Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips (L) and President of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) Luis Alberto Moreno affix their signature to the USS$60 million loan agreement between the IDB and Jamaica. (Photo Derrick Scott)
By Derrick A. Scott
WASHINGTON USA -- Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips on Friday morning signed a US$60 million loan agreement on behalf of Jamaica, with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), at its headquarters in Washington DC.
The loan is the third tranche of financing for the public financial and performance management program and represents the first policy based loan operation since 2011. It accompanies the government of Jamaica’s efforts to enhance public management by strengthening fiscal discipline, improving public financial management, and increasing public performance management.
President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno who signed on behalf of the bank, expressed the IDB’s satisfaction with respect to Jamaica’s strengthened fiscal management. He said he was satisfied with the country’s progress with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Extended Fund Facility and the first review of which was approved by the IMF’s Board on September 30, 2013.
Moreno said the review is an important reflection of the IMF’s confidence in Jamaica's macroeconomic stabilization program. He reiterated that the fiscal management program combines policy initiatives and government actions in four key areas which include fiscal responsibility, financial management, public procurement and performance management and accountability. He added that all these reforms are paramount to accomplishing the objectives of Jamaica’s stabilization program currently being implemented and are expected to deliver ambitious debt reduction and fiscal consolidation over the next four years.
The IDB president said Jamaica has taken a very important step to moving forward and having the international community gain more confidence in the country’s economic stability.
In his remarks, Phillips expressed Jamaica’s appreciation to the IDB for its support to the country over the years. He said that it has not always been an easy road, but hoped that Jamaica can continue to count on the partnership of the IDB as the country enters the difficult period of moving towards sustained growth which remains the basic building block and fundamental objective for all that Jamaica is doing at this time.
“But we have to get to growth through this difficult period of fiscal consolidation and structural reform”, the finance minister said. “As we travel through this strenuous journey, we are going to depend upon the understanding, partnership and collaboration of the IDB and other multi-lateral organizations to help us move forward,” Phillips continued.