Kingston, Jamaica (JIS)- Jamaica Lauded For Economic Strategies- Professor Peter Henry: Jamaica is being lauded for its continued commitment to achieving sustained growth through the institution of economic reform strategies and programmes across Administrations. This praise comes from Dean, Stern Business School, New York University, Professor Peter Henry, who was speaking at the Sixth International Monetary Fund (IMF) High Level Caribbean Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (November 16).
“It is highly encouraging to see continuity of the reforms here in Jamaica, not only over time, following the announcement of the National Debt Exchange in 2013, but also across political parties with a change of Government… in 2016,” he said.
Another “significant achievement,” he said, is the engagement of civil society in holding both political parties accountable with the formation of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee in 2013 and the establishment of the Economic Growth Council in 2016.
“This commitment to reforms across parties stands in stark contrast to Jamaica’s past and is an important, welcome and disciplined step forward,” he said.
Professor Henry argued that while “much work remains to be done,” the multi-stakeholder cooperation in sustaining a pragmatic growth agenda should be applauded.
In the meantime, he encouraged Caribbean countries to be disciplined in developing policies that will help them deal with the challenges of “fiscal adjustments, high debt and low productivity that stand in the way of sustained and inclusive growth”.
“Discipline is a sustained commitment to a pragmatic growth strategy executed with a combination of temperance, vigilance and flexibility that value the long-term prosperity of all over the short term,” he said.
He suggested that improving productivity will be a key strategy in realising sustained growth in the Caribbean. This, he said, can come from the “principal sectors of opportunity” (call centres, tourism, retirement centres, entertainment and wellness), as these services will play a critical role in the region’s future.
“Therefore, it is essential to have a well-educated workforce that can respond quickly to new opportunities that arise from the accelerated changes that are taking place in the global economy,” he said.
The one-day conference was jointly hosted by the Government of Jamaica under the theme ‘Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean’.