Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Minister of Education, Andrew Holness held their first round of meetings with the multilateral agencies this morning in Washington DC, starting with discussions with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mrs. Christine Legarde and other officials of the Fund.
The discussions centered on Jamaica's performance under the Standby Agreement and progress being made on critical issues including tax reform, fiscal consolidation and measures to ensure that the targets set out in the medium term economic programme are met. These include the steps necessary to ensure that benchmark indicators such as the wage-to-GDP and debt-to-GDP ratios are brought in line with the programme targets.
Firm measures to protect revenues including containment of discretionary waivers were also discussed as well as the steps being taken to reform government pension arrangements.
Prime Minister Golding and Minister Holness reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the programme and Mrs. Legarde assured them of the IMF's continued support for Jamaica's efforts to ensure sustained macro-economic stability as a prerequisite for investment and growth.
In the afternoon, Mr. Golding and Minister Holness met with officials of the World Bank, led by its Managing Director, Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati in the absence of the President, Mr. Robert Zoellick who was out of the country on other official business.
Those discussions focused on a range of growth-inducing initiatives, particularly measures designed to stimulate and support small and medium-size investment activity. Ms. Indrawati pledged the continued support of the World Bank to the government's efforts toward economic recovery and sustained growth.
Tomorrow, PM Golding and Min. Holness will meet with the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Alberto Moreno, before returning to the island.