JIS News

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) stands ready to support Jamaica with a programme of US$600 million in loans during 2010, IDB Executive Vice President, Daniel Zelikow has said.
A press release from the international agency said Mr. Zelikow recently met with Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding and the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw to congratulate them for actions taken to deal decisively with the country’s fiscal challenges.
Jamaica, in recent months, has executed a voluntary debt swap, reached a Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and obtained support from the principal multilateral institutions for its economic reform programme.
“The success of this debt swap is a testament to the investment community’s confidence in Jamaica’s plan for improving debt dynamics,” said Mr. Zelikow. “Jamaica is now in a position to stabilise its finances, accelerate its economic recovery, attract increased investment and generate more jobs. The IDB is committed to support this new chapter in Jamaica’s development with one of the largest lending programmes we have ever approved, relative to a country’s GDP.”
Jamaica’s voluntary debt swap registered a participation rate of more than 99 per cent and resulted in a significant reduction in interest rates and extension of debt maturities. Fiscal savings resulting from the swap will exceed over three per cent of Jamaica’s GDP in the first year.
The IDB said it will be supporting several aspects of Jamaica’s reform agenda, including improvements in fiscal management and the introduction of fiscal responsibility legislation, initiatives to enhance information in credit markets and remove distortions in the tax system, and support for safety net initiatives such as the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education’s (PATH) cash-transfer mechanism.
The IDB has already approved some US$200 million in new loans to Jamaica this year, in programmes that will also support reforms in education and boost economic competitiveness.
The Bank plans to approve an additional US$400 million in financing this year as Jamaica continues to progress with the reform agenda and meets the targets set out in the IMF Stand-By Arrangement.

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