ECCB commends St. Kitts and Nevis on strong economic performance
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has commended St. Kitts and Nevis, under the leadership of the Team Unity administration, on its outstanding economic performance and leadership in the sub-region.
This came when ECCB officials, led by Gov. Timothy Antoine, met with the federal cabinet at government headquarters July 10.
During that meeting, Antoine updated cabinet members on the socio-economic transformation of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), with a focus on St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy. The ECCB governor stated that the currency union is projected to continue on a path of growth in 2017-2018.
It was also noted that St. Kitts and Nevis remains an above-average economic performer in the context of the ECCU, and is projected to achieve the currency union’s debt to GDP target of 5 percent within a short period of time. The banking official further stated that the federation’s debt-to-GDP ratio, which stands at 63.2 percent, is the lowest among the independent states within the currency union.
The ECCB reported that the banking sector in St. Kitts and Nevis remains stable, while non-performing loans are on a downward trend.
The prime minister and minister of finance, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, was said to be encouraged to learn that St. Kitts and Nevis, in terms of credit to the private sector, has outperformed several other member states, noting that “this is important as the private sector is looked upon as the engine for economic growth.”
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank governor also welcomed the $72-million investment in National Security for the year 2017, which represents the largest budgetary allocation ever given to that ministry and the increase in visibility by law enforcement agencies throughout St. Kitts and Nevis.
Antoine also lauded the commitment of the government to establish a Growth and Resilience Fund to manage the fiscal savings from Citizen by Investment inflows and offered technical assistance in this regard.
Looking ahead, Antoine recommended the use of fewer cash transactions in St. Kitts and Nevis, while calling for the implementation of more electronic payment systems that could result in lower bank fees.
Accompanying Antoine at Monday’s meeting were an economist in the research department, Kevin Woods, and senior examiner in the bank’s supervision department, Miclos Swift. St. Kitts and Nevis’ financial secretary, Hilary Hazel, was also present during Monday’s session.