St.Kitts and Nevis Information Service – SKNIS
Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 04, 2023 (SKNIS): The Federal Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis passed three critical pieces of legislation namely the Caribbean Community and Africa Export-Import Bank (Agreement for the Establishment of a Partnership) Bill, 2023, the Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2023, on Tuesday, April 04. The Bills seek to bolster economic development and further strengthen the Federation’s banking sector.
Speaking on the Caribbean Community and Africa Export-Import Bank (Agreement for the Establishment of a Partnership) Bill, 2023, which was successfully passed in Parliament, Senator the Honourable Isalean Phillip said that this is a very progressive step for St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We can look forward to benefiting from a new diversified economy, diversified source of investment and income. We look forward to benefiting from strengthening diplomatic ties, particularly with States of the African Union,” said Senator Phillip. “We also look forward to having new markets where we will be able to trade our locally made products for business. We also have an opportunity to expand our knowledge and understanding of our African Heritage and History in cultural exchange and social and cultural development,” Senator Phillip added.
Mover of the Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew said that the Bill is significant as it aims to further strengthen the banking system in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“What we really want to do is to strengthen the Banking Act, give it the flexibility that it deserves, allow it to transform, and allow the ECCB [Eastern Caribbean Central Bank] that space that it requires to continue to be a leading financial institution, an institution that has proven itself and an institution that has kept our currency safe and protected,” Dr. Drew said.
In wrapping up the discussion on the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2023, Prime Minister Dr.Drew described it as very important, simple and straightforward. He thanked all Members of Parliament for their contributions.
“Madame Speaker, we on both sides of this House see the importance of bringing our legislative framework up to date when it comes to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and to make sure that we are compliant,” he said. “I want to thank those on the other side for recognizing that this is a national issue and so, together we can really join in making sure that this is done.”
The Caribbean Community and Africa Export-Import Bank (Agreement for the Establishment of a Partnership) Bill, 2023, seeks to give full effect to the agreement for the establishment of a partnership between CARICOM Member States and Afreximbank. The Banking (Amendment) Bill, 2023, is a Bill to amend the Banking Act Cap. 21.01, while the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2023, is a Bill to amend the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Act Cap. 21.06 and for related matters.