PM says Jamaica continues to experience strong economic growth

January 13, 2023
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Contributed

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan 13, CMC -Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says consideration by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of Jamaica’s request to access the Resilience and Sustainable Facility (RSF) and the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL), signals the strength of the fundamentals of the island’s economy.

Jamaica and the IMF have reached a Staff Level Agreement that will enable the government to have access to approximately US$1.7 billion.

Under the RSF, Jamaica will be able to access up to US$763 million at an interest rate of approximately 3.8 per cent with a repayment period of 20 years, and no principal repayment for the first 10 years.

“This is amazing. The countries that qualify for this, clearly, will be countries that have strong economic fundamentals,” Holness told the  launch of the Quantas Financial Group, saying that his administration had also taken the decision to access the PLL as an insurance against various shocks. Under the PLL, Kingston will be able to obtain up to US$967 million.

“So, although we have enough reserves, the Government is being prudent,” Holness said.

“We are taking out this insurance policy nonetheless, which further strengthens the fiscal output, strengthens how the Government is perceived and how investors perceive current and future conditions. So, in the event of any shocks to our economy, we have enough buffers in place to maintain stability,” he added.

Holness said Jamaica continues to experience strong economic recovery from the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, expanding by 5.9 per cent in the third quarter of the financial year, which represents the sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

In addition, he said the unemployment rate is at its lowest in the country’s post-independence history, possibly attaining close to full employment in another two years.

Holness said these factors are strong indicators of the country’s resilience, even in the face of the pandemic and the increased shipping and supply chain prices.

He said the resurgence of Jamaica as a strong economic player in the region has begun, and the country is poised for increased growth and development.

“Government policy is working, and it is creating the basis and the opportunities for firms and entrepreneurs to take risks, to invest and to continue to grow our economy,” Holness added.

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