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									 MINISTRY OF FINANCE & THE PUBLIC SERVICE
               PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

                      STATEMENT BY
                THE HONOURABLE AUDLEY SHAW
         MINISTER OF FINANCE & THE PUBLIC SERVICE
                           ON THE
   APPROVAL OF JAMAICA’S STAND-BY AGREEMENT WITH THE IMF

The Government of Jamaica welcomes the decision of the IMF Executive Board to
approve Jamaica’s application for a SDR 820.5 million (US$1.3 billion) Stand-By
Arrangement, under a 27-month programme which will run through the end of FY
2011/12.

The Stand-By Arrangement will assure that Jamaica has adequate foreign
reserves over the period. Importantly, approval will allow the country access to
additional economic support from other multi-lateral development partners.

Jamaica’s economic programme comprises three primary components:

  1. A fiscal consolidation strategy to streamline expenditure, reform the
     public sector, and divest loss-making public entities

  2. A comprehensive debt management strategy, of which the Jamaica
     Debt Exchange and tight treasury management are critical elements

  3. Legislative reform to further strengthen the financial system

The programme, which aims to increase Jamaica’s rate of economic growth, has
amongst its objectives the following:

  •   the achievement of a significant reduction in the rate of inflation to 6-7
      percent over the medium term

  •   the reduction of the overall public sector deficit to 1 percent of GDP over
      the medium term
                                   --more--
   ..2/IMF Statement

   •   an improvement in the current account deficit of the balance of payments
       from 18 percent of GDP to 5 percent of GDP over the medium term

A critical component of the programme is a 25-percent expansion of our social
safety net spending aimed at protecting our most vulnerable citizens. This
provision will see an expansion of coverage under the Programme of
Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) from 325,000 beneficiaries to
360,000. The national school feeding programme will also be expanded.

This is a historic and game-changing time in Jamaica’s history, and the
Government of Jamaica is deeply grateful to the financial community for it’s
overwhelming response to the Jamaica Debt Exchange. The JDX was a major
prior action required for the favourable consideration of our application to the
IMF. It is worthy of note that, up to today, participation is at the 97 percent
mark.

The Agreement marks the commencement of a challenging, but decisive journey
towards good governance, solid economic development and the restoration of
hope for all Jamaicans. All members and sectors will share in the tremendous
sacrifice before us as together we lay down an economic framework conducive to
investment, job creation, increased productivity and the generation of significant
foreign exchange earnings. Above all, our goal is the creation of a society with
good social conditions, where the aspirations of all can be realized.

Today, the hard work and sacrifice begins. It is a challenge that we are equal to.
With fixity of purpose and God’s help, we will achieve our goal to build a bright
and prosperous future.




Hon. Audley Shaw, M.P.
Minister of Finance & the Public Service

                                              --30--
February 4, 2010
Contact:
Communication & Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Kingston 4
Tel: 932-4656/4655/4660
Fax: 922-2669
Email: cheryls@mof.gov.jm/chris@mof.gov.jm/florene@mof.gov.jm

								
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