Restructuring regional economies a must

To confront challenges of globalization

THE regional integration movement is needed now more than ever.

This is according to Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris, who says he is optimistic that the region can come together to make this a reality, as he pointed to the other larger countries that are forming blocs, which he said should give a reason to think carefully about the region’s own integration movement.

“Today’s global reality is that while the process of globalization has made many national boundaries useless, and while in many ways the world has become a much flatter place, the struggle for competitive advantage has gotten more and not less difficult.”

“In every part of the world, nations are grouping together to preserve individual strength through collective corporation. Even the world’s populace countries and prosperous economies are creating hegemonies blocs. In Asia, the Northern Hemisphere, the Pacific region, the EU all of these we have had countries coming together in an effort to create advantage in the wider global arena.”

“We are small, we are vulnerable and we are geographically insignificant nations with few options to exercise in an unrelenting competitive world, and we too must find and create whatever advantage is possible and necessary for our nations to survive and to thrive. The most fundamental aspect of this challenge involves the restructuring of our economies.”

He said a fresh look must be taken on the regional economies with the goal of maintaining stability and achieving orderly growth and prosperity.

Prime Minister Harris alluded to the impact that correspondent banking could have on the region, of which he said is of great concern.

“This is a matter of concern, because you are aware that without the correspondent, relationships become blockaded in real terms from participation from the rest of the world. We are unable to participate in an arena in which we must participate if we are to survive. We are unable then to use our credit cards, which many of us have, we are unable to deal with a number of trade transactions which involve the use of foreign currency.”

“So this is a troubling matter, and this again calls into mix how we as a region will restructure our economies.”’

He said the Caribbean Court of Justice, Caribbean Examinations Council, the University of the West Indies, the Eastern Caribbean Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, are all symbols of integration at work. “And how working together we have been able to achieve more,” he said. (JH)

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