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ECCB Governor Calls for Economic Restructuring

During the 2011 economic review ECCU, Venner Stated, “It is very clear from our current situation that what is called for is a fundamental restructuring of the ECCU economies, at the individual and collective levels. We have small, open, vulnerable and disaster-proned economies, which are lagging in the Latin American and Caribbean region in growth, competitiveness, macro variables such as fiscal and debt, the doing business index, and other critical elements in the Global Competitiveness Index.” 

Venner stressed that the circumstances require a new strategy to address the structural challenges, and that the situation requires a brave phase similar to that which arose when the People’s Republic of China decided to change from a Marxist economic scheme to a capitalist one, which has proven to be a case of successful experimentation based on pragmatism, but added that in terms of the ECCU, this would be changing from single-country economies to a multi-country economy. 

He went on to say, “This brings us to the major issue which we face – the strategy for the fundamental restructuring of the economies to address the long-run growth and development issues.  A mature and intense discussion on these issues must take place, given the fact that we have well entrenched liberal democratic systems which have proven to be significant assets for us. However, we are limited by the restrictions of short-term electoral cycles which mitigate against serious long-term planning. Economic development is a dynamic and long-term process which is always in transition.  We will therefore have to find the means to achieve social and political consensus on our long-term goals as an economic union.” 

Venner continued, “The first order of business is to have consensus on what kind of economies we would like to aim at and have progressed toward by 2020, the timeframe envisaged for substantial achievement of our development objectives. These objectives will have to be carefully spelt out in terms of growth, employment and the bench mark of the Human Development Indices (HDI).  We then need to develop the appropriate policies, bearing in mind that in developing countries such as ours, policymaking is a cross between an art and a science and involves making judgements and correcting mistakes.”

The ECCB Governor also said the basic strategy for treating with our fundamental structural problems is that the process of integration needs to be experimented as it has been identified as the basic strategy for treating with the fundamental structural problems. 

He further stated, “Our economies must be integrated at the national level and across countries.   The ECCU must then be effectively integrated into the wider regional and international systems so that we can align ourselves to the growth poles which present themselves as we shift to more flexible economic structures.”

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