by Linda Straker
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has unveiled a 5-year strategic plan, and among the goals is for it to become the advisor of choice for economic, fiscal and other important matters as it pertains to the development of the sub-region which belongs to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
Covering the period 2017 to 2021, the plan has 5 main goals which, if achieved, will result in significant changes in the way businesses are conducted, economic plans are developed and changes to the way of life for every citizen.
As the advisor of choice, Timothy Antoine, Governor of the ECCB, said that among the suggestions are for governments in the region to establish a resilience fund; have parliamentarians in each island approve fiscal responsibility legislation; establish a public debt website based on a shared uptodate database and establish a credit bureau.
“So, this is something we are encouraging across the region, and we are going to provide support for our governments that decide to adopt fiscal responsibility legislation. As we speak, we have legislation in Anguilla and Grenada, it’s implied in Montserrat and of course in other countries we are engaging them to eventually adopt fiscal responsibility legislation,” Antoine said. He explained that fiscal responsibility legislation is very important for sustaining hardship when there is minimal growth.
The other goals in the strategic plan which was launched through a regional news conference are:
- To maintain a strong [EC] dollar;
- Ensure a strong diversify and financial resilient financial section;
- Actively promote the economic development of the members and
- To enhance organisational effectiveness to ensure responsiveness and service excellence.
Speaking from his ECCB headquarters in St Kitts, Governor Antoine said that technology will be playing an important role in the future development of the region whose economy is worth EC$18 billion.
“Technology will have to help diversify our economy, technology has to be that very thing that will make the difference to our future economy,” he said. Seeking the support of the region’s policy and decision makers both in the public and private sector Antoine said, “Our region needs socio economic transformation now more than ever, let us go forth with ‘Nowness,’ ‘Boldness’ and ‘Togetherness,’ he said while calling on each ECCU member territory to lean on each other for collective growth.
As result of the new plan, the bank adopted, ‘Advancing the Good of the People of the Currency Union by Maintaining Monetary and Financial Stability and Promotion Growth and Development’ as its new mission statement.