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PSOJ wants IMF boss to address devaluation of J$

Thursday, June 26, 2014    

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THE Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) wants International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde to update the country on the progress of its country's agreement with the fund, when she arrives for an official visit tomorrow.

"At this crucial stage of the economic reform programme, the PSOJ believes it is critical to have the country hear of its progress directly from the IMF head, PSOJ President Chris Zacca said in a statement, yesterday.

According to the PSOJ boss, a number of people, including persons who own and/or work in small businesses and local manufacturing enterprises, are feeling the pain of adjustment and that the country still faces a steep uphill climb.

"... In order to achieve the meaningful economic growth that the IMF programme needs in order to be truly deemed a success, Jamaican businesses have to be given a playing field that allows them to be more competitive, and as such we are hopeful that during her visit, Madame Lagarde will address specific areas of concern to the Jamaican private sector, including the debate surrounding the continued steady depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, the tax reform agenda, the high cost of energy, and the need for the Government to address more assertively the culture of investment-unfriendly bureaucracy that impedes the business environment," Zacca said.

He said, however, that the PSOJ continues to pledge its support and continued partnership in the economic development of Jamaica, and remains committed to supporting the policy of fiscal prudence, structural reform, and social protection.

Earlier this week, the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party said it would be raising the slide of the Jamaican currency when it meets with Lagarde.

Finance Spokesman Audley Shaw told a party press conference on Monday that the Opposition would be writing to the IMF managing director, bringing to her attention the negative impact of the IMF-influenced devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.

"Devaluation as a strategy is not working to improve our exports," Shaw told the press conference.

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