Despite Economic Impact of COVID-19 on ECCU, the Region Still Experiences Positives says Governor of ECCB

Despite the negative economic impact on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the region still experiences positives, said Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Dr.Timothy Antoine.

“One legacy of the pandemic, I hope, will be stronger health systems because our countries had to invest significant sums in our health systems. Therefore, a legacy benefit will be a stronger system which then enhances the value proposition for our countries in respect of Citizenship by Investment,” said Governor Antoine, at the May 02 edition of the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing. “Because, going forward people need to know that they will be safe, that their health will be looked after. So, that is potentially some good news.”

The severe drop in oil prices was also one of the positive impacts outlined by Governor Antoine.

“Another piece of good news is the fact that oil prices currently are very low. In fact, those of us who fill up at the pump will see the… benefit because we are paying less to fill up our tanks,” he said. “The other good news about low oil prices is that we are paying less to import oil and, of course, as oil-importing countries, we spend significant sums every year in oil imports. So that is a very good piece of news in a very bleak economic picture because as the saying goes a dollar saved is a dollar earned.”

Continuing on a positive note, Governor Antoine noted that the Eastern Caribbean (EC) Dollar “remains very strong.”

“As of Friday, April 24, our dollar was backed by foreign reserves 100.3 percent. And as I said on a previous occasion our strong buffers will serve our currency union very well in this difficult season.”


Published: 2 May 2020

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