Above: Jamaica Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips (left) (FP)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica’s government expects to conclude a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund by the end of December, with negotiations expected to be finalized this calendar year, according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.
Phillips, who was speaking this week at a forum on the Jamaican economy, said that having an IMF agreement in place would represent a “seal of approval” to the international community.
The IMF programe, he said, is aimed at “restarting the engines of progress” in Jamaica.
“It is the seal that will secure access on acceptable terms to international capital markets and for that reason it is important, but it is not the be all and end all,” he said. “The challenge that we face is a challenge not for the IMF, but a challenge for us, the people of Jamaica, to demonstrate that we have the capacity to manage our own economic and financial affairs responsibly and effectively in keeping with the sovereign rights which we have held for 50 years.”
Last week, a group of Jamaican officials were in Washington to look at and exchange data regarding the government’s views on the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, he said.
That will form the basis of the letter of intent.