St. Kitts and Nevis’ debt restructuring exercise featured in new book

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 9TH 2013 (CUOPM) – A book that features prominently the experiences of St. Kitts and Nevis’ debt restructuring is to be launched during a seminar in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon and given its success, it (debt restructuring exercise) might be an example for other countries.

The book titled “The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems,” also features quotations from St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Governor of the St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Hon. Sir K. Dwight Venner; Professor Jeffrey A. Frankel of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government and Dr. Lester Henry Lecturer in Economics, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

It is edited by Alfred Schipke, Aliona Cebotari, and Nita Thacker, is being launched during a seminar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquatters 2.

During the event, opening remarks will be made by Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund and the moderator will be Adrienne Cheasty, Deputy Director, Western Hemisphere Dept., IMF.

Panellists are Alfred Schipke, Division Chief, Asia and Pacific Dept., IMF; Aliona Cebotari, Deputy Division Chief, Western Hemisphere Dept., IMF; Françoise Clottes, Country Director for the Caribbean, The World Bank and Kittitian Mrs. Janet Harris, Alternate Executive Director for Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean, The World Bank; and former Financial Secretary, St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU) is one of four currency unions in the world.

The Handbook provides a comprehensive analysis of the key macroeconomic and financial sector issues in the OECS/ECCU, including its organization, policy recommendations to foster economic growth, experiences with debt restructurings, and offshore financial centers.

“With national debt approaching 200 percent of GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis, we decided to restructure our debt and implement a home-grown economic programme, with the assistance of the IMF, reducing public debt to less than 100 percent of GDP in 2012, putting it on a path to reach 60 percent of GDP by 2020. This will not only reduce vulnerabilities and improve the growth prospects of our twin islands, but will also strengthen the Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union. These and other important macroeconomic and financial sector issues are covered in this comprehensive book. This handbook will not only be a useful reference and guide for policymakers, students, and informed citizens of the region, but will also provide insights that might be relevant for other countries, including micro states, members of monetary unions, and island economies,” said —Dr. Denzil Douglas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, St. Kitts and Nevis.

“This handbook on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) covers, at the institutional and policy levels, the critical issues that have impacted the stability and growth of the member countries of the ECCU, and which are informing the debates on the future of these countries. The handbook provides a compelling narrative on the functioning of the ECCU and is supported by a wealth of empirical data that will be extremely useful to public sector policymakers, the private sector, and the general public in the ECCU, as well as the international community. It is also an excellent complement to two previous publications, The Caribbean: From Vulnerability to Sustained Growth (IMF, 2006) and The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Towards a New Agenda for Growth (World Bank, 2005),” Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

“Long before there was the euro, there was the ECCU (Eastern Caribbean Currency Union). While the former monetary union has been analyzed to death, the latter has received hardly any attention, even from researchers. This timely contribution from Alfred Schipke and his colleagues now begins to rectify the omission,” said Jeffrey A. Frankel, Professor, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

“The book sets out to present a comprehensive survey and review of the major macroeconomic issues of relevance to the ECCU and it accomplishes this with great success! The level and scope of the analysis will make attractive to policymakers and regional academics. Particular chapters can be used to augment standard readings for courses on macroeconomics and Caribbean economic development,” said Dr. Lester Henry, Lecturer in Economics, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Eastern Caribbean and Economic Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems © 2013. 528 pp. Paperback ISBN 978-1-61635-265-3. Stock# MFSEEA. Price: $50

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