ECCU Countries Discuss Action Plan for Further Strengthening Institutional Structure to Address Debt Management Challenges

ECCB Headquarters

Basseterre, St.Kitts (April 11, 2013) — The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member countries are expected to receive further training and technical support during 2013/2014 in negotiation techniques for sources of finance; conducting a review of the current debt legislation in the ECCU; and assistance with utilising policy tools, such as debt management strategies.

The training and technical support will be provided under the 2013/2014 Annual Work Plan of the Canada Eastern Caribbean Debt Management Advisory Service (CANEC DMAS) Project, which the Project Steering Committee (PSC) approved during its meeting on 26 March.

The ECCU’s response to the high levels of debt and the need for the strengthening of the institutional framework in the member states to facilitate enhanced implementation of best practises for debt management in the region were also discussed during the meeting.

The CANEC DMAS Project is a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded debt management project which commenced operations at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in 2009. The main objective of the project is to provide capacity building to the ECCU member countries to effectively manage their debt portfolios. This is being done in close collaboration with the Ministries of Finance in the ECCU member states. The PSC, which comprises the Governor of the ECCB as chairman, the Financial Secretaries in the ECCU and a representative of CIDA, is responsible for providing oversight to the Project.

The major achievements of the CANEC DMAS Project for the 2012/2013 financial year included: the preparation of debt sustainability analyses to inform policy discussions; training in evaluation of sources of finance; increased usage of the Regional Governments Securities Market (RGSM); and enhancements in debt data quality and security.

In deliberating on the 2013/2014 work activities, the PSC cited the need for collaboration at all levels of the public sector including various components of the Ministries of Finance and statutory bodies to combat the economic challenges being faced in the current environment.

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