BREAKING:IMF Meets New Jamaican Government. Debt-to-GDP, Job Creation Critical.

Please see statement just issued by the IMF

Mr. Luis Breuer, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief for Jamaica, issued the following statement today in Kingston:

“At the request of the Jamaican authorities, a Fund mission visited Kingston during January 18-24, 2012 to meet with the new government, learn about its priorities, and discuss modalities of future engagement. The Fund team met with the Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service Hon. Peter Phillips, Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter, Financial Secretary Wesley Hughes, Planning Institute of Jamaica Director General Gladstone Hutchison, other senior officials, and representatives of the donor community and the private sector.

“The Fund team and the authorities have a concurring view of the key challenges facing Jamaica, arising from the high public debt and low economic growth, and agree on the need for a strong policy response. The authorities indicated that they are working on the early implementation of a set of policies aimed at placing the debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio on a decisive downward path, while stimulating growth and job creation in a sustainable way.

“The Fund team expressed its commitment to working closely with the Jamaican authorities, as they address the challenges facing the country. Going forward, discussions are scheduled to continue in February 2012.

“The mission expresses its appreciation to the authorities and technical staff for their excellent cooperation.”

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