Saint Lucia and other member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union are forecast to record marginal economic growth estimated at 1.5 percent in 2013 and 2.2 percent in 2014.
The economic performance of the region continues to be hampered by the global recession and is linked largely to growth in the economies of major source markets like the United States and Europe.
Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. Kenny D Anthony says it is imperative that member countries adopt effective strategies to stimulate growth of at least 3.5 percent between now and 2015 and at least eight percent in growth thereafter.
“We are conscious of the need to stimulate growth as this is linked to the achievement of financial stability, fiscal and debt sustainability and ultimately sustainable employment for our citizens. In this environment we must pursue efforts to return our economies on a path of growth by carefully selected investment initiatives.”
In recognition of the need to aggressively address the region’s debt situation, the Eastern Caribbean Development Bank (ECCB) is collaborating with the Centre For Latin American Monetary Studies to develop a proposal to address the peculiar circumstances of small, middle income and highly vulnerable countries.
Prime Minister Anthony says member states are also receiving assistance to strengthen their technical capacities to actively manage their debt portfolios .
“The challenges in the 2013/2014 financial year are expected to be similar to those experienced over the last three years, but I am confident that the Monetary Council will rise above these challenges and the exchange rate arrangement and stability of the banking system will be maintained. Unquestionably the times have been difficult for our people, our government and our financial institutions but we have survived.”
The chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union says despite the challenging environment Eastern Caribbean States have and will continue to be proactive in developing an effective approach to address the impacts of the financial crisis.