Regional Debt Managers Brainstorm on the Enhancement of Debt Management Practices

ZIZ News…Feb. 28, 2013 — Debt Managers and officers from Debt Management Units in the Ministries of Finance in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), met for a Debt Managers’ Retreat from 14 to 15 February to strategise on ways to build capacity so that the ECCU member countries can better manage their debts through enhanced debt management practices.

The retreat, which was held at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Headquarters in St Kitts and Nevis, was part of the technical meetings under the Canada Eastern Caribbean Debt Management Advisory Service (CANEC DMAS) Project.

The CANEC DMAS Project commenced in 2009 to improve the effectiveness of ECCU governments to manage debt portfolios to sustainable levels. Through the CANEC DMAS Project, officers from the ECCU member countries have received training and technical assistance in several debt management areas including: undertaking debt sustainability analyses, development of debt management strategies and techniques for loan evaluation and negotiation. Equipment has also been donated to the countries to enhance their debt management practices. The CANEC DMAS Project is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

During the retreat, the ECCU debt managers and officers focussed on the work of the CANEC DMAS Project and the local work programmes of the Debt Management Units (DMU) in the countries. They also assessed the progress the countries have made through the project and identified their technical assistance needs for the Financial Year 2013/2014.

In addition, they reviewed the 2012 performance of the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) which revealed that the participating governments issued a record number of securities during the year, increasing to 51 from 33 in 2011. The RGSM represents a major pillar of the ECCU’s debt management strategy. Debt managers and officers also identified a number of areas for further research to strengthen the domestic securities market.

The decisions from the retreat will be presented to the CANEC DMAS Project Steering Committee (PSC) for ratification as part of the 2013/2014 Annual Work Plan. The committee will meet on 28 March 2013 in St Kitts and Nevis.

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