February 1, 2013
Vision 2027 for ECCU

By 2027, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) should be “an area of peace and tranquillity with very low crime rates and social and political stability in which day-to-day activities can be undertaken with ease”.{{more}}

That is part of the vision for the sub-region Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Sir K. Dwight Venner outlined on Tuesday, as he delivered the 2012 ECCU Economic Review, under the theme “Realism and Hope”.

Sir Dwight said that in the ECCU, historical and structural considerations have resulted in overstretched governments, under-performing private sectors, and weak and dependent civil societies.

“The cultural and sociological issues in our circumstances are real show stoppers. The work ethic in our region is not currently geared to high productivity and competitiveness. Productivity and competitiveness are directly linked to hours worked and skill levels. In neither case are we performing at internationally competitive levels.”

But he also noted that 2027 is 15 years or three elections cycles away.

By that time, Sir Dwight said, the environment should be clean and pristine, with an aggressive approach to maintaining our surroundings in very good stead.

Scenes of garbage strewn all over the place are absolutely unacceptable, he further said, adding that this has implications for the health of citizens and the preservation of the tourism industry.

He said public, commercial and residential buildings must be well-maintained and architecturally designed to preserve the sub-region’s heritage and to take advantage of energy efficiencies.

Further, cities towns and villages in the eight-member bloc should have a welcoming ambience and provide excellent facilities for residents and visitors, Sir Dwight said.

“The services provided in both the public and private sectors should be of the highest order, something of which all citizens can be proud. These services should first of all embrace our own citizens, so that when visitors come to our shores we do not have to make an extra effort, as it would be natural to be civil, courteous and helpful,” Sir Dwight outlined.

He further said there should be increased opportunities for ECCU people in politics, public administration, business, culture, sports and the professions.

“This will be facilitated by access to high quality health, education and recreational facilities,” he said.

“Our economies should be transformed to generate high levels of growth, which is reasonably well distributed and able to meet the goals and aspirations which we have set ourselves,” Sir Dwight said.

He said the goals were realizable.

“… like other countries before us, we will have to make the sacrifices, exercise the discipline and change the culture to that of collective responsibility, instead of individual self-aggrandisement.

“The overriding question then becomes: As a collective, are we honestly and objectively prepared to move to a new and higher level, which will ensure prosperity for our people at home and respect for our countries abroad in the international community of nations?” Sir Dwight said. (