The final drawdown of US$200 million from the US$630.00 million loan, described as one of the largest loans disbursed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was signed Wednesday (December 15) in Washington D.C., between the Government of Jamaica and the IDB.
The loan, which pertains to the GOJ fiscal consolidation programme, was signed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, during a brief ceremony at the IDB head office. It will support the government’s efforts to strengthen fiscal policy stance over the short and medium terms.
“You face a tremendously difficult challenge… (with) the combination of what’s happening in the world economy, the high debt to GDP ratio that Jamaica has, and you will probably have to take some very difficult decisions,” the IDB President told the Finance Minster at the function.
However, Mr. Moreno assured that the Minister that the IDB has “plenty of faith that with your leadership, and with that of your Prime Minister”, the Jamaican government would continue to successful in transforming the economy.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, and IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, sign a US$200 million fiscal consolidation loan agreement for Jamaica at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday (December 15). Looking on (seated) are Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, and IDB Executive Director for the Caribbean, Ambassador Richard Bernal.
In response, the Finance Minister expressed appreciation for the Bank’s support.
“We really appreciate all that has been done, and I know that we want to be a model for the IDB,” he said.
“It means a lot to me when, as the President, you can say that you have faith in the leadership of the Prime Minister and myself. It’s a process, an uphill battle, but where we are now is significant, after the debt exchange, and the fact that we are at the top of your list now in terms of loans for this year. We want to assure you that things are going in the right direction,” Mr. Shaw added, noting the stability in the Jamaican economy.
He said that the challenge that Jamaica faces now is, where do we go from here?
“We have to go for growth and, to get growth, we have got to get incremental investment; and we have to get job-creating and foreign exchange-earning industries. And we have to deal with other structural impediments to competitiveness, beyond interest rates, such as our energy policy, and we are dealing with that,” he also pointed out.
Her Excellency Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, accompanied Minister Shaw to the hemispheric development bank for the signing. IDB Executive Director for the Caribbean, Ambassador Richard Bernal, was also on hand for the signing.