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Nov 28, 2014

Is Government Saving for Rainy Days Post Petrocaribe Funds?

With low oil prices on the global market of late there have been concerns of a fallout from the Petrocaribe oil agreement.  While Jamaica, which is also party to the Petrocaribe agreement, is being urged to start building up additional foreign reserves as a buffer against any fallout from the PetroCaribe oil agreement, PM Barrow admits that it may very well be a possibility but funds have been set aside for a rainy day.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I think that’s quite possible. I just want to put on record how grateful we have been for Petrocaribe and for the absolute enlightenment of Chavez and his vision and the continuation of that vision by his successor. If in the circumstances the Venezuelans have to moderate or even terminate the agreement until in fact there is some sort of return to the circumstances from which they pioneered it, we will have to understand. We will be grateful but we will completely understand. You know that in a year or so oil prices are going to go right back up. But we, I can’t say are prepared for the eventuality of a termination of the program, but we are clearly very mindful of the circumstances you have just described and we anticipate that there is very much that possibility. We of course have deliberately not tried to spend everything all in a rush for several reasons including the fact that we thought that a prudent thing was to lay aside a sort of rainy day fund. So if the program stops anytime soon, we have enough to continue with prudent, cautious spending funded by the Petrocaribe proceeds for a number of years to come.”

 

Reporter

“But are you concerned that it might affect you politically going forward insofar as you hoped to ride the wave of this money into successive victories at municipal, bye-election and general elections?”

 

Dean Barrow

“But it’s not just that you see. That is a big help, but remember you had said to me when we had that splendid second quarter GDP growth…look out for the third quarter…well of course we didn’t match the second quarter, but we’ve done exceptionally well for a third quarter which is usually very iffy so the fundamentals are in place, the economy will continue to grow. Without a doubt this has represented a tremendous boost but all good things come to an end.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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