PM Harris attends ECCB Monetary Council Meeting in Dominica

(PRESS SEC) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, is today, Friday, July 21st, 2017, attending the 88th Meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which is being held in Dominica.

The Financial Secretary in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, is accompanying Prime Minister Harris.

The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, is chairing today’s meeting.

Dominica’s Prime Minister assumed the one-year rotating Chairmanship of the Monetary Council today, Friday, taking over from the Honourable Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, who chaired the 87th Meeting at the ECCB Headquarters in Basseterre, St. Kitts on March 2nd.

At that 87th Meeting, the Governor’s Report on Monetary and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) indicated, inter alia, that economic activity was estimated to have improved in the first nine months of 2016, compared to the first nine months of 2015.

With respect to fiscal and debt sustainability, the Communiqué issued after the 87th Meeting stated that, “The recent improvements in fiscal performance are encouraging. However, it is necessary for those gains to be protected. Frameworks for doing so include the establishment of fiscal targets in relation to the ultimate 60.0 per cent Debt to GDP ratio by 2030; and consideration of fiscal rules and debt restructuring exercises to be conducted within member countries.”

The Communiqué continued: “In keeping with this, Council agreed to recommend that member governments submit fiscal targets for the approval of the Monetary Council at its July 2017 Meeting. Council also agreed that the ECCB would provide support to the member countries in the preparation of these fiscal targets.”

Earlier this month, a press release issued (July 5th) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted that, in St. Kitts and Nevis during 2016, ““Public debt fell further, projected to reach the ECCU debt-to-GDP target in 2018, well ahead of ECCU peers.”

The IMF also said that, “St. Kitts and Nevis attained the strongest growth and fiscal performance in the ECCU region in recent years.”

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