Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke says the Government will continue to build on the advances made under the current Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when the programme comes to an end in November of this year.
Clarke made the affirmation on Saturday when he announced that the IMF will keep its office and its staff, inclusive of the IMF Resident Representative, for two years after the end of the Stand-By Arrangement while addressing the Annual Awards Ceremony of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce.
He noted that this was “symbolic of our commitment to maintaining a credible and sustainable fiscal path long into the future that provides the foundation of economic opportunity for the current and future generations.”
The minister emphasised that the IMF Resident Representative for Jamaica will be available, as obtains now, to provide views on relevant matters, participate in public fora and be available to any Jamaican group which may wish to consult with them
“This openness is a sign of the Government’s commitment to maintaining a prudent approach long into the future for the good of the Jamaican people. After all of the progress the people of Jamaica have made in reducing our debt and restoring our economic prospects we must continue to build on these successes,” Clarke said.
Although Jamaica will be leaving the IMF’s programme come November, Clarke assured that Jamaica “remains a member of the IMF along with 188 other countries in the world. All members have access to IMF financial and technical resources in times of need. In return the IMF conducts economic assessments and reviews of all 189 member countries every year and publishes these.”
He added that the Fund’s analysis on Jamaica’s economic policy, outcomes and forecasts is a critical point of reference as “foreign Investors and those who lend us money through our bonds will continue to look to these annual IMF reviews as they contemplate investing in Jamaica and so these reviews are important.”