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KINGSTON — Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter has said that Jamaica is going through a period of "remarkable change," with the values of fiscal discipline and accountability being strengthened.

He noted that these are now being embedded in law and practice. “Laws have actually been passed. This is the first fiscal year in which the new methods of fiscal responsibility in the legal framework are being implemented,” Mr. Wynter said.

Mr. Wynter was speaking on: ‘The role of monetary policy in shaping growth and development’, at the Caribbean Canadian Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue (CCELD) Economic Symposium, hosted by the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), at its training centre in Acadia, St. Andrew, yesterday.

The Governor pointed out that while there are weaknesses and a long way to go, this process is fundamental as, “with the resulting decline in fiscal dominance and in interest rates that come with it, and the narrowing of those margins that we see in the commercial banks, it will be time for the private sector to move to a more broad-based and dynamic provision of financial services, because competition will drive them toward that."

He said the Central Bank is continuing to develop the institutional structure of financial markets, by strengthening the (credit) payment system, for example, and promoting the level of infrastructure that reduces information asymmetries between borrowers and lenders.

Additionally, Mr. Wynter cited the soon-to-be-established Credit Bureau and recent adjustments in tax measures. “These and other actions together, facilitate greater access to financial services, and thereby enhance the development of the Jamaican economy,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Governor said that in relation to bank branches and bank accounts per million populations and the number of bank accounts per capita, when compared to other countries, Jamaica is “not doing so badly…it’s comparable even to some mature economies."                

The CCLD brought together some 120 future leaders from Canada and the Caribbean to participate in a two-week leadership development conference, and the symposium was held as a part, to explore topics covering agriculture, fiscal policy, mining, tourism, and strategies for rejuvenating the local manufacturing sector.

Participants in the high-level discussions, which saw wide participation from the business and financial community, were: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; Senior Director for Economics and Projects at the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, Dennis Morrison; and Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton.

Special guest at this morning’s session was Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, who was in Jamaica on a one-day working visit for the symposium, on the Bank’s invitation.

 

By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter