JIS News

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  • The Government has received approximately $8.6 billion (US$75 million) in loan support from the World Bank to bolster the ongoing programme of economic growth and development for Jamaica.
  • The provision will support structural reforms designed to enhance Jamaica’s competitiveness, thereby improving the investment climate.
  • It is part of a larger programme of financial assistance, valued at approximately $58.9 billion (US$510 million) entered into by the Government and the World Bank.

The Government has received approximately $8.6 billion (US$75 million) in loan support from the World Bank to bolster the ongoing programme of economic growth and development for Jamaica.

The provision, under the First Competitiveness and Fiscal Management Policy Loan Project, will support structural reforms designed to enhance Jamaica’s competitiveness, thereby improving the investment climate.

It is part of a larger programme of financial assistance, valued at approximately $58.9 billion (US$510 million) entered into by the Government and the World Bank.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in his remarks at the signing ceremony held at his National Heroes Circle offices on March 6, informed that the loan will provide for strategic reviews and staffing analyses for various agencies, which are designed to further improve fiscal management and public expenditure, as well as the debt management programme.

He said it will support activities designed to enhance Jamaica’s competitiveness through, among other things, improvements to the development approval process.

The loan will also buttress the administration’s renewable energy programme, designed to facilitate the implementation and incorporation of resources that will contribute to reduced energy costs.

The Minister pointed out that, in addition to supporting economic growth, the programme also targets increased job creation, poverty reduction, and “improvement of living standards, generally, for the country.”

He said that while the country is already making “good progress” in improving the macroeconomic environment, modernisation of the public sector, and in exercising fiscal prudence, “more needs to be done.”

As such, he said, the World Bank’s provision is of “considerable value”, and represents a “continuing pattern of support” for the country’s progress.

“We hope that we will be able to build on these measures over the course of this year, and the next, in order to ensure that we are able to build on the platform of economic reform, and secure higher levels of growth and job creation. And, most of all, to secure the kind of efficiencies in the public sector, which are essential if we are to facilitate the work of increasing competitive private sector operations in the country,” he stated.

Acting World Bank Representative in Jamaica, Kathy Lalazarian, who signed on behalf of her organisation, said a critical part of the support is enabling the leveraging of “opportunities that could help Jamaica break the cycle of high debt and low growth.”

“We believe that the Government of Jamaica’s commitment to these reforms indicates that it is a real opportunity for the country to continue to lay down the foundations for sustainable growth in the medium term,” she said.