PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago (Wednesday, November 24, 2021) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a two-week annual visit to Trinidad and Tobago and published its independent assessment, last Friday, stating, “The combined effects of COVID-19, energy production cuts, and price shocks pushed the economy further into recession.”
In the face of such challenges, the IMF concluded that “The authorities’ decisive policy response helped contain COVID-19’s spread, protect lives and livelihoods, and paved the way for a strong recovery.”
“We thank the IMF for a thorough and constructive review of our macroeconomic and financial policies under COVID-19, and are keen to maintain such quality of exchanges in the future,” declared Finance Minister, Colm Imbert.
The IMF noted that Trinidad and Tobago faced “unprecedented challenges in 2020-21”, and, for the near future, believes that “the immediate priorities are to accelerate vaccinations and support the economic recovery”.
“We value the endorsement, by the international community, of the policies we have put in place to protect our population, and certainly agree that the immediate priority is to foster the recovery,” added Minister Imbert.
For the medium term, the IMF argued that “once the recovery is firmly in place, policy attention should focus on reducing public debt levels and rebuilding fiscal buffers, supported by a credible fiscal framework.
“We are certainly prepared to heed this advice, and we have started to put in place remedial policies to bring our debt, back on a lower trajectory.
“The IMF has made some suggestions, in terms of a fiscal anchor: we are welcoming more detailed technical engagement. The same applies to suggestions to improve the infrastructure of our foreign exchange and money markets. We are welcoming any constructive solutions that will, in the end, improve our citizens’ life,” concluded the Finance Minister.