IMF Agreement Must be Beneficial to Jamaica – PM


Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has made it clear that the Government would only enter into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), if the terms of the agreement were beneficial to the country.
“We are not going to go back into any IMF agreement unless we are satisfied that that agreement is good for Jamaica, that it has the provisions in it to help Jamaica to move forward, and not to help Jamaica to go into any reverse gear. We are not into that,” he stated.
The Prime Minister was delivering the keynote address at a one-day production and marketing conference held yesterday (June 25) at the Trelawny Multi-purpose stadium in Falmouth. The event was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
In his budget presentation last month, Mr. Golding said that the Government was looking into assistance from the IMF, in light of the global financial crisis and continued concerns about the country’s balance of payments, as well as pressure on the Net International Reserves (NIR).
On Thursday morning, the Prime Minister and Finance and Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw, met with the social partnership group, comprised of representatives from the private sector, trade unions and the opposition, to discuss the terms under which the country should enter into a funding arrangement with the IMF.
While not providing any details of the meeting, he said that further discussions with the group would take place. He informed that Minister Shaw would leave the island next week for Washington, following which an IMF team would visit the island. Cabinet will review the provisions emanating from these deliberations during the course of July, to arrive at a definitive position, following which an appropriate announcement will be made in Parliament.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that the IMF would not solve the country’s problems, noting that the solution was to produce more and import less.
“We all recognize that while you may need an IMF agreement to help you through this immediate storm that we are facing, an IMF agreement is not going to solve the problems of Jamaica. No World Bank, no IDB (Inter American Development Bank), is going to be able to solve the problems of Jamaica, because the problems of Jamaica are rooted. You could simplify it in one statement; we import too much and we do not produce enough for ourselves,” Mr. Golding noted.
It is only through increased production, he said that Jamaicans would be able to build the economy, create jobs and build prosperity for the country.

JIS Social