Washington, DC (JIS): Underscoring the progress achieved with the Government's new macro- economic policy, Jamaica's Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, has asked for continued US support in her recent meeting with US Congressman for Florida's 19th District, Ted Deutch, on Capitol Hill. In response to Congressman Deutch's enquiry about the economic situation in Jamaica, the ambassador provided an overview of the new policies using the background of the Government's efforts to underscore Jamaica's need for ongoing development support from the US State Department, which would require support from Congress.
Marks highlighted the Government's downtown Kingston revitalisation thrust saying an intensive socio-economic programme is needed to sustain the gains of last year's intensive security operations there. She spoke as well about the Government's efforts that have been cited by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as "a model for other countries with high debt". She explained the positive results of the Jamaica Debt Exchange and a new IMF programme, benefits of which include a dramatic fall in interest rates to figures currently as low as 7.8 per cent, setting the stage for more entrepreneurial investments and job creation.
Congressman Deutch spoke about his particular interest in seeing how he could facilitate collaboration in economic development and border and immigration issues with Jamaica.
He further expressed hope that the efforts of the Jamaican Government would continue to be successful and advised that he would look at current proposals from the US State Department before Congress to assist with these efforts. He also asked that his office be kept informed of matters of financial and developmental assistance to Jamaica.
Marks updated him on the excellent level of cooperation between both countries in the area of narcotics control, among other things. Deutch also offered the assistance of his office on any matter pertaining to Marks' planned trip to Florida, which is home to a significant number of Jamaican immigrants.