McPherse Thompson, Assistant Editor - Business
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad:
Finance ministers, central bank governors and senior technocrats from across the Caribbean have been encouraged to eschew parochialism and embrace a broad-based and collaborative response to the economic crises facing the region.
This as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) embarks on a radical reorganisation of its policy to tackle the daunting challenges of low growth and high public debt facing Jamaica and its regional counterparts.
Some four months ago, the IMF said Jamaica's debt had reached 140 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - 10 percentage points higher than the figure cited by the Government - and suggested that it could climb higher unless the government push through fiscal reforms.
The job of putting in place policy to lower the debt and propel economic growth partly falls to Finance, Planning and Public Service Minister Dr Peter Phillips, who is this week leading a delegation to a high-level IMF-sponsored forum in Trinidad under the theme 'Rethinking policy to address low growth and high debt in the Caribbean'.