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Sir Dwight: Let’s be mindful of our achievements

Sir Dwight: Let’s be mindful of our achievements


Caribbean nationals are not always mindful of their achievements, but the time has come for them to take credit “for the great strides” in the many areas in which they have excelled.

Sir Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, made this pivotal point on Friday, July 21, at the 56th Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council Meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves chaired the meeting for the first time.{{more}} Dr. Gonsalves who also holds the post of Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Legal Affairs and Grenadines Affairs, took over from St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony as chairman of the Monetary Council, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s highest decision-making body.

Sir Dwight noted that there is something very special about the way the Monetary Council has operated over the years.

“This council has been so responsible over the years that in July this year unlike many many countries in the region and without, we have celebrated 30 years of maintaining the EC dollar at 2.7 to the US. If this was a politically immature, and unsophisticated body, people would not have reckoned that such a record could be held and maintained,” said the Vincentian-born Venner.

Venner pointed out that the Monetary Council has performed with distinction over the past 23 years enabling the eight Eastern Caribbean participatory states to boast of a record that is second to none.

The Governor focused his speech on stability and development in the region.

With regards to the stability of the Eastern Caribbean dollar, Venner noted: “In essence what we do by keeping the currency stable is to guarantee that the average person with their spending arrangements can have some certainty in the purchasing power of their currency.”

Dr. Gonsalves, in his maiden address congratulated outgoing Chairman Dr. Anthony who did not attend the meeting.

“The leadership of Prime Minister Anthony, at the time when the price of fuel and petroleum products affected all facets of our economies was skillful, professional and creative,” said Dr. Gonsalves, adding that “despite the challenges we’ve had in the last year we continue to witness growth in our economies”.

Dr. Gonsalves used the opportunity to note that his chairmanship coincides with two “historic” events: The OECS countries’ movement towards a state of an economic union and the independent member states of the OECS entry into the Caribbean Single Market (CSM).

“These two events will certainly influence the way that the currency union responds at the national, regional and international levels,” said Dr. Gonsalves.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves said he is hoping to see greater participation of regional governments working together towards the continued sustained growth of the regionn