“Doing business…I’m going to simply say not good enough, here in Antigua and Barbuda and across the ECCU”.
That is according to the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine who, while speaking during the Bankers Association Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Forum on Thursday, chided countries within the Eastern Caribbean, on how difficult it is to do business within their respective countries.
Antoine noted that within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union or the (ECCU), the fiscal position has improved since 2013; however, the aim of 60% to debt to GDP ratio is yet to be achieved.
He said the aim of 60% to debt to GDP ratio is a tactic used to ensure the countries ability to withstand economic downfalls.
“We believe in these small economies where we are vulnerable to external shocks, 60% or less gives the country the best chance of withstanding shocks and being able to respond, minimizing ‘boom and bust, start and stop”.
Because what happens every time you have a recession or an external shock, the economy goes into recession and then it takes quite a while to get back on track,” Antoine noted.
The Governor of the ECCB said that Eastern Caribbean countries must simplify the ease of doing business.
“Our aim is to break into the top 50, we’re small but as the saying goes, we’re “tallawah”, well we should be when it comes to doing business. We got some work to do when it comes to simplifying the ease of doing business, here in Antigua and in the Eastern Caribbean,” he noted.
The Bankers Association Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Forum was held at the Sandals Grande Antigua this morning.