Jamaica ignored US$100M sugar credit for six years

(Jamaica Observer) Jamaica has, for nearly six years, sat on a US$100-million ($8.6 billion) credit line aimed at boosting the domestic sugar industry without using any of the funds made available by the Brazilian government.

Brazil’s ambassador to Jamaica, Antonio F Da Costa e Silva Neto, yesterday said that no projects have been proposed to date.

“On the issue of the credit line, I have been talking with the (Government) on this, and what they are saying is that, yes, there was this commitment, but the commitment needs projects,” explained Da Costa e Silva Neto.

“What they (the Brazilian government) are asking is, ‘where are the projects?’“ said the ambassador. “I think, on the issue on what we have agreed to with Jamaica, we need to sit down, go through the details and see exactly where we need to move forward.”

He was responding to a query made by Jamaica Cane Products Sales General Manager Karl James at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica breakfast meeting at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. James later told the Jamaica Observer that, as far as he knows, the facility was not even activated.

“We need to find out whether it’s still available and how to access it,” James said. “I think the problem is with the Jamaican side.”

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