Today (1 October), the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is celebrating 35 years of existence, 35 years of service and, most importantly, 35 years of monetary stability.
We offer a high note of praise to Almighty God for His greatness and goodness. Indeed, “it is in Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28, NIV).
We also thank the people of our beloved region for their unwavering support.
Today, we reaffirm that our EC dollar is strong, 98 per cent backed by foreign reserves. This means for every dollar in circulation, we have 98 cents in foreign reserves. Our monetary union commands global respect; engenders confidence; helps deliver relatively low inflation; and encourages foreign direct investment as there are no foreign exchange controls.
The ECCB is both a powerful symbol and expression of what we as small countries can do when we come together. The ECCB is a timeless testimony of our capacity to craft arrangements for ourselves that work in our best interests.
We seize this opportunity to pay tremendous tribute to the founders and framers of our monetary union. We acknowledge the role of members of our Monetary Council and Board of Directors (past and present). I hail the colossal contribution of my predecessors: the late Sir Cecil Jacobs and Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner. I also recognise our first Deputy Governor, Sir Errol Allen and our current Deputy Governor, Mr Trevor Brathwaite.
We applaud our management and staff (past and present) including our retirees. We record our gratitude to all partners (local, regional and international).
Every October, we celebrate Financial Information Month (FIM). Our focus this year is on Conducting and Protecting Your Business in a Digital Environment. I therefore encourage you to check out our events which include financial fairs, radio quizzes and business symposia on cryptocurrency and other digital developments.
As we commence our next 35 years of service, we will continue to work assiduously for the good of the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Our strategic plan makes pellucidly clear our intent to pursue socio-economic transformation of the Eastern Caribbean. To this end, we are fortified in the knowledge that we can achieve so much when we embrace common cause and take collective action.