Minister of Finance and Public Service Nigel Clarke says the recent upgrade of Jamaica’s credit rating by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings from a BB+ to a BB- will give the country the opportunity to access financing at a lower cost.
The finance minister, who was speaking at the opening of Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) Engineers’ Week, said: “Now what that means for Jamaica is that Jamaica has the opportunity to access financing at a cost lower than we have before on a relative basis because the higher your credit rating, it means the more credit worthy you are and the more credit worthy you are is the less that investors demand to lend you money. So, if you pay less for the money that you need to finance yourself it means more becomes available for other expenditures, health, security, education and infrastructure.”
Clarke said there is a direct link between the historic upgrade in the country’s rating and the ability to finance the needs of the society, including providing more job opportunities.
“Credit ratings also matter because the higher your credit rating is the more favourably your investment climate is deemed to be because it means that investments are less risky. Credit ratings are linked to the riskiness or the perceived riskiness of an economy. The higher the credit rating is the more open the economy will be to foreign investment, more foreign investment means more economic activity, more economic activity means more jobs for Jamaican people. So, a higher credit rating provides an environment that supports the creation of more jobs for Jamaicans,” he said.
He further noted that there must be a national effort to maintain and improve the country’s credit for investable funds to flow.