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Gov’t, IDB explore expansion of loan portfolio

Jamaica Observer / KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS)— Finance and Public Service Minister Audley Shaw says the Government and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are exploring the possible expansion of the IDB’s private sector loan portfolio in Jamaica. While noting that the private sector has access to significant low-cost single-digit interest rates, citing the IDB’s partial credit guarantee loan programme for micro and small enterprises disbursed through the Development Bank of Jamaica as an example, he argued that “we are in need of more development financing.”

Against this background, the minister said the administration will be encouraging private sector stakeholders to apply to the IDB for funding support through the private sector loan arm, even as its expansion continues.

He was speaking at a reception at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Monday (February 26) to welcome IDB President, Luis Alberto Moreno, and other Bank officials for the multilateral institution’s seventh annual meeting of Governors of the Caribbean, this morning.

Meanwhile, Shaw said Jamaica and other Caribbean countries continue to value the IDB’s support to the region.

He noted that successive administrations have shared a productive relationship with the IDB, which was highlighted by the Bank’s support for the country when it entered into the Extended Fund Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund in 2013, and which has been maintained under the successor Precautionary Standby Arrangement in 2016.

“We are very supportive of the work of the IDB and welcome the partnership,” Shaw said.

The seventh annual Caribbean Governors’ Meeting is being hosted by the Bank of Jamaica under the theme: ‘Jump Caribbean’.

It will focus on helping the region to embrace the digital revolution as a developmental tool.

The IDB has indicated that it wants to improve the capacity of the region to tap into technology and apply innovative methods as a means to solve problems, improve productivity, generate employment and advance development.

IDB Governors are expected from the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Caribbean Development Bank President, Dr Warren Smith, will also be in attendance.

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