Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips and a Jamaican delegation-are now in Europe having completed the first leg of the Annual Non Deal Road Show in the USA.
  • While in the USA they visited New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.
  • The road show is aimed at sensitizing external stakeholders of the progress/status of the Jamaican Economy in a bid to boost investor confidence.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips and a Jamaican delegation-are now in Europe having completed the first leg of the Annual Non Deal Road Show in the USA. While in the USA they visited New York City, Boston and Los Angeles. The road show is aimed at sensitizing external stakeholders of the progress/status of the Jamaican Economy in a bid to boost investor confidence.

As the country continues on the path of economic recovery, the Ministry of Finance and Planning is determined to maintain its present focus on macroeconomic stability, sustained growth and development.

Jamaica for the first time in nearly 20 years recorded a fiscal surplus of 0.1% of GDP, signalling, that the Economic Reform Programme (ERP), a programme designed to reduce the national debt burden, increase revenues and promote fiscal discipline, is working.

The World Bank Reports projects that Jamaica will end 2014 with economic growth of 1.1 per cent, 2015 with 1.3 per cent in 2015 and 2016 with 1.7 per cent. The economy is improving, the current account deficit shrunk to an estimated 9.6% of GDP in 2013 from 12.9% in 2012, and Jamaica’s net international reserves recovered to USD 1.3b in March 2014, the highest level since August 2012.

This is in keeping with pronouncements made by Dr. the Hon Peter Phillips in his 2014 Budget Presentation where he stated, “we approach the future with confidence that we are turning the corner, the debt is being reduced, we have met all quantitative targets in the four quarterly tests under the IMF programme and our country and our economy is growing.”

In February, Fitch Ratings upgraded Jamaica to ‘B-‘from CCC due to the country’s strong corrective policy and compliance with the IMF programme. The upgrade in Jamaica’s credit rating reduces the country’s risk profile and opens the opportunity for foreign investment in projects that can continue to stimulate economic growth. Financial Secretary Devon Rowe explains that we have restrained our expenditure in line with our fiscal targets, contained inflation within the agreed targets, increased our international reserves, reduced our debt to GDP from 147% of GDP to 139% and have met our primary surplus and budget balance targets.

The maintenance of the Economic Reform Programme (ERP) of Tax Reform, Public Sector Transformation, Pension Reform, Debt Management, Central Treasury Management System and Corporate Governance is critical to the continuance of improved economic growth.

Sustaining the current fiscal effort will depend on the maintenance of the consensus with Government and key multi-lateral and bilateral agencies. Critical to that economic growth path is the performance of the Private and Public Partnership Programme (PPP) in developing major infrastructure projects, which will further drive investment and job creation.