On May 28-29, 2015, the OECS-CBU (Central Business Unit) in collaboration with TEPA hosted the OECS ePayment Forum. The main objective of the forum was to bring together a wide cross section of stakeholders including government regulators, bankers and electronic payment processors, chambers of commerce and small business development associations, and the private sector to discuss issues currently faced in effecting online monetary transactions. The activity was geared towards promoting harmonized rules and regulations in the OECS region for conducting electronic payments. It is expected that this will yield savings for SMEs in each country as there will be a common understanding of the electronic payments framework within the OECS single economic space.
On January 24, 2012 at the 54th Meeting of the OECS Authority, the Heads recognized the benefits for harmonisation that could be derived from adoption of the laws by all Member States and approved their dissemination to Member States for enactment in their respective Parliaments. Since then, a number of these bills have been enacted in various territories.
Currently, there are various stages of implementation of electronic legislation that make up the legal framework for e-payments within the OECS Member States and Associated States.
It was therefore proposed that a regional two-day forum be conducted in the OECS to bring together government regulators, bankers and electronic payment processors, private sector businesses and their associations as well as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and other regional organizations with a mandate to promote economic growth of SMEs in the region.
Saint Lucia’s Minister of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs Hon. Emma Hippolyte delivered an address and highlighted the Government’s commitment towards facilitating the continued improvement of Saint Lucia’s e-Payment framework.