US$100m to boost investment

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Government has received a US$100-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to increase access to financing for firms and individuals as well as improving the regulation and supervision of the country’s financial system.
Dubbed the ‘Financial System Reform Support Programme’, the initiative seeks to promote private investment and reduce the cost of, and the perceived level of difficulty in doing business in Jamaica.
Speaking at the official signing ceremony, at the Finance Ministry in Kingston yesterday, Minister of State, Fayval Williams, said the Government anticipates a positive impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic growth that will be spurred by the reform measures that are being undertaken. 
“The Government appreciates the contribution of the IDB to financial sector reform in Jamaica and looks forward to continued collaboration with the Bank in support of the Government’s overall objectives as outlined in the Vision 2030 National Development Plan,” she said.
Williams said economic growth remains a priority for the Government, adding that the initiative will also help firms and individuals develop their productive potential. 
“Although the implementation of reforms under the Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund has led to an increase in gross domestic product as well as an increase in Jamaica’s credit rating, high sustained economic growth remains a challenge for Jamaica,” she said.
Meanwhile, General Manager, Country Department, Caribbean Group, Inter-American Development Bank, Therese Turner-Jones, said the initiative will “shore-up” the environment for a more robust financial sector and access to financing.
She said the money will be disbursed in about a week’s time, allowing more citizens to have access to the financial sector.
The programme consists of four components, including macroeconomic stability; strengthening financial sector stability; enhancing financial inclusion of firms and individuals; and improving the financial legal framework.
It is expected that more effective regulation and supervision of the financial sector will improve its development and stability, and reduce the cost of participation in the sector, while improving efficiency by lowering operational costs. 
The Financial System Reform Support Programme is being executed under two consecutive programmatic operations, with the policy conditions under the first operation having been successfully fulfilled.

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