Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has indicated his organisation’s willingness to look at ways to provide new kinds of support to indebted, middle-income states, like Jamaica.
He was responding to views expressed by Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Bruce Golding, who stated at the opening of the 31st Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay, St. James on Sunday (July 4) that the region remained “orphans” of the global financial system.
At the event, held at the Half Moon Hotel, Mr. Golding said CARICOM countries were not regarded as poor enough to qualify for special treatment, but not advanced enough to survive without it.
However, responding to questions from journalists during a press conference with Mr. Golding yesterday (July 5), the IMF executive said the Fund may need to tailor programmes that were more in line with the realities of middle-income countries.
“The truth is that most of the facilities are either looking at low income countries, or high income countries,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn acknowledged.
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn (left), responds to questions posed by journalists at a press conference on the second day (July 5) of the 31st Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), now underway at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, in St. James. Looking on are Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Hon. Bruce Golding (centre), and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn and CARICOM Heads engaged in discussions during the day, which focused on finding ways to position vulnerable economies to deal with external shocks. Mr. Golding said while no definite proposals have yet been made regarding the measures that could be taken, the region was encouraged by the fact that the IMF had expressed willingness to engage the group on the issue.
Turning to Jamaica’s Stand-By Agreement with the IMF, Mr. Golding argued that the failure or success of the current programme would depend on Jamaica’s actions.
Commenting on this, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said the IMF was happy it was able to step in when Jamaica needed balance of payment support. He added that in some respects the country was an “innocent victim” of the global economic crisis and that it was now on the right track to correcting the economic deficiencies.