How Trinidad rejected IMF and survived it

In 2015 when the price of crude oil dropped like a shooting star hitting the atmosphere, Trinidad’s economy was sent into a tailspin.

What was an oil dependent economy to do to stay afloat as oil prices crashlanded? In came the IMF with a timely loan offer.

But Trinidad didn’t want new debt or the risk of default. This is what they did to save themselves in the words of their Finance Minister, Colm Imbert.

“We had had enough of that. We chose a different path. We immediately embarked on reducing government expenditure to what we felt were manageable levels, from TT$63 billion, to TT$52 billion in the first year, and eventually down to $50 billion by 2018.

“It may sound facetious, but we were able to do this by cutting out waste, mismanagement and inflated costs, also known as corruption.”

“We thus set about to address these chronic money losers, lest they crippled our economy,”

“Our national development agenda will build on our achievements, as we continue to take the necessary measures to avoid a debt trap and external intervention”.

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