The World Bank has commended the Government on initiatives taken, including the National Debt Exchange (NDX) programme, to secure the recent staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“I have been listening keenly to the development in Jamaica over the last couple of days and I think what has transpired is a move in the right direction. This will help to improve the economy of Jamaica and the World Bank stands ready to assist in whatever way we can,” Executive Director of the World Bank, Marie Lucie Morin, said.
Ms. Morin’s comments came during a meeting with Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton and a delegation at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 19.
Head of an IMF Mission to Jamaica, Jan Kees Martijn, had announced the staff-level agreement between the IMF and the Government of Jamaica during a press conference, held at the National Heroes Circle offices of the Finance and Planning Ministry, in Kingston, on February 15.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, also took part in the press conference.
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A staff-level agreement means that the staff members from the IMF and the negotiating team in Jamaica have been able to reach a deal on Jamaica’s economic programme, which will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for consideration by March.
The World Bank Executive Director said the agreement is one that “will no doubt benefit Jamaica in the long run.”
Mr. Hylton, who arrived in Washington on February 18, is on a four-day visit to the US capital to promote the Global Logistics Hub Initiative, which is aimed at taking advantage of the expansion of the Panama Canal by 2015.
“This is a massive project with several multi-million dollar sub projects that will enhance the global trading system,” the Minister said.
“Our visit to Washington is to have discussions with representatives of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the US Chamber of Commerce, and other related agencies in the hope of increasing their understanding as it relates to the scope of this project,” Mr. Hylton said.
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Minister Hylton will also meet with representatives of the Jamaica Nationals Association (JNA), and the US Trade and Development Agency, and a representative from the Maryland House of Delegates, Shirley Natham-Pulliam.
The visit to Washington follows others made to China, Singapore, Panama and the Netherlands.
Accompanying the Minister to the World Bank meeting were: Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie; Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM), Becky Stockhousen; Vice President of Planning and Corporate Development at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Dr. Dana Morris Dixon; President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Francis Kennedy; Chairman of the Logistics Taskforce, Eric Deans; and Advisor to the Minister, Reginald Nugent.