Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit is the incoming Chairman of the Monetary Council of Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.
A formal ceremony to hand over the Chairmanship from Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Hon Gaston Browne to Hon Skerrit was held at the State House on Friday.
Hon Skerrit reiterated the ECCB’s move towards the socio-economic transformation of the economy in order to secure the future of the people of the region.
While the global economic growth is projected at 3.5% and 3.6% percent in 2017 and 2018, he says, growth for the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union (ECCU) is projected at 3.2% in 2017 and 3.1% in 2018; still short of the 5% annual growth rate target which is required.
Hon Skerrit says, it is expected that tourism and the foreign direct investment, particularly through Citizenship by Investment, will continue to be the main drivers in achieving these targets.
“We see a future of strong banks, vibrant economies led by tourism, agriculture, medical education, financial services and powered by technology; we see a future where our citizens can find or create decent and meaningful work; we see a future where our children can grow up to realise their God-given potential; we see a future of peace, stability, unity and prosperity,” the Chairman said.
Having set economic transformation as its focus, the ECCB will formally launch its strategic plan for 2017 to 2021 this September.
“The process of economic transformation is not a sprint, it requires inter alia, a solid foundation, an appropriate infrastructure, a strategy, resolute implementation and patience…it is with this high level of commitment and with the eagerness to make life better for citizens of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union that I assume the Chairmanship of this council.”
The Monetary Council is the highest decision-making authority of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and comprises of the eight ministers of finance Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica who were all present at Friday’s ceremony.
The council will also meet for one day of discussions while in Dominica.
Chairmanship of the Council is rotated among the members annually.