A miracle!

That’s how the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Min Zhu, is describing Jamaica’s progress under the 4-year Extended Fund Facility programme.

Mr. Min is in the island attending a High Level Caribbean Financial Forum in Montego Bay, St. James.

Min Zhu says by the IMF’s own forecast, the growth of the Jamaican economy this year will be stronger than last year.

Mr. Min says Jamaica’s fiscal deficit will drop to almost zero by next year.

He says its an absolute miracle and a great achievement by the Jamaican government.

Mr. Min’s comments come four months after IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, visited Jamaica and strongly endorsed the government’s implementation of the fund programme.

She described the island’s performance in the first year of the programme as exceptional.

Meanwhile Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips says its time for countries in the region to re-assess certain trade agreements, as some states are benefiting to the detriment of others.

He says a regional energy strategy must also be pursued.

Dr. Phillips was speaking at the opening of the 2014 High Level Caribbean Forum hosted jointly by the Finance Ministry and the IMF.

Dr. Phillips says the designation of Caribbean countries as Middle Income states has hindered the region from accessing increased support from multilateral donors.

He’s calling for a new agenda for Caribbean nations.

Dr. Peter Phillips, Finance Minister.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says her administration is seeking to establish a new Jamaican business class.

This to help drive higher levels of employment and economic growth.