Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, members of the incoming administration and public sector officials met with a visiting IMF delegation today (March 4) at Jamaica House.
The IMF delegation, led by Mr. Nigel Chalk, Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, affirmed the Fund’s readiness to continue its support of Jamaica. The delegation noted the progress already made in reducing the debt burden through fiscal consolidation and the need for continued effort to bring Jamaica’s debt ratios to a level that all stakeholders believed to be sustainable. The Fund team also noted that achieving this objective would become much easier with elevated levels of economic growth.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of a productive partnership with the IMF in achieving the goals of the new administration and acknowledged the role that fiscal consolidation had played in stabilising Jamaica’s economy. He emphasised the necessity of stability and signaled the intention of the new administration to use available policy tools to build on stability and to accelerate inclusive economic growth, while maintaining fiscal prudence. Prime Minister Holness also informed the delegation of his intention to continue with the principle of stakeholder oversight of Jamaica’s economic programme and performance.
Both parties agreed on a need to coordinate closely on the outlines of the budget for the 2016/17 fiscal year. In that regard, the IMF would facilitate consultation ahead of the next Review under the Extended Fund Facility agreement. The Prime Minister emphasised his administration’s resolve to table a new budget that reflected the priorities of the Government as early as possible in the new fiscal year.