IMF’s Jamaica Office to Remain Open

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Jamaica News: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will maintain operations at its Jamaica office beyond November, when the country officially concludes its current arrangement with the organisation.

IMF Resident Representative, Dr. Constant Longkeng Nguoana, advised that the IMF will continue to monitor the progress of Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme (ERP) and macroeconomic stability for an additional two years.

He said that the organisation will also provide technical support for institutional and capacity-building in key ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) through training, among other inputs.

Dr. Nguoana was addressing the Rotary Club of St. Andrew’s weekly meeting at Hotel Four Seasons on Tuesday (July 16).

He noted that while it is the norm for the IMF to close its local office when its programme with a country ends, the decision to maintain the Jamaica office for an additional two years speaks to the strength of the Fund’s relationship with the country.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Nguoana commended the steps being taken by the Government to ensure that the gains recorded under the ERP are preserved.

These include work to establish the proposed independent Fiscal Council; reforming the Bank of Jamaica’s mandate to focus on inflation-targeting; advancing work on the proposed policy framework for natural disasters; and strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

“Those are the types of initiatives that will ensure that once Jamaica exits from the Fund’s financial support, the reform momentum and… the hard-won gains due to the sacrifice by all Jamaicans… are preserved when the programme expires,” Dr. Nguoana added.

Jamaica’s latest relationship with the IMF started in 2013 when the country entered into a four-year US$932-million Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

This arrangement ended in 2016 when it was replaced by a US$1.6-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement.

Dr. Nguoana’s tenure in Jamaica concludes in August and he will be replaced by another representative.

 

Source: JIS News

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