Jamaica to resume negotiations with IMF
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday March 2, 2012 – Negotiations for a new agreement between the Jamaica government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are set to begin again from March 7 until 20.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips said the IMF team would be conducting an Article Four review. He explained that the IMF showed a willingness to work with Jamaica to develop a new programme.
However, the finance minister admitted that such assistance will mean making difficult fiscal adjustments to the country’s budget. But he gave residents the assurance that government’s commitment to preserving social programmes to protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups would continue.
He added that all efforts were being made to ensure that the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ration fell from 130 per cent of GDP at the end of March 2012 to 100 per cent in the medium term.
Dr. Phillips said the Inter-American Development Bank had also expressed concerns about the country’s fiscal and debt situation at the end of last year. And, it is effort to give assurance to the IDB the new administration has asked for time to set out its policy approach which includes a new programme with the IMF.
In addition, the finance minister noted that the World Bank had also acknowledged the need for Jamaica to reach an agreement with the IMF. However the World Bank has also pledged its continued support for the country in the areas of pension reform, social protection programmes and Information and Communication Technologies development.