Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Government and IMF to begin negotiations this week

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Over the next week and a half a government negotiating team and representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be engaging in discussions.  

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn said the IMF officials had already started requesting data which Barbados was in the process of finalising. The meetings are expected to run from July 2 to 12.  

"Those early meetings will engage on where our position is fiscally and then obviously those negotiations will start to drill down to the specific sectors of Government, and the Fund’s team will also meet with members of the private sector. 

“We have already announced that we are going to be restructuring the debt and so this will form part of the negotiations with the Fund…. So, some of the meetings will focus on debt, not just between the IMF and the Government, but also with the domestic and foreign creditors as well.” 

The Minister explained that Government was working out the details on what was required to grow the economy over the next 10 years and at the same time improving the delivery of public services to the level that Barbadians expect and deserve. 

“Therefore, the early meetings will set the framework for where we want the overall economic recovery and transformation plan to be…. We anticipate that between now and July 12, we can have in place at least a working agreement, because it is certainly our intention to make sure that the IMF team has all of the data and information needed to be able to come to a conclusion as to how and what they can support.… 

“We are intending that once the team leaves here on July 12, and they go through their internal review process in Washington, that Barbados can get an IMF Board agreement as early as possible,” he pointed out. 

Straughn explained government needed to make sure that it had things in place to restore confidence in the market- hence the reason for an early agreement with the IMF. 

He stressed that Government has already begun to fix some of the problems, and must continue to do what was necessary to grow the economy and address fiscal reforms. 

Related Article

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said on June 1 that Barbados’ public debt was as high as 171 per cent of GDP and corrective economic and fiscal measures were needed to place it on a sustainable footing. She announced such when she had a telephone conversation with the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, and a mission had been invited to visit Barbados. 

The team came here from June 4 to 7 to meet with Mottley and officials. Subsequently, the Prime Minister and her team went to Washington to have talks with Ms. Lagarde between June 14 and 15.  

 

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