The OECS leaders and Central Bank officials were expected to engage in wide-ranging discussions that will examine the growth prospects of the sub-region, given the current financial crisis, still being experienced worldwide.
In recent times, some OECS leaders have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the poor level of financial management and the lack of support, at these difficult times, from influential international bodies, such as the World Bank and IMF.
On Friday, (1st October), St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Stephenson King, called for fiscal and regulatory discipline among OECS member states. He said that the practice has become even more critical in the current global financial crisis situation.
King said that the region must not wait on the IMF and World Bank to teach us fiscal discipline because it must become a culture of our people and nations. The St. Lucian leader said that instead of allowing these world bodies to come and impose fiscal discipline, we must impose it on ourselves.
Following the meeting of the ECCB Monetary Council and the OECS Heads, discussions were also scheduled for Friday with senior officials from the World Bank.
Earlier this week, Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, criticized the World Bank, saying that it has failed to assist the Caribbean to deal with the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. Skerrit told reporters that, “The World Bank has let us down”.
Ahead of this weekend’s meetings, the Dominica Prime Minister said that, “At a time when the region is grappling with a crisis of unprecedented proportion, the World bank has not been seen in any visible or tangible way”.
This new round of meetings between OECS Heads, ECCB officials and the World Bank comes shortly after a similar meeting in St. Kitts with the IMF.
The OECS leaders are seeking to develop strategies that could stimulate sustainable growth within the sub-region.