Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon Audley Shaw, has said that fiscal consolidation and improved quality of governance are necessary preconditions to achieving investment and substantial growth in the Jamaican economy.
Speaking in London Thursday at a Conference on Debt Management, sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr Shaw said that Jamaica's debt burden contributed to the country's lack of growth for two decades.
The Minister said that Jamaica is now undertaking far reaching structural reforms to the economy and administration of Government that includes control in public expenditure, introducing fiscal responsibility laws and reforms to the taxation system and the public sector.
Highlighting the efforts of the Government in stabilising the Jamaican economy in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, the Finance Minister underscored specific initiatives to treat with the country’s debt burden. These included the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), an aggressive re-engagement with multilateral development institutions, thereby utilizing lower cost borrowing, implementing a Fiscal Responsibility Framework and introducing a Central Treasury Management System.
The Minister added that having access to international capital markets did not mean that governments should automatically tap into them, but should rather be strategic in their approach to debt management, and exploit opportunities when market conditions are right.
Mr. Shaw met with the Commonwealth Secretary General, H. E Kamalesh Sharma, and was accompanied at the Conference by H.E. Anthony Johnson, Jamaica's High Commissioner in London and Mrs. Pamella McLaren, Director of the Debt Management Unit in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
Issued by: The Ministry of Finance & the Public Service