In yet another feat of resilience, the member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) are expected to welcome at least 2.2 percent growth in 2018. The projections were announced following the 90th meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which was recently held on the island of St Kitts.
Further positive news came from ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine, who noted that 2.2 percent was a conservative estimate, and that some jurisdictions in the ECCU would exceed this number. “A big part has to do with implementation of some of the capital projects that are planned in those budgets and when they actually get implemented [they] will have an effect on the actual rate,” explained Governor Antoine.
Achieving economic transformation in the Caribbean is one of the aims of the ECCB, as detailed in its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. The ECCB aims both to maintain financial strength and stability, and to drive development and growth.
Tourism and green energy: keys of economic growth in the Caribbean
One of the largest contributors to economic growth in the Caribbean is tourism, as can be witnessed in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. Here, demand for overnight stay has spurred the construction of luxury developments, such as Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt. Coupled with the Federation’s natural beauty, this has earned the nation a spot on Bloomberg Businessweek’s ‘Where to Go in 2018.’
Another key driver of development is green energy. Dominica, for example, has pledged to become the world’s first climate resilient country, backing initiatives such as geothermal energy and other ecosystem-based solutions that will allow the country to not only prepare for adverse weather and drive sustainable outcomes, but to simultaneously deliver economic growth.
In light of the country’s strong progress and policy initiatives, the Monetary Council determined that growth projections are expected to accelerate in 2019. These predication’s highlight confidence in the Caribbean economy and its ability to remain resilient, agile and committed to achieve a better future for its people.