Economic Prospects of Region Discussed By Governor Venner

(SKNIS): While the region faces unprecedented “economic stagnation”, the outlook for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) in 2014, is said to have a positive growth.

In his presentation on the Currency Union recently, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner spoke of the present situation, where the Currency Union is concerned.

“It may be safe to say that never before has the Currency Union witnessed such a prolonged period of economic stagnation,” he said. “In looking ahead, there are three possible scenarios which confront the Currency Union and will weigh heavily on the decisions to be taken.”

These are that; the global economy remains in its relatively low growth, high unemployment mode, particularly in our main trading partners while the ECCU countries continue with their current policies. Economic activity in the global economy does not return to its pre-crisis levels while the ECCU makes significant policy adjustments; while the other features that the global economy going through substantial restructuring and re-balancing and the ECCU undergoes significant socioeconomic transformation.

“These scenarios imply major policy choices for the ECCU countries which have related outcomes,” he assured. “Four possible outcomes can be identified from the economic history and contemporary experience of nation states.”

These he said are; failed or failing states, barebones survival, moderate progress and socioeconomic transformation.

He stressed that the obvious choice for them is socioeconomic transformation, but explained that this is a long term goal and requires resolute focus on a medium to long term strategy and the political commitment and social consensus to get there.

“We must have a vision of what we want and a systematic, pragmatic and adaptable strategy for achieving our goals,” he declared. “That means that our goals must be clear and measurable with emphasis on a few aspects.”

The aspects will include; an attainable and sustainable growth rate; a higher level of employment in quality jobs; poverty reduction; and maintenance and improvement of the Human Development Indices.

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