The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) hosted Governor Timothy N. J. Antoine of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) at its signature Chew On It Luncheon on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 to speak on the theme “Transforming the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union Together – Dominica’s Scorecard.”
This event was an opportunity for DAIC’s members and partners to gain first hand information from the Governor on the outlook and progress of Dominica relative to that of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
Governor Antoine shared that the outlook for the ECCU economy remains positive though it is currently below the target which has been established. He further noted that the global economy has been characterized by uncertainty due to risks such as the global slowdown, COVID-19, the climate crisis, geopolitical instability and deficits in technology governance. Notwithstanding these risks, he added that there has been an ease in the US-China trade tensions, relatively low interest rates and an increase in global tourism which are positive prospects in our efforts to advance the ECCU.
It was highlighted by Governor Antoine that the growth for the ECCU remains solid and steady, and that Dominica is expected to expand in 2020. Dominica’s doing business competitiveness ranked second in the ECCU; however, constraints to doing business are significant.
Key to Governor Antoine’s message was that to gain faster economic progress, it is important for Dominica to quicken the implementation of structural reforms and to progress on projects that have been earmarked for completion.
Additionally, he emphasized that digital transformation is a pathway to socio-economic transformation in the ECCU and Dominica. The Governor further reiterated that digital transformation should be coupled with skills development for the future jobs that are being created as opposed to training for jobs which are obsolete.
The Governor noted that the goals established by the ECCB for the transformation of the ECCU are: maintaining a strong and stable EC dollar; ensuring a strong diversified and resilient financial sector; remaining the advisor of choice to participating Governments in pursuit of fiscal and debt sustainability; and actively promoting the economic development of member countries.
Kenneth Green, President of the DAIC, emphasized the growing importance of the stewardship of the Central Bank given increased localization of the banking providers in the sub region. Mr. Green asked for the Governor and ECCBto be increasingly active in championing project implementations in Dominica in their dialogue with Government. The DAIC acknowledged the importance of the scorecard and recommendations outlined by Governor Antoine to the shared benefit of socio-economic transformation and shared prosperity in Dominica and the ECCU.
The DAIC expresses sincere gratitude to all Members and Partners who attended this Luncheon and contributed to the lively discussion that ensued.