WASHINGTON, DC, USA — The World Bank has commended the Jamaican Government on recent economic initiatives, including the National Debt Exchange (NDX), to secure the recent staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"I have been listening keenly to the development in Jamaica over the last couple of days and I think what has transpired is a move in the right direction. This will help to improve the economy of Jamaica and the World Bank stands ready to assist in whatever way we can," executive director of the World Bank Marie Lucie Morin said.
Morin's comments came during a meeting with Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton and a delegation at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC yesterday.
Announcement of the staff-level agreement was made by head of the IMF Mission to Jamaica Jan Kees Martijn during a press conference, held at the National Heroes Circle offices of the Finance and Planning Ministry in Kingston on February 15.
A staff-level agreement means that the staff members from the IMF and the negotiating team in Jamaica have been able to reach a deal on Jamaica's economic programme, which will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for consideration by March.
The World Bank executive director said the agreement is one that "will no doubt benefit Jamaica in the long run".
Hylton, who arrived in Washington on Monday, is on a four-day visit to the US capital to promote the Global Logistics Hub Initiative, which is aimed at taking advantage of the expansion of the Panama canal by 2015.
"This is a massive project with several multi-million-dollar sub projects that will enhance the global trading system," the minister said.
"Our visit to Washington is to have discussions with representatives of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, the US Chamber of Commerce, and other related agencies in the hope of increasing their understanding as it relates to the scope of this project," Hylton said.
Minister Hylton was also scheduled to meet with representatives of the Jamaica Nationals Association, the US Trade and Development Agency, and a representative from the Maryland House of Delegates, Shirley Natham-Pulliam.
The visit to Washington follows others made to China, Singapore, Panama and The Netherlands.
Accompanying the minister to the World Bank meeting were Ambassador to the United States Stephen Vasciannie; Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica Becky Stockhausen; Vice-president of planning and corporate development at Jamaica Promotions Corporation Dr Dana Morris Dixon; President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Francis Kennedy; Chairman of the Logistics Taskforce Eric Deans; and Advisor to the minister Reginald Nugent.