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ECCB Monetary Council Chairman Lauds Growth Dialogue a Success

ECCB Monetary Council Chairman Lauds Growth Dialogue a Success

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Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Monetary Council and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Gaston Browne, has described the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Growth Dialogue with Social Partners as a success.

The Growth Dialogue was held on 2 March at the ECCB Headquarters, Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis under the theme: Working Together to Achieve Higher and More Inclusive Growth in the ECCU.

The main objective of the Growth Dialogue was to forge a consensus on the main challenges to growth and development and on the key elements of a Growth Action Plan.

Three presentations laid the ground work for the discussions:

· Growth and Employment in the ECCU;

· Challenges and Opportunities for More Inclusive Growth in the ECCU; and

· Developing Partnerships for Higher and More Inclusive Growth in the ECCU.

Following the presentations, the participants were assigned to working groups where they discussed selected thematic areas from the global competitiveness index and also deliberated on inclusive growth and development frameworks. The groups then presented their recommendations for consideration.

Prime Minister Browne said that several useful ideas emanated from the discussions including the need to assess the economic models within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to try to realign them with the economic realities within the sub-region. He added that participants of the forum felt that entrepreneurship was a critical area and that governments could play a bigger role in the development of this area through partnerships with the private sector.

Timothy N. J. Antoine, Governor of the ECCB, said that the Growth Dialogue was a lively exchange of views from which emanated some key action points which would help raise the level of growth, competitiveness and employment within the region. These included the need to reinvent the education system.

Governor Antoine added that as part of the way forward, an ECCU Growth Dialogue Action Plan for the next two to three years would be developed and work on its implementation would be carried out in collaboration with the OECS, ECCU governments and development partners.

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