Some Focus on St. Kitts & Nevis at ALBA Meeting

The members of ALBA were at the time engaged in discussions to expand a new economic integration system for the grouping, called ESCOALBA.

ALBA has also established special and differential treatment that offers concessionary support for small open economies such as St. Kitts & Nevis and others in the Eastern Caribbean.

Speaking at the meeting, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, noted that a number of the six nations that make up the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, (Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada and St. Kitts & Nevis), are currently involved in structural adjustment programmes of a  “schizophrenic” IMF that at once proposed both “stimulus and austerity”

Reflecting on the IMF program being pursued by St. Kitts and Nevis and others, Gonsalves said that his observation is that the IMF is nothing more than a continued life-support system with no capacity to take the patient off life support.

The Vincentian leader also drew the meeting’s attention to the problems being faced in the Eastern Caribbean countries and the financial and economic impact that have resulted from the recent collapse of British-American and CLICO.

Gonsalves also attempted to represent the views of small nations like St. Kitts and Nevis and his own, when he expressed some reservation about certain aspects of ESCOALBA. He however agreed that the plan to create a single economic space, as one of the possible ways forward “through a dangerous phase” of the world economy, he urged the grouping to work out legal and administrative details before proceeding with ESCOALBA.

It is not known of St. Kitts & Nevis was represented, at any level, at the meeting but the country is currently not a member of the grouping.

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