The Special Joint Meeting of the OECS Authority and the ECCB Monetary Council was held at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in St Kitts and Nevis on 15 16 January 2009.
Heads of Government, Monetary Council Members and Heads of Delegation in attendance were:
Hon. Osbourne Fleming, Chief Minister
Hon. Evans McNeil Rogers, Minister of Social Development
Temporary Alternate Council Member)
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister
Dr the Hon. Errol Cort, Minister of Finance
COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA
Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Hon. Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister
Hon. V. Nazim Burke, Minister of Finance
Dr the Hon. Lowell Lewis, Chief Minister and Minister of Finance
Hon. Rueben Meade, Minister of Economic Development
ST KITTS AND NEVIS
Dr the Hon. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister
Dr the Hon. Timothy Harris, Minister of Finance
Hon. Stephenson King, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Dr the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Mr Randolph Cato, Director of Economic Affairs
Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor
The Special Meeting followed a recommendation from the 63rd Meeting of the ECCB Monetary Council on 24 October 2008, for a joint meeting of the OECS Authority and the ECCB Monetary Council to engage in an in-depth assessment of the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on member countries, to discuss plans and strategies and take critical decisions to respond to the crisis.
Member States acknowledged that the situation was grave, given the scale and scope of the international crisis and the more than likely possibility that it will be prolonged. They agreed that it was therefore important to undertake appropriate policy measures to deal with the effects of the crisis and to position the countries to take advantage of the recovery when it comes.
The meeting received presentations from Member States on the critical economic and financial issues being faced and specific actions taken to date to mitigate the hardships faced by individuals and businesses. The meeting recognised that there were a number of underlying challenges to individual Member States some of which could be better addressed in a collective manner. It was further recognised that there are structural problems within the individual economies that constrain development such as size, scale, productive capacity and opportunities for growth, still, there are strengths and possibilities inherent in the OECS Economies through which the challenges can be met successfully.
In framing a response to the emerging challenges, the meeting identified several areas as being critical to the stability and growth of the OECS region.
The meeting was informed that the ECCB is taking all necessary steps to maintain and preserve the stability of the currency and the financial system and is keeping in very close touch with developments in the regional and international financial community. Contingency plans have been drawn up to address any possible issue that may arise and the ECCB is in constant contact with the banking sector within the Currency Union.
The meeting recognised that tourism is the most important economic activity in Member States, and that the sector