The Governor stated in his annual Eastern Caribbean Economic Union Review of 2012, (on 29th January, 2013), that the people and the governments need to honestly, objectively, and realistically assess their current situation and the structure and functions of the political, social and economic systems within which they have to operate.
He said, if our systems are not functioning to deliver what we expect them to, we will need to deliberately make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the practical steps are taken to achieve the successful resolution of our problems. It is only in this way that we can generate the hope for a brighter future among our people.
Venner outlined that the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union have endured four years of negative economic growth, as a result of the impact of the global economic and financial crisis which has affected all facets of our economic and financial systems.
“As we enter the year 2013, it has become clear that we have reached a tipping point which will require our sustained and collective efforts to get our economies on the path to growth and development,” stated the Central Bank Governor.
It is the opinion of Sir Dwight that it would be fair to say that we have reached a turning point in the OECS and the currency union, which requires a collective effort, involving political and social consensus, technical expertise and managerial and administrative competence.
“It is true that we have survived and made steady progress since independence, but all the evidence suggests that this time is different and that to catch up with the rest of the world and our competitors we must be prepared for significant adjustments to our current policies and modes of doing business,” stated Venner.
He however cautioned that the reality is that we are constrained by factors, both external and domestic, some of which are within our capacity to deal with and some of which are not.
“For example, one reality which stares us in the face is the resources, both human and natural, that we have at our disposal to drive our economies. Because we now live in a globalised world and are geographically located in the western hemisphere and in close proximity to the United States of America, the most advanced economy in the world, our expectations are very high, but our resources are inadequate to provide a similar standard of living as in the U. S.”
The Central Bank official said in addition, because we have competitive multiparty political systems, tremendous pressures are put on those systems to deliver public goods and services which are beyond the current capabilities of our economic systems.
He reminded that the poor state of affairs and the challenges ahead, helped to shape the focus of his 2012 presentation.
Sir Dwight Venner stated it is for this reason that the theme of this presentation is: “Realism and Hope”.