At its meeting held on 10 July via videoconference, the Regional Debt Coordinating Committee (RDCC) approved a work plan, which seeks to strengthen the role of the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) in the economic and financial development of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
The RDCC comprises the financial secretaries of the eight countries of the ECCU and the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). It has direct oversight for the RGSM and provides a forum for enhancing the overall debt management capabilities of the member governments.
One of the main objectives of the work plan is to increase the participation of residents and non-residents in medium and long term securities issued by the member governments through improved investor relations, marketing and public awareness. This thrust will be supported by various initiatives aimed at improving the debt management capacity of member governments in order to attain the Debt to GDP target of 60.0 per cent by 2030. The work plan is also designed to strengthen the regulation and supervision of the RGSM.
Since its inception in November 2002, the RGSM has provided an opportunity for the member governments to diversify their sources of financing consistent with their Medium Term Debt Management Strategies (MTDS) at a time when funding from traditional sources has declined.
The Governments have also been able to reduce their debt service costs as interest rates on short term securities have declined steadily in the last five years.
In the current environment where investment options are limited, residents in the ECCU have benefitted from the RGSM by being able to diversify their portfolio and earn higher financial returns through the increased availability of government securities.
The RDCC is grateful to the Canadian Government for the technical assistance provided under its two debt management projects with the ECCB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the input of the various stakeholders.