KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips has described his recent discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions including the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as “sober but positive.”
A brief government statement said that Phillips who lead a team to Washington for talks with those financial institutions as well as others in the private financial market last week briefed Cabinet on the outcome of the deliberations.
“There was a general understanding of the extremely difficult economic condition that Jamaica faces,” the statement said, adding that “the IMF has expressed a willingness to work with the new administration to help overcome the current challenges”.
Phillips said priority will be placed on accelerating the pace of growth of the Jamaican economy and restated the country’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, improvements in the primary balance, the overall fiscal deficit and the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio as well as certain structural reforms.
Last week, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says the new agreement to be negotiated with the IMF will provide a measure of confidence to the business community, while also offering hope for the entire population.
Jamaica has a US$1.27 billion Stand By Agreement with the Washington-based financial institution, but the new People’s National Party (PNP) administration has been re-negotiating the accord.
The government statement said that Phillips will update the nation in a statement to Parliament next week.