a critical juncture coming on the heels of the economic difficulties of the recent past and a future pregnant with uncertainty occasioned by, inter alia, derisking and geopolitical developments such as Brexit and Trumpism.
Antoine’s comments came ahead of Wednesday’s growth dialogue between social partners in the ECCU, hosted at the ECCB headquarters in St Kitts.
The forum seeks to forge consensus on a plan of action for addressing growth, competitiveness and employment in the ECCU.
Antoine said, in this moment, the collective leadership of the region must find common cause, stand tall and take collective action to defend vital economic interests and advance the well-being of its people, especially the youth.
“The growth dialogue creates a unique opportunity for social Partners to engage the Monetary Council (the highest decision making body of the ECCB) on the all-important issue of economic growth under the theme “Working Together to Achieve Higher and More Inclusive Growth in the ECCU”, and to forge beneficial relationships and build strategies in becoming more competitive and successful,” he said.
The forum comprised the ECCB Monetary Council, leaders of opposition, the ECCU financial secretaries, ECCB management and staff, along with representatives from trade and labour unions; Chambers of Industry and Commerce; civil society; Caribbean Development Bank; the World Bank; The OECS Commission; and youth organisations.
Antoine anticipates that ideas emanating the dialogue would help to elevate the growth trajectory and enhance the development outcomes of the ECCU member countries.