Minister with responsibility for finance in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, has assumed the chairmanship of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council for 2023-2024, following a ceremony held Friday, 21st July, 2023 at the Beachcombers Hotel.
In his remarks at the ceremony, outgoing chairman of the ECCB Monetary Council, St. Lucia’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Philip Pierre, said he passes the mantle with “great optimism and unwavering confidence.”
Hon. Philip Pierre, has been credited with initiatives such as greater inclusivity in financial decision making, along with the draft Eastern Caribbean Deposit Insurance Co-operation Agreement and Bill, allowing for greater protection of depositors of Licensed Financial Institutions within the ECCU. In May of this year (2023) the ECCU launched its first Mutual Fund. Work is also advancing towards the creation of the Regional Credit Bureau, to be launched in Antigua & Barbuda, later this year.
Meanwhile, finance minister Gonsalves said his first order of business will be to advance financial accessibility and financial literacy within the ECCU, including increased financial stability within the sub-region through the establishment of a Deposit Insurance Framework.
The finance minister has committed to further developing a renewable energy infrastructure investment facility and improved access to green climate finance markets. He also highlighted the importance of advanced digitalization in OECS member states, and emphasized a “need to embrace the promise of the digital economy, while avoiding its potential pitfalls and by this improve connectivity.”
Hon. Camillo Gonsalves has assumed chairmanship of the ECCB Monetary Council at a time when the entire region is in recovery stages following the global economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 Pandemic. He said “it is a time for fresh hope, it is a time for greater unity, not fragmentation, and it is a time for us to realize the benefit and value of the institutions we have and the role that these institutions can play in carrying us forward.”
The ECCB Monetary Council includes the ECCU territories of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
SOURCE: Agency For Public Information