Jamaica News: Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says Jamaica is proving its capability to overcome impediments to growth, based on economic out-turns recorded over the last several years.
“We have attained macroeconomic stability, while incrementally improving the levels of growth and gradually reducing debt. Additionally, our investment climate is increasingly improved. Our leading investment promotion agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, can attest to the fact that investors are calling,” the Minister said.
He was speaking at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) inaugural Economic Growth Forum, which was held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Thursday (March 14).
Mr. Shaw noted that successive Governments have worked to attain economic stability “under the watchful eyes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.
“But it will now require our collective and sustained focus to ensure that we not only continue to grow but to accelerate the growth,” he emphasised.
Mr. Shaw acknowledged that the current Administration is still grappling with issues such as crime, high energy costs, and bureaucracy in the business environment, “which slow the pace at which we should be moving”.
“We are dealing with the crime rate… and we are working on energy [by] rapidly diversifying into liquefied natural gas, and solar and wind energy. So, despite the [challenges], there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get there together,” he said.
The Minister emphasised, however, that doing so will require sustained focus on human development.
“Our greatest opportunity for advancement in Jamaica is to develop our people, [who] are our greatest natural resource,” Mr. Shaw said.
The forum featured research paper presentations and a panel discussion on the theme ‘From Elusive to Inclusive Growth’.
The occasion was also used to launch the PIOJ’s 2019 Growth Inducement Programme Research Report, a collection of eight research papers encompassing economic growth-related areas.
These include financial inclusion, tertiary education, labour market developments, and social interventions.
Source: JIS News