Outgoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief to Jamaica, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, says she is confident the country can manage its economic affairs, following the conclusion of IMF programme arrangements in November.
“Without a doubt, we are able to leave with full confidence that the institutional and policy framework is in place… and the policy credibility is there for Jamaica to carry on its own affairs,” she said.
The Mission Chief was responding to questions from journalists during a media round-table forum at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston, on September 20.
Dr. Ramakrishnan, who was appointed Mission Chief in 2015, described her tenure as “a very intense, productive, and constructive engagement” during which “I had the privilege to work across two Administrations”.
Dr. Ramakrishnan also noted that on each occasion of the team’s visits to either conduct programme reviews or undertake related activities, “we would always engage with the Opposition, whether it was under the previous or current Administration”.
“The Opposition has always been part of the [dialogue] that we have had to discuss policies, to talk about issues, to talk about their concerns… and we have been doing that across every single visit I have made to Jamaica,” she noted.
Dr. Ramakrishnan said consequent on these engagements, “one thing I can take and walk away from this with great confidence is the commitment across the board to keep the policy credibility that Jamaica and the Jamaican people have worked so hard to achieve”.
She emphasised the importance of maintaining and enhancing the policy progress recorded over the last six years, initially under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and the successor precautionary Stand-By Arrangement, in order to ensure that future generations, like the present, can benefit.
“For me, it has been an absolute joy, privilege and honour to have worked here for four years and three months,” Dr. Ramakrishnan said.
For his part, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who also spoke at the forum, described Dr. Ramakrishnan as “someone who has always had Jamaica’s best interest at heart”.