JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says that passing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tests creates stability in the Jamaican economy.
  • Passing the tests means that Jamaica is meeting its targets in instituting key economic reforms, enabling the country to drawdown on funds to promote growth and employment.
  • Jamaica has so far successfully passed all five IMF tests under the four-year EFF with the multilateral agency as part of its Economic Reform Programme.

Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says that passing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tests creates stability in the Jamaican economy.

Passing the tests means that Jamaica is meeting its targets in instituting key economic reforms, enabling the country to drawdown on funds to promote growth and employment.

Dr. Phillips, who was speaking in an interview with JIS News, acknowledged that there are difficulties, but noted that, “I can tell you if we were not passing these tests, life would be tremendously worse.”

He said that before Jamaica successfully negotiated the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the IMF financing from external entities and investments were low.

“Since then, we’ve had in excess of a billion US (United States) dollars worth of private investments, we’ve had access to loan funds, we have been able to build up our reserves so that if there is a hurricane or crisis of some other sort, we would be able to deal with it,” Dr. Phillips explained.

Jamaica has so far successfully passed all five IMF tests under the four-year EFF with the multilateral agency as part of its Economic Reform Programme.

The programme seeks to reduce the country’s public debt, bring macro-economic stability, improve productivity of the labour force, and enhance investor confidence, so that the country can achieve sustained economic growth and development.

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, during her visit to the country in June, praised the Government for making key economic reforms during the first year of the EFF.

“The economic outlook is improving. Compared to a year ago, growth has picked up, unemployment has declined, inflation has been brought under control, the current account deficit has shown ongoing improvement and reserves are starting to recover,” Ms. Lagarde said.

In the meantime, Dr. Phillips said the Government will continue to focus on securing continued growth in the economy at higher levels, and boosting employment for Jamaicans.

He said that in excess of 30,000 jobs have been added to the economy in the past year, mostly in the areas of tourism, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and agriculture, which mainly benefitted persons in rural parishes.

He said that efforts are being placed on creating more jobs, especially in other sectors, to benefit more Jamaicans.

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