JIS News

The Net International Reserves (NIR) of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) was boosted to some US$2 billion, or 16 weeks worth of imported goods and services, Tuesday (September 1), after an injection of J$3.6 billion in budget support grants from the European Union (EU).
This follows Friday’s (August 28) disbursement of 74% of Jamaica’s quota of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which increased the NIR to over US$1.9 billion.
“(This) puts us in a strong position going forward, in respect of maintaining our overall confidence levels and, certainly, to continue to maintain stability in the exchange rate,” said Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw.
Mr. Shaw also pointed out that, in February, the Exchange Rate was J$88 to US$1 and, as of Monday, it remained stable at J$89 to US$1.
“So no one can question the Government’s resolve to maintain relative stability in the exchange rate,” the Minister said. He also noted that there has been a downward trajectory in the interest rates which is expected to continue through the fiscal year.
“I think it is very important that we do not underestimate the level of financial sector stability that we are enjoying in Jamaica, today. In Jamaica we have had no bank failures, and we have had no failures among our securities dealers. Over all, we have relative stability and need to continue together to secure and continue to sort of nurture going forward,” he added.
The Minister was speaking at the official handing over of the $3.6 billion (GBP 29.1 million) by the European Commission to the Government of Jamaica for disbursement to the Consolidated Fund, at Jamaica House in Kingston on Tuesday (September 1).
Mr. Shaw also noted that this stability will lead to more investment in the production of goods and services, which is critical.
A breakdown of the disbursement of the EU funds include: Euro 14 million(J$1.7 billion) being granted under the Security Sector Reform Programme (SSRP); Euro 13.1 million (J$1.6 billion) being disbursed under the Debt Reduction and Growth Enhancement Programme (DRGEP), to support the Government’s macro-economic policies; and GBP 1. 9 million (J$235 million) under a special Tropical Storm Gustav Rehabilitation Programme to assist with the budgetary impact and infrastructure repairs brought on as a result of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008.
Also Participating in the ceremony were: Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding; Head of Delegation of the European Commission, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni; Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator the Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne and officials of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

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