The Government of Jamaica today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Economic Programme Oversight Committee ("EPOC") extending domestic monitoring of Jamaica's Economic Reform Programme beyond the end of the Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr the Hon. Nigel Clarke, stated, "The Government is far advanced in enacting legislation to modernize the Bank of Jamaica, inclusive of institutionalizing independence in the implementation of monetary policy. We are also working to table legislation, by April 2020, to implement a Fiscal Council that will strengthen Jamaica's fiscal responsibility framework and be an independent arbiter of Jamaica's fiscal rules. Today we commit to empowering EPOC to continue in a monitoring role until our Central Bank and Fiscal Council policy commitments are operationalized."
Jamaica is set to successfully complete the Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF in November 2019, having brought the prior Extended Fund Facility arrangement with the IMF to a successful early termination in November 2016. This will conclude approximately 6 ½ years of successful programme engagement with the IMF. Over this period Jamaica's debt has been significantly reduced, macro-economic stability has become entrenched, economic growth has returned and there has been substantial growth in employment.
The Minster stated, "Given where we are coming from, the macro-economic gains that Jamaica has enjoyed over these 6 ½ years are a Jamaican success story, recognized around the world. This success is wholly attributable to the effort and sacrifice of the Jamaican people and we owe it to the Jamaican people to preserve and build on these gains even as we work to address the other important challenges."
This MOU extension with EPOC follows on the Government's agreement with the IMF to keep its office in Jamaica for two years following the end of the Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement in November. The Finance Minister said, "These decisions are a demonstration of our commitment to maintaining a credible and sustainable macro-economic path, including a fiscal trajectory that is consistent with our fiscal responsibility law, long into the future that provides the foundation of economic opportunity for the current and future generations."
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/Daniel Passley