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KINGSTON — Minister of Finance, Hon. Audley Shaw says the government now has a 95 per cent compliance rate in all performance measures it is required to fulfill under its agreements with its multilateral partners.

Mr. Shaw said the government had a combined total of about 100 performance guidelines it is expected to meet based on its relationship with several multilateral agencies, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, European Union (EU), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Caribbean Development Bank.

"I was recently advised by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) that out of the 100 performance measures that we have entered into with all of our multilateral partners we are now 95 per cent compliant," he told business leaders today (Sept. 15) at the launch of the Business Ethics Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Wyndham Hotel in New Kingston.

Mr. Shaw noted this was good news for the government as it is evidence of its commitment to meeting its obligations with accountability and transparency.

"We are operating at a time when transparency is critical and there is a growing importance for ethics in doing business," he stated. "There is also a growing acknowledgement of such values in civil society and this has particularly increased with the liberalisation of the press and its commitment to unveiling corruption."

The Business Ethics Programme, also known as FINPYME Integrity, is an initiative of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) in partnership with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

It aims to encourage the growth of a robust and transparent business environment for SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean by improving their capacity to effectively incorporate integrity, transparency, and anti-corruption practices into their organisations.

Mr. Shaw in endorsing the initiative, stated that corruption in all forms represented a real cost to business, as it negatively affected all aspects of an enterprise. "It affects productivity, it affects the quality of output, it affects the quality of service delivery and ultimately, it affects the competitiveness of the business enterprise," he stated.

By Athaliah Reynolds, JIS Reporter