- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year US$1.64 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Jamaica, as a signal of its continued support of the Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ) economic programme and the strengthening of the country’s macroeconomic framework.
- The IMF’s Executive Board has taken note of the Government’s commitment to a robust economic growth programme.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year US$1.64 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Jamaica, as a signal of its continued support of the Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ) economic programme and the strengthening of the country’s macroeconomic framework.
The Stand-By Arrangement will replace the existing Extended Fund Facility (EFF) which was scheduled to end in March 2017.
The Stand-By Arrangement, as indicated by Prime Minister Holness “is an ‘insurance policy’ against unforeseen economic shocks that are beyond Jamaica’s control, and is a ‘dividend’ that the country has reaped as a result of its policy credibility and discipline.”
The IMF’s Executive Board has taken note of the Government’s commitment to a robust economic growth programme.
This is evidenced by Government’s bold initiatives, visioned by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, with the establishment of an Economic Growth Council and a Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation dedicated to crafting forward-looking strategies aimed at achieving significant economic growth and job creation over the next four years.
In alignment with these objectives, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service continues with fiscal policies geared towards creating an enabling economic environment, reducing Jamaica’s debt to GDP ratio, institutionalising structural reforms and accelerating public sector transformation.
The anchor of fiscal consolidation and debt reduction remains the 7% primary surplus.
On the economic front, Jamaica experienced GDP growth of 2.3% (preliminary) for the July-September quarter. This is the highest quarterly GDP growth figures achieved since the April-June quarter of 2007.
This positive growth momentum, coupled with positive evaluations of the government’s policies as seen in the most recent Business and Consumer surveys, indicate that there is widespread agreement that the economic programme and policies of the Government of Jamaica will continue to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life of the Jamaican people.
The IMF’s Executive Board Approval is also indicative of the Fund’s vote of confidence in the Government’s policies.
Jamaica has, over the years, shown marked improvement in its management of the debt to GDP ratio, made significant strides, particularly over the last two quarters, to boost economic growth and continues to benefit from lower inflation rate and strong foreign reserves.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw said, “the government is committed to creating an economic environment that is conducive to private sector led growth; the reduction of debt to a sustainable level, and we will continue to establish partnerships with business and civil society to ensure that growth occurs.
We remain steadfast in our pursuit of policies that will enhance social programmes which protect the most vulnerable in our society, and are aimed at improving the quality of the life of every Jamaican.”