Antigua: Pundits believe expansion of ERC is the way forward

With the first meeting of the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) being deemed a success by its chairman, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, a number of officials believe that in order for the body to continue to flourish an expansion is needed.

The ERC was established to find solutions to the country’s economic fallout in “the wake of the unexpected and severe exogenous shock of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

In addition to the PM, other members of the committee are representatives from the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and Industry INC, Antigua Barbuda Workers’ Union, Employers’ Federation, Christian Council of Churches, and Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association, among others.

Akaash Maraj, Ambassador for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption, is of the opinion that the body should now broaden its scope and even bring in experts from around the region and internationally to contribute.

He said that this move could be an historic one if done right.

“If they are going to go down that route with the PM being the chair, then I think it would be valuable to have greater representation from other political parties and I would say for particular in Antigua, there would be value in inviting experts from outside the country to be a part of the process.

“Antigua and Barbuda is a country with a modest population and this is a global pandemic. Realistically, the solutions and the strategies that will help the country cannot be confined to just Antigua and Barbuda. They must bring in expertise from around the world and ultimately it will probably require cooperation between small countries from other parts of the world and the Caribbean.


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