Former IMF boss praises Jamaica

Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde (Photo: JIS)
Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde (Photo: JIS)

Former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has praised Jamaica for the “remarkable” accomplishments under its financial arrangements with the Fund.

“Through two programmes, two different administrations with very strong commitment, you have managed to actually create jobs, to reduce the unemployment level to the lowest ever, you’ve reduced debt by 50 percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP), you’ve managed to stabilise inflation and you’ve managed to accumulate reserves,” she said in a recorded message.

The message was played during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, September 18, as the IMF completes its sixth and final review mission under the Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

“You’ve managed to stabilise inflation, and you’ve managed to accumulate reserves.”

— Lagarde

Lagarde said the achievements were not only due to good macroeconomic policies but due largely “to your own creativity, the way you have managed to embark everybody on that journey”.

“A lot has been achieved and more needs to be done. Transforming the public sector and encouraging private investments are tasks that are still there and that I am sure you can achieve as well,” she said.

Jamaica’s latest relationship with the IMF started in 2013 when the country entered into a four-year US$932-million Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

This arrangement ended in 2016 when it was replaced by a US$1.6-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement.