Above: the World Bank
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a $130 million development policy loan for Jamaica.
The loan aims to promote “economic stability, debt sustainability and improve competitiveness in Jamaica,” according to a statement from the Bank.
“For over three decades, Jamaica’s economy has faced serious challenges to achieve sustained levels of economic growth,” Jamaican Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips said. “This has resulted in a continuing fragile economic environment with considerable underlying vulnerabilities and a high public debt level that imposes an enormous fiscal burden.”
The Bank said the main objectives of the loan were to achieve an improved investment climate, “sound” public financial management and a more transparent tax regime.
“Through fundamental changes in fiscal and public sector management and competitiveness, Jamaica is taking critical steps to catalyze large investments and positive economic spillovers,” said Sophie Sirtaine, country director for the Caribbean. “These reforms are key to lay the foundations for higher growth in Jamaica, which is needed to achieve fiscal and debt sustainability, and create jobs and shared prosperity for its people.”
The loan will be followed by a series of programmes under the World Bank’s new Country Partnership Strategy with Jamaica, which will be accompanied by technical assistance from the bank-managed trust fund of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and “additional investments under preparation.”