Positive Outcomes Expected From Economic Reform Programme Endorsement By President Obama

Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is anticipating positive outcomes for Jamaica from United States President, Barack Obama’s endorsement of the Economic Reform Programme (ERP).

Mr. Obama’s support of the ERP, for which he has commended the Government’s implementation, was expressed during several engagements he attended during a two-day visit to the island, from April 8 to 9, along with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of State and Government.

“Our programme has caught the attention of the world, and they recognize that we are a country that is serious about taking our own future in our hands, (and) guiding ourselves along the path to a better future,” the Minister stated.

He made these remarks while addressing Friday’s (April 10) graduation ceremony, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, for 27 Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) revenue officers who participated in the Management Institute for National Development’s (MIND) 2013/14 Tax Audit Revenue Administration (TARA) post-graduate diploma programme.

Speaking with JIS News afterwards, Dr. Phillips said President Obama’s endorsement will facilitate increased investments in key areas of the economy.

He also highlighted the United States’ pivotal role in assisting Jamaica to negotiate the US$932 million four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which currently supports the ERP.

“The United States authorities have been very supportive, not only in assisting Jamaica to get a programme, but supporting us along the way with their diplomatic influence in the multilateral organizations,” the Minister said.

In this regard, he said the United States’ support will also be crucial in other negations with the international finance community, going forward.

Dr. Phillips added that as work continues to further strengthen Jamaica’s economy by spurring growth, the administration will seek to have ongoing dialogue with the US “to find ways, together, to ensure that we are able to (overcome) challenges (which may arise) successfully.”