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Story Highlights

  • The Minister of Finance and Planning has urged multilateral lending agencies to explore ways of giving more support to the growth of developing states.
  • Dr. Phillips is currently in Washington taking part in a series of meetings with counterparts at the 2013 Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meeting (CFMM).
  • The Minister said that Caribbean countries are looking at ways in which resources that have been pledged for climate change can be used for growth and debt reduction efforts.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has urged multilateral lending agencies to explore ways of giving more support to the growth agenda of small developing states.

He said there are 32 small developing states within the Commonwealth, which had varying degrees of difficulty with debt overhang, which had to be brought to the attention of the lending agencies.

Dr. Phillips is currently in Washington taking part in a series of meetings with counterparts at the 2013 Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ Meeting (CFMM), and to meet with the top leadership of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development bank (IDB).

He  is  accompanied by Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Mr. Brian Wynter;  Director General of  the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Mr. Colin Bullock;  Financial Secretary, Mr.  Devon Rowe; and Technical Advisor, Ms. Helen McIntosh.

Speaking in an interview, the  Finance Minister said  a series  of high level meetings had been held  on October 8 with the Managing Director of the IMF, Ms. Christine Lagarde; Managing Director of the World Bank, Ms. Caroline Anstey, as well as officials of the IDB.

Dr. Phillips said the Commonwealth group had proposed that the growth agenda of developing states be supported with concessionary financing and the organizing of debt swaps, to help reduce debt and facilitate investments, to strengthen the countries’ resilience.

The Minister said that Caribbean countries are looking at ways in which resources that had already been pledged for climate change could be mobilized towards   growth and debt reduction efforts.

Dr. Phillips said the Jamaican delegation had a very good set of meetings with the Western Hemisphere Division of the IMF, which overseas Jamaica’s programme.

The Minister also noted that while in Washington, he and his team would make the international community be aware of the very difficult circumstances that the Caribbean people and Jamaica, in particular, have been facing, as “we try to adjust our economies and set them on a platform of growth.”

“We are insisting that not because we are small, the world community should ignore the particular difficulties and vulnerabilities that we face,” Dr. Phillips said.

Also giving support to the Jamaican delegation is Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie.

The Finance Minister and his team are expected back in the island on October 13.