International Monetary Fund

IMF Book Launch and Seminar

The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013
  • Time: 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Place: IMF HQ2, Conference Hall 1
    720 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC

The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency
Union (OECS/ECCU) is one
of four currency unions in the world.

As in other parts of the world in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis, the region is at a crossroads, facing the major challenges of creating jobs, making growth more inclusive, reforming the banking system, and managing volatility, while grappling with high public debt and persistent low economic growth. This Handbook provides a comprehensive analysis of the key issues in the OECS/ECCU, including its organization and economic and financial sector linkages and policy recommendations to foster economic growth. Among others topics, chapters look at debt restructuring and off-shore financial centers, and the regional capital market. The book emphasizes the progress that has been made in the region, focuses on areas for reform for both the short and medium terms, and provides background information on the social, political, and economic setting in the region. For more information on the book, please visit the IMF Bookstore.

This event is open to the public. Please RSVP (acceptances only) by May 7, 2013, by sending an email to Modupeh Williams with the following details: full name, affiliation, and daytime phone number. Guests will need photo ID to enter the building and are asked to arrive 10-15 minutes before the event to allow time for registration.


Opening Remarks:

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF


Adrienne Cheasty, Deputy Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF


Alfred Schipke, Division Chief, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

Aliona Cebotari, Deputy Division Chief, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF

Françoise Clottes, Country Director for the Caribbean, The World Bank

Janet Harris, Executive Director for Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean, The World Bank; and former Financial Secretary, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Advance Comments About The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union:

“With national debt approaching 200 percent of GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis, we decided to restructure our debt and implement a home-grown economic program, with the assistance of the IMF, reducing public debt to less than 100 percent of GDP in 2012, putting it on a path to reach 60 percent of GDP by 2020. This will not only reduce vulnerabilities and improve the growth prospects of our twin islands, but will also strengthen the Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union. These and other important macroeconomic and financial sector issues are covered in this comprehensive book. This handbook will not only be a useful reference and guide for policymakers, students, and informed citizens of the region, but will also provide insights that might be relevant for other countries, including micro states, members of monetary unions, and island economies.”

Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, St. Kitts and Nevis

“This handbook on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) covers, at the institutional and policy levels, the critical issues that have impacted the stability and growth of the member countries of the ECCU, and which are informing the debates on the future of these countries. The handbook provides a compelling narrative on the functioning of the ECCU and is supported by a wealth of empirical data that will be extremely useful to public sector policymakers, the private sector, and the general public in the ECCU, as well as the international community. It is also an excellent complement to two previous publications, The Caribbean: From Vulnerability to Sustained Growth (IMF, 2006 ) and The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Towards a New Agenda for Growth (World Bank, 2005).”

Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

“Long before there was the euro, there was the ECCU (Eastern Caribbean Currency Union). While the former monetary union has been analyzed to death, the latter has received hardly any attention, even from researchers. This timely contribution from Alfred Schipke and his colleagues now begins to rectify the omission.”

Jeffrey A. Frankel, Professor, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

“The book sets out to present a comprehensive survey and review of the major macroeconomic issues of relevance to the ECCU and it accomplishes this with great success! The level and scope of the analysis will make it attractive to policymakers and regional academics. Particular chapters can be used to augment standard readings for courses on macroeconomics and Caribbean economic development.”

Dr. Lester Henry, Lecturer in Economics, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago