Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips, in discussion with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on her arrival in Jamaica on Thursday. Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson
By Athaliah Baker
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, arrived in Jamaica on Thursday for a three-day visit.
Lagarde will meet with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; the finance minister and other senior government officials. She will also call on opposition leader, Andrew Holness.
Simpson Miller and Lagarde were due to deliver press statements on Friday.
The managing director’s itinerary will also see her participating in a number of other activities. These include delivering a lecture at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona, on Friday; attending a reception in her honour, hosted by the prime minister; and attending a special breakfast meeting with women leaders on Saturday.
Additionally, she will tour the HEART College of Construction Services on Saturday, before departing the island.
A statement from the ministry of finance and planning stated that Lagarde’s visit underscores the IMF’s support for Jamaica’s economic reform programme (ERP), and signals the Fund’s commitment to assisting the wider Caribbean.
The most recent IMF review mission to Jamaica, from May 5 to 16, concluded that the country’s overall performance under the programme remains strong; the economic outlook is improving; crisis risks have receded; growth has picked up; net exports are stronger; inflation has been brought under control; and the net international reserves (NIR) are starting to recover.
On May 1, 2013, the IMF executive board approved Jamaica’s application for a four-year extended fund facility (EFF) arrangement in an amount of US$958 million.
Jamaica has since passed the four quarterly tests, and has secured in excess of US$300 million in funding support under the facility.