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Pictured above: Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis listens to Axel van Trotsenburg, the World Bank Group's VP for Latin America and the Caribbean, who this afternoon pledged strong financial and technical support in helping to develop the Eastern Caribbean's digital economy. Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (right) looks on.

May 23rd, 2019
 Axel van Trotsenburg, an economist and development expert with over 30 years of experience at the World Bank Group who was appointed Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean effective February 1st, 2019, addressed the Regional Conference titled Digital Economy Moonshot for the Eastern Caribbean this afternoon, saying, “We are very eager to work with you by offering strong financial and technical support.” 

The two-day conference, which began today, is taking place at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who was seated next to the Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, responded, saying, “We look forward to your strong support to the region, not just on the matter of digital development, but also with respect to climate change and other important developmental issues.”

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis added, “We are committed to act, not just individually, but we are committed to act as a region.  We have a single space, a treaty and a Central Bank in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.  We also have one of the world’s strongest currencies, and this shows what working together can achieve. 

The two-day Digital Economy Conference has brought together policy makers and technical teams from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as representatives of the World Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), the OECS Commission and international companies. They are exploring ways to advance the services within the digital economy throughout the Eastern Caribbean.  This consultative process will help inform an action plan for a regional project to be supported by the World Bank.

During her opening remarks, Tahseen Sayed, Director for the Caribbean Region at the World Bank said, “I am really grateful to Timothy Antoine, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank for not only igniting our excitement in the [World] Bank, but also leading the charge.  This conference was organized thanks to Governor Antoine.”

Addressing the conference participants this morning, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank said, “When we look back at this conference 10 years from now, we will say this was a pivotal moment.”

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