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Nov 7, 2005

Supervisory Board of IEDOM Visits St Barth

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On October 14, the supervisory board of IEDOM (Institut d’Emission des Départements d’Outre-mer) met at City Hall. This meeting was a first in the political annals of the island, and took place as it nears the eminent transformation to an Overseas Collectivity. Jean-Paul Redouin, vice-governor of the Banque de France, presided over the meeting, which included the 21 members of the board who are from the Banque de France, The Overseas Ministry, the Finance, Industry and Economic Ministry and the senior staff of IEDOM.

This institution meets twice a year, generally in Paris in the first half of the year and in an overseas location in the latter half. This time, Alain Vienney, the managing director of IEDOM, wanted the meeting to take place in the Northern Islands in order to take advantage of the trip to observe the effects of the circulation of the euro.

L’IEDOM is a public institution founded in 1941 to supervise the actions of the central bank in the Overseas departments (DOMS). When it was created, IEDOM was essentially responsible for putting money into circulation in the DOMS. Since 1975, since the suppression of specific money for the DOMS, the institution has been given new functions, including the circulation of money from the Banque of France, and since the introduction of the euro, IEDOM has been responsible for the placement of the European money. They also ensure professional services for the banking community or debtors and creditors. IEDOM works in collaboration with banks to keep an eye on professional regulations, as well as the proper functioning of payment systems and check cashing procedures. They also assure governmental accounts and those of the Public Treasury, as well as over-drafts by businesses and financial accounting procedures.

L’IEDOM serves as the economic watchdog for the four DOMS, as well as the collectivities of Mayotte and of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. It presents reports on a regular basis and publishes monthly and tri-annual bulletins as well as annual reports for each zone, presenting the current economic and financial situation of each department or collectivity. The data that is collected comes from the principal index of consumer spending in each sector as well as opinion polls conduced with business leaders. Until now, the little bit of information collected in St Barth was added to that of Guadeloupe as part of the overall statistics for the department.

In view of the future Overseas Collectivity in Saint Barth, Alain Vienney met with Bruno Magras last year. He proposes to the mayor that they publish a report specific about St Barth that would provide reliable statistics for the comparison of evolution of various economic sectors on the island, by gathering information from companies. “There are no developed countries that do not have statistics about their economic evolution,” confirmed Jean-Paul Redouin during the press conference, which was held at the end of the meeting. A delegation from IEDOM held similar meetings in St Martin last year with the various business leaders of the island, but things are more complicated there due to its double economy.

In opening the meeting on October 14, Bruno Magras presented the different economic sectors of St Barth, and answered questions from the council during a buffet breakfast. The agenda for the meeting ranged from an examination of IEDOM’s budgets and a study of the evolution of the economic situation in the DOMS and Overseas Collectivities. The council then evaluated other economic factors such as the establishment of credit and cooperation between IEDOM, the French Agency for Development, and INSEE. This gives the main players in the economic arena the indicators they need for a rapid evaluation of the economic situation.

Cécile Lucot


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