JIS News

Caricom Heads of Government have proposed that the World Bank establish a team comprising representatives of the World Bank, the Caricom Secretariat, and the Caribbean Development Bank to come up with recommendations to address debt restructuring and the establishment of special windows for development financing for the region’s heavily indebted middle income countries.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding who said who said a team would work toward fleshing out the proposal. “We feel there is justification for us to seek debt restructuring in addition to special windows for development financing. We need to be able to get our productivity up to the level where we can generate economic growth. As a result of that, there is an agreement for a technical group to be established”, Mr. Golding told reporters following yesterday’s sitting of 29th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) now underway in St Johns, Antigua. Mr. Golding further stated that “Important in this is the attention given by the G-8 countries which must sign off on any agreement. Discussions have been going on and it means that if we are able to get the G-8’s attention, we would by then have done the groundwork that is necessary”.
The Prime Minister said he was encouraged by the discussions and that the World Bank is signaling a willingness to explore certain things that they would not have been willing to explore five years ago. Jamaica’s debt repayment is running at J$700M a day. Mr. Golding noted that it was not only Jamaica which was facing facing the debt burden. “We are not the only ones but in terms of impact on government’s ability to respond to the needs of the people in the present economic crisis, this has made it even more challenging for government to operate. If we are to get out of this debt we have to work our way and produce our way but if we are to do that there are some structural changes that have to be made so that we can move forward”, Mr. Golding concluded.
The Caricom Heads of Government conference continues today with discussions on how to achieve food security and mitigate rising food prices, the energy crisis, and climate changes.