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Venezuela assures no change to PetroCaribe agreement for now

Published:Monday | September 9, 2013 | 8:18 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell says he will be making a major announcement on Wednesday regarding Jamaica’s debt repayment under the PetroCaribe Agreement.

Paulwell says the announcement will be in relation to the trade compensation mechanism of the agreement that allows the repayment of debt in goods and services.

Jamaica has been contemplating shipping cement to the South American country as well as having Jamaican teachers train Venezuelans in English language.

Under the PetroCaribe Agreement, members can buy oil or refined products from Venezuela at favourable rates through a long-term financing agreement at low interest rates.

Paulwell has just returned from the 11th meeting of the PetroCaribe Council of Ministers and the second meeting of the PetroCaribe Economic Zone in Haiti held over the weekend.

And he says the Venezuelan Government has committed to sticking to the current terms of the PetroCarbe Agreement over the life of Jamaica’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Jamaica signed a 4-year extended fund facility with the IMF in May.

Last month, reports surfaced that starting October, Venezuela would increase the interest rate on payments by between two and four percentage points.

However, Paulwell says PetroCaribe beneficiaries received official confirmation that there will be no changes to the agreement.


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