University professor warns of possible PetroCaribe fallout
Financial Secretary Devon Rowe says Jamaica is already putting measures in place to cushion any possible fallout from the PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela.
The disclosure comes amid a warning from professor of economics and international business at New York University Nouriel Roubini that falling oil prices on the global market could soon force Venezuela to end the agreement.
The PetroCaribe accord was signed in 2005 between Venezuela and several Caribbean countries and allows regional governments to purchase oil from Caracas at concessionary rates.
Speaking at an International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum in Montego Bay yesterday, Roubini suggested that it was only a matter of time before Venezuela would no longer be able to provide subsidised oil to the Caribbean.
As a result, he said this is something countries in the region must begin to prepare for.
But responding to the concerns, Rowe indicated that he expects the arrangement with Venezuela to continue, but said Jamaica has been taking steps to broaden its energy base and build reserves to compensate for potential shocks.
In addition, he says Jamaica has arranged a deal which allows the government to repay Venezuela in kind and not cash.
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