Thursday, October 8, 2009 – Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
Honourable Stephenson King, is calling on citizens to save and invest in order
to ensure a secure financial future. The call comes as the Eastern Caribbean
Central Bank is spearheading a programme of activities to highlight the month of
October as Financial Information Month under the theme: “Save and invest today,
The Prime Minister noted that during the last year, there has been unprecedented
turmoil in the global economic and financial landscape. He said the current
economic financial crises serve as a stark reminder of the need to manage money
and to make wise investment decisions.
“We in Saint Lucia have not been spared the effects of the turmoil in the
international financial markets. The instability in the financial system has
resulted in a noticeable tightening of liquidity as bank lending was at a
premium and in some cases had almost dried up. Like many other countries, we in
St. Lucia have been adversely affected by a decline in inflows of foreign direct
investment, which has severely dampened private sector investment in mainly
tourism related construction,” the prime minister said.
The Prime Minister said, for the economy to grow and for jobs to be created,
everybody should get into the habit of saving, no matter how small. No economy,
he added, can grow without saving and investment, whether it is generated from
within or is brought in from outside the country.
According to the Prime Minister: “In his seminal work, ‘Theory of Economic
Growth’, Sir Arthur Lewis emphasised the dependency of growth on savings and
investment. “He wrote: '... investment is necessary to economic growth.'
“Implicit in this statement, is that saving is necessary for growth, because
investment has to be matched by savings. This then is the answer to the question
as to whether saving matters. It does matter.”
The ECCB will be partnering with various institution during the month of October
to promote initiatives aimed at engendering healthy money management practices.
Some of the initiatives include discussions with community groups and
businesses, exhibitions at public libraries, and school presentations.