St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN); The Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine is inviting local businesses to make greater use of the economies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
The ECCU comprises eight English speaking islands with a shared history and small open economies largely dependent on tourism, financial services and in recent years Citizenship by Investment programs in some territories.
The ECCB Governor was at the time speaking at a Chamber of Industry luncheon in Nevis on Wednesday (May 17).
“The ECCU is an economy, it really is- $17 billion strong. And I make this point because when you think about the St. Kitts and Nevis economy and you say well it’s two billion, three billion, whatever the number is, but the reality is, if you think regionally this is really what you need to think about if you are in business. That here is a regional economy, here is the size that it is not just two billion, it is seventeen billion, not just fifty thousand people, it is six hundred and thirty thousand people.
“So if you are in manufacturing or if you are in transport think, ‘What can I do to expand beyond the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis to allow me to tap this market?’ And that’s why the single financial space becomes important, because honestly, the size of your market is not your local market.”
The International Monetary Fund has projected the Caribbean region will experience a 1.1% economic growth in 2017 and 2% in 2018.
In an effort to assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region, the ECCU Monetary Council recently approved and signed the Agreement for the establishment of a Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation which would guarantee up to 75% of feasible loans for banks, in order to increase private sector lending.