OECS States Urged To Restructure Domestic Economies

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WINN Report

Release Date

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


St Kitts and Nevis and the other OECS member countries are being encouraged to restructure their domestic economies. The advice is coming from governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir Dwight Venner.

According to the ECCB governor, that thrust should include paying attention to the make-up of the private sector in the sub-region, because he says too much of the sector at the moment has an informal status. His comments were based on the premise that OECS states need to be able to manage the expectations of their people.

Because when we examine the private sector in the OECS _ it's two-thirds informal and one-thirds formal, the governor said citing a survey done in St Lucia he suggested was applicable to the rest of the OECS.

The one-third constitutes mainly those who do wholesale, retail, real estate and construction. These are not tradable goods and therefore do not earn foreign exchange on the first round, Venner explained.

He wants to see the private sector reconstituted to be two-thirds formal and to have a mix between the tradables and the non-tradables. Venner said the countries of the sub-region have to stretch their horizons into a single economic space to make them viable.

OECS member-states are currently in an economic union intended to achieve that objective. Venner said even developed nations find the need to work as a bloc, and that such a move is even more crucial for the OECS.

The ECCB governor has described sub-regional states as having overstretched governments, an underperforming private sector, and a dependent civil society. His observations were made at a recent national consultation on the economy.

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