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  • Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is expressing confidence that Jamaica will pass its 7th consecutive International Monetary Fund (IMF) quarterly test, when the review of the period ending December 31, 2014 is done later this year.
  • On December 19, the Executive Board of the IMF approved the disbursement of US$67 million for Jamaica following a successful 6th review of the country’s economic performance under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
  • Dr. Phillips said Jamaica’s success at completing these quarterly reviews “is a testament to the commitment made by the Government to reform the economic foundations of the country and to set sound foundations for growth.”

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is expressing confidence that Jamaica will pass its 7th consecutive International Monetary Fund (IMF) quarterly test, when the review of the period ending December 31, 2014 is done later this year.

On December 19, the Executive Board of the IMF approved the disbursement of

US$67 million for Jamaica following a successful 6th review of the country’s economic performance under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Speaking at the official opening of the Scotia Group Fairview Financial Centre in Montego Bay, St. James, on Wednesday (January 7), Dr. Phillips said he is positive that Jamaica has met all the targets and structural benchmarks necessary for the successful completion of the 7th review.

Dr. Phillips said Jamaica’s success at completing these quarterly reviews “is a testament to the commitment made by the Government to reform the economic foundations of the country and to set sound foundations for growth.”

He noted that “we still have a public debt that is much too high and which we need to stay the course to reduce it.”

The Minister, in the meantime, reiterated the Government’s dedication to improving the lives of Jamaicans despite the challenges and restrictions of the Economic Reform Programme.

 

It is the commitment of the Government, he said, to “maintain faith with all those who have made sacrifice to get us this far, including the bondholders. Financial institutions, your clients made important sacrifices in this regard, as did the pensioners, the public sector workers and others.”

Turning to the upcoming public sector wage negotiations, Dr. Phillips said “we do not expect public sector workers to forgo wage increases in the coming contract period,” but noted that resources available for settlement of these claims “are not unlimited.”

“I have every hope and confidence that the same spirit that guided earlier negotiations when wage restraint was accepted will be available to us as a country now, as we seek to make up some of the lost ground, but recognising that it is not possible to do everything that would probably be justified and which may be expected,” he stated.

Dr Phillips, who declared the 19,000-square foot Scotia Financial Centre open, said it is encouraging that the facility is being established at a time when banking penetration, and access to credit are far too low, given the private sector’s role in the country’s economic recovery.

He also commended the Scotia Group for the substantial investments in tourism and the business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors in western Jamaica.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotia Group Jamaica Limited, Jacqueline Sharp, said the opening of the state-of-the-art facility signalled a new era for Scotiabank in Montego Bay.

She said the Scotia Group recognises the city as an integral part of and a significant contributor to Jamaica’s economic growth.

The latest investment brings the Scotia Group’s assets in Jamaica to more than $407 billion.

 

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