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Gains made under IMF will continue – minister

Published:Saturday | June 1, 2019 | 12:13 AM

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke asserts that the Government of Jamaica will continue to build on the gains made under the current Stand- by Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when the programme formally comes to an end in November later this year.

Addressing the 64th annual awards ceremony of the St Ann Chamber of Commerce, last Saturday, Clarke announced that the Government has agreed with the IMF that the Fund will keep its office and staff in Jamaica, inclusive of the IMF resident representative, for two years after the end of the Stand- by arrangement. 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”.

Clarke 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 might 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,” the finance minister said.

Clarke observed that although Jamaica will be graduating from a programme relationship with the IMF in November, the country “remains a member of the IMF, along with 188 other countries in the world”. Clarke said, “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”.