Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Her Excellency Linda S Taglialatela, has given the commitment to partner with and assist the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) with addressing the critical issues, which immediately confront the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
Ambassador Taglialatela gave the commitment when she paid a courtesy call on the Governor of the ECCB, Timothy N.J. Antoine, at the ECCB Headquarters in St Kitts and Nevis on 11 February.
Governor Antoine welcomed the Ambassador to the ECCU, and following cordial exchanges, the Governor and the Ambassador engaged in discussion on a range of issues including: financial stability; fiscal and debt sustainability; growth, competitiveness and employment, and correspondent banking relations.
The Governor highlighted the likely adverse effects of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships with commercial banks in the region on the economy; the banking system; the flow of remittances; and the ability of the region to meet its international payments obligations. He emphasised that the issue of correspondent banking relations touches and concerns all citizens across the region, and that the ECCU Governments had sought the support of the US Government to have the matter resolved.
The Governor also underscored the urgent need to address growth, competitiveness and employment, and sought the partnership of the U.S. to facilitate engagement between the American Chamber of Commerce and the OECS Business Council in building institutional capacity for the effective representation of the private sector in the region.
With respect to public education programmes, the Governor advocated the need for partnership with the U.S. in the key initiatives being spearheaded by the ECCB to assist micro and small businesses to develop innovative business ideas and with product development.