Team in U.S. for Discussions with IMF


Jamaica’s negotiating team left the island on Monday, July 6, for discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C., USA. The team is headed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Don Wehby and includes the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Mrs Sharon Crooks; Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Wesley Hughes, as well as senior representatives of the Bank of Jamaica.
The Government of Jamaica is exploring the possibility of access to the IMF Standby Facility. The global financial crisis and continued concerns about the country’s balance of payments as well as pressure on the Net International Reserves (NIR), are the main reasons for exploring a medium-term economic programme with the Fund.
This is against the background of a recent World Bank report which stated that the world economy will decline by 2.9 per cent instead of 1.7 per cent, 100 per cent worse than previously estimated. The fall-out is being reflected in the performance of the key sectors of the economy.
Jamaica is a member of the IMF, an organisation in which member nations, inter alia, seek to protect each other from the negative effects of international macro-economic instability. The IMF currently has lending or facility relationships with 65 countries in the amount of US$35.8 billion. The Fund’s latest figures show that in 2008, it provided substantial technical assistance and conducted surveillance programmes in 177 countries.
The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has developed a medium-term economic programme to be submitted to the IMF, in order for Jamaica to access an IMF extended standby facility. This programme includes the revised medium-term targets and draws heavily on the proposed reforms to the financial and tax systems that are already underway.

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