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Government has secured US$700 Million of low interest funding for budgetary support over the past two years.
This was revealed today (Sept. 23) by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, during the Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. The Minister said, “We are exceedingly pleased and proud of the relationship we have re-established with the multilateral institutions. Up to now, we have accessed almost US$700 M in raw cash from the World Bank, the International Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). These are a combination of policy-based loans or project specific loans that we have been able to access.” Minister Shaw noted that an agreement with the IMF would make more low interest loans available to Jamaica. Securing these loans, he noted, would reduce the interest rates from 16% of GDP to about 10% of GDP over a few years. “In terms of public sector investment, I am getting cheap money; and this fiscal and project support from multilaterals is going to begin to permeate and show an overall trajectory of lower interest rates on the budget over the medium-term.”
This, Minister Shaw said, would make Jamaica less reliant on costly borrowing on the international and domestic markets. He gave the example of the recent loan of US$121M at 2.25% to construct a cruise ship pier at Falmouth and current negotiations for a 3% loan with the Chinese EX-IM Bank to undertake an islandwide road repair programme. He said that the Government’s fiscal policy led to success in securing cheap loans. “We were willing to commit to critical reforms in the economy… prudent fiscally responsible approaches to governance, including legislation to guide us…The IMF has said to us we are impressed with what you are achieving with our sister multilaterals. What remains now is a fine tuning of the medium term programme going over the next four to five years,” Minister Shaw said.

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