Why Phillips did not seek multilateral money to pay PetroCaribe debt
The Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips says the Government did not borrow from the multilaterals to pay off its PetroCaribe debt because they were not willing to lend Jamaica more money at this time.
Last week Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, said the government should have opted to go to multilaterals because they offer loans at cheaper interest rates.
But Dr Phillips has responded, saying for a loan agreement to be arrived at, the lender must be willing to lend to the potential borrower.
He further said at the start of the current programme with the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank had each committed to lending Jamaica US$510 million over four years.
According to Phillips, the Government was seeking to borrow $1.5 billion immediately, which would have been above what the multilaterals were willing to lend:
Last week it was announced that Jamaica had successfully raised $2 billion on the international market.
That money is to be used to settle debts owed to Venezuela under the oil purchasing arrangement, PetroCaribe.
Phillips was speaking on Nationwide Radio