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Speech

I extend my heartiest congratulations and the warm sentiments of the entire Government and people of Jamaica to Mr. Gerard S. Johnson, current IDB Representative in Jamaica, on the well deserved promotion to the post of General Manager of the Country Department Caribbean Group (CCB), effective September 1, 2010. This now places Mr. Johnson in charge of the entire Caribbean region and is the first time a Caribbean national has held that post.
Jamaica’s relationship with the IDB, particularly during the last two years, assumes great significance when viewed within the context of the severe challenges of our economy, compounded by the debilitating impact of the international financial crisis. In partnership with other multi-lateral financial institutions, Jamaica obtained unprecedented support for our transformational economic programme, of over 20% of Jamaica’s GDP, with the IDB contributing some US$650 million, the largest lending package approved by the Bank for any member country as a percentage of GDP.
As IDB Representative in Jamaica, Mr. Gerard Johnson and his team displayed a profound appreciation of the deep-rooted and grave challenges that have plagued the Jamaican economy and society. They shared with us the sense of urgency in formulating and implementing appropriate structural changes and economic reforms in order to reduce our indebtedness, increase investments and position our economy on the path of sustainable development and growth.
As partner and beneficiary, Jamaica is not only proud to congratulate Mr. Johnson, but we are confident that the collective 48 member countries of Latin America and the Caribbean share our warm wishes.
For my own part, I will continue to cherish the personal and professional relationship that we developed during the past three years. Once again heartiest congratulations to a great friend and partner of the Government and people of Jamaica, Mr. Gerard Johnson.
I wish to thank outgoing General Manager of the CCB, Mrs. Dora Currea, for many years of dedicated service to the region, and we wish her well in her new position as Advisor for the Vice Presidency of Countries.