Above: Finance Minister Audley Shaw (JIS Photo)
Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank have discussed structural benchmarks identified by the country’s government to strengthen the economy and increase competitiveness.
These areas include tax, pension and public sector wage reforms, according to Finance Minister Audley Shaw, who said it was his government’s prerogative to ensure a stable macroeconomic framework in which private sector initiatives could flourish.
Shaw recalled one of his first acts as Finance Minister, which was a trip to Washington to meet with the IMF and the IDB.
At the time, Shaw said that the idea was that once Jamaica was prepared to stick to fiscal prudence and fiscal discipline, it would get access to multilateral funding.
According to the Minister, the economy grew by 1.4 percent in the first quarter, and 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011.
“The only way to reduce debt, as a percentage of GDP, is to earn our way to reducing that debt,” he said. “My challenge and my mission is to ensure macroeconomic stability. We want to keep the stability going. But ultimately, the long-term basis of stability is runaway investment, job creation and growth.”
–Jamaica Information Service