Photo: Prime Minister Harris (left) and Timothy Antoine (right)
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 01, 2016 (SKNIS): Timothy Antoine, newly appointed Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, on Monday, February 01, at his office at Government Headquarters.
Prime Minister Harris officially welcomed and congratulated the Governor on his new post and offered him words of encouragement.
“We do hope of course that you will rise to the occasion and that you deliver in accordance with the expectations of the people of this region,” Dr. Harris said. “I think you are well aware of the challenges which the region face. For our part in St. Kitts and Nevis, we believe it is a time for new beginnings for the central bank.”
Prime Minister Harris explained that there are several internal and external issues relating to how the ECCB goes about pursuing its mandate and stated that the Government is on board to assist where necessary.
“We are prepared to give full support to those positive developments which we think would lead to a greater contribution of the bank to the economic development of our region,” Prime Minister Harris stated, while adding that the Government and people of the Federation expect the Governor to do well. “As host country, we will go the full course to ensure your safety in St. Kitts and Nevis and that you get the resources that Government reasonably can provide to assist you in fulfilling your mandate.”
Equally important, the prime minister expressed his Government’s desire to be able to rely upon the expertise within the central bank to assist even “nationally in dealing with some of the challenges faced and for one which the Government would require a broader tool of technical support to deal with some of the matters.”
The ECCB Governor, Timothy Antoine, who recently moved to St. Kitts to take up his position at the bank in Basseterre, thanked the prime minister for welcoming and wishing him well in his endeavours. He also expressed profound gratitude to the Monetary Council for placing confidence in him to lead the central bank at this particular time.
“I am honoured to serve our region at this time in this particular capacity,” he said. “I took close notes of your comments about internal and external challenges and I am committed to working with the team and the council to address those. I want to make it very clear from the outset that we will be engaged transparently and collaboratively with all of our partners.”
Governor Antoine met with the management team of ECCB and with local and regional media on Monday. He used the opportunity to cast a vision to the staff and media partners.
Mr. Antoine, who is a native of Grenada, replaces Sir K. Dwight Venner who retired as Governor of ECCB on November 30, 2015, after being in that position for over 25 years. Prior to his appointment, Governor Antoine held several top managerial positions, some of which include being Director of Grenada on the ECCB Board of Directors for the periods 2002-2005 and 2008-2016 respectively, 22 years in the Ministry of Finance with the Government of Grenada and Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean in the World Bank Group.