JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says his meetings with Jamaica’s multilateral partners in Washington and tour of seven European cities, went “exceedingly well”.
However, he emphasised that the trip was a scheduled one, and not primarily for the purpose of seeking funding for damage caused by Tropical Storm Nicole.
“The original purpose of the visit was to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank,” He said. But, he explained that, in the course of the visit, he had to take the opportunity to speak with the multilateral partners (the IMF, the World Bank, and the IDB) concerning the latest developments in Jamaica, including the devastation occasioned by Tropical Storm Nicole.
Mr. Shaw assured that the multilateral partners remain very committed to working with Jamaica in addressing its economic challenges. He was speaking at Wednesday’s (October 20) Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
The Minister noted that his trip included not only attending t formal meetings, but also the bilateral meetings with the Head of the IMF, the Vice President of the World Bank, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the new Deputy Managing Director of the IMF with responsibility for the Caribbean and Latin America.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that I did not therefore seek to borrow any more money for Nicole,” he stated. However, he said that based on the medium term economic programme under the IMF agreement, within which the government is expected to operate, the devastation caused by Nicole would, naturally, translate into higher levels of expenditure.
“My purpose therefore in raising this issue with the IMF, and other multi-lateral partners, is that we needed to agree upon the need to create the necessary fiscal space to accommodate the additional expenditure,” he said.
Mr. Shaw noted, however, that this does not mean that the government would be borrowing additional funds, because money was already approved and in the system, but that some of the funds which were scheduled for spending in future fiscal years would have to be brought forward.
“Some of it through the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme and others through partners such as the Caribbean Development Bank and the IDB.Instead of spending it in the next fiscal year, we have to bring some of that forward into this fiscal year. It is in that context that we needed to have an agreement in principle with the IMF,” he outlined.
His trip also included the Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting, in Washington.

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