IDB President Commends Jamaica

Photo: Michael Sloley President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno (at podium), addresses the opening plenary session for the 7th Annual Caribbean Governors’ Meeting of the IDB on Tuesday (February 27) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, has praised Jamaica on the progress made in reforming its macroeconomic environment.
  • “We believe that Jamaica is turning around, and I think this is an example for the rest of the Caribbean that when a country decides to bite the bullet, I think the collective part of the international community and financial institutions should come behind and support,” he said.
  • Mr. Moreno said that when the country entered into the “very difficult and challenging programme” of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2013, many of his colleagues, and some persons at the IMF, didn’t believed the programme would have been successful.

President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, has praised Jamaica on the progress made in reforming its macroeconomic environment.

“We believe that Jamaica is turning around, and I think this is an example for the rest of the Caribbean that when a country decides to bite the bullet, I think the collective part of the international community and financial institutions should come behind and support,” he said.

The President was speaking at the opening plenary session for the 7th Annual Caribbean Governors’ Meeting of the IDB on Tuesday (February 27) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Mr. Moreno said that when the country entered into the “very difficult and challenging programme” of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2013, many of his colleagues, and some persons at the IMF, didn’t believed the programme would have been successful.

The EFF was part of a funding package from multilateral agencies, including the World Bank and the IDB to support economic reform.

The main objective of the programme was to pave the way for a reduction of the large public debt stock to below 100 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, in order to increase Jamaica’s competitiveness, improve the country’s weak business climate and boost its rate of economic growth.

Jamaica began a new Precautionary Standby Arrangement with the multilateral agency in 2016, which was set up to provide an insurance policy against economic shocks and natural disasters.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, who also addressed the session, said the country has been performing well under the initial programme and its successor, and has made significant progress in improving the business climate.

“Fiscal and monetary buffers are now strong, and lower interest rates are the order of the day in Jamaica. There is now more budget space for public investment, more credit to the real sector is available, and higher levels of private investment and higher levels of employment are taking place,” he said.

Mr. Shaw said the continued support from the IMF, IDB and other international partners has been crucial to the country’s development.

“We thank those bilateral partners who are willing to support us now in our efforts at major infrastructural works, whether it is roads, the energy sector and the alumina sector, among other things,” he said.

The meeting, which is being held under the theme #JumpCaribbean, aims to help the region embrace the reality of the global digital revolution. Importantly, the IDB wants to see the Caribbean maximise the benefits of technology and apply innovative methods to solve problems, improve productivity, generate employment and advance development of the people of the region.

Furthermore, it is hoped that the deliberations will also provide insight on how the Caribbean can take advantage of the opportunities for accelerating growth, building resilience to natural disasters and creating vibrant sustainable economies through the digital and technological revolutions.

The meeting will include a series of bilateral and plenary sessions and is intended to prepare the Caribbean Governors and the IDB’s management for the substantive deliberations on the future direction of the institutions that are anticipated at the IDB’s Annual General Meeting to be held in Mendoza, Argentina, from March 22 to 25.

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