Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Peter Phillips addresses the signing ceremony for three loans totalling US$105 million between Jamaica and the World Bank at the signing ceremony at the bank’s headquarters in Washington DC on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. From R-L is World Bank Country Director for Jamaica, Sophia Sirtiane, World Bank Alternate Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, Janet Harris, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, and Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter. (Photo: Derrick Scott)
By Derrick A. Scott
WASHINGTON, USA -- Three loans totalling US$105 million were signed by the government of Jamaica and World Bank at its headquarters in Washington DC on Wednesday afternoon.
Minister of finance and planning, Dr Peter Phillips signed on behalf of Jamaica, while World Bank country director for Jamaica, Sophia Sirtaine signed for the bank.
The loans are in support of three government projects – the Foundation of Competitiveness Growth, which will receive US$50 million; the Youth Employment in Digital Animation Industry will receive US$20 million, while Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project will receive US$35 million.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Phillips said, “The projects are intended to further the overarching goals of the government of Jamaica, World Bank country strategy for the period 2014 – 2017, to support the government’s investments in key strategic areas including physical sustainability in youth employment, public sector modernization and to facilitate a more enabling environment for private sector growth.”
Phillips added that the loans represent an important cooperation between the government of Jamaica and the World Bank and is aimed at advancing the prospect for growth as the country goes through a strenuous economic reform program that forms the agreement with the IMF. He added that the government will do its utmost best to ensure a smooth implementation of the three projects.
Phillips pointed out that funds for the Foundation for Competitiveness and Growth Project, will enhance competition in the business environment, facilitate strategic private investments and support SME capabilities.
Funds for the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industry will provide training and coaching for over 200 young Jamaicans, enhance entrepreneurial skills and create 150 start-up companies.
Under the Strategic Public Transformation Project, the funds will be used to strengthen public investment management systems, budget preparation process and property tax compliance administration.
In her remarks, Sirtaine had high praise for Jamaica regarding the programs it had implemented to spur economic growth and for the results it had been reaping since its implementation. She added that the bank is committed to working with Jamaica in ensuring the success of its various economic programs.