Influential economist, Ralston Hyman, is urging the government to seek help from the country’s multilateral partners as it considers buying back Jamaica’s debt under the PetroCaribe deal.

Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, has been suggesting that the government tap cheaper sources of funding like the IMF and World Bank, instead of trying to raise funds on the international capital markets.

Mr. Hyman – who’s a also a member of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, EPOC – agrees this move would cost the country less.

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His comments come as there’re unconfirmed reports out of Italy that the Jamaican government has hired the American multinational bank, CitiGroup, to manage a possible buy-back of Jamaica’s approximately USD$3-billion debt under PetroCaribe.

Mr. Hyman is suggesting that it’s unlikely that the government could arrange to buy back the debt using funds from the international capital market without first consulting its multilateral partners.

Mr. Shaw has argued that the government could save about JMD$10-billion in annual interest payments if it borrows from the IMF or World Bank.