Contractors Role in Spurring Growth and Productivity Underscored

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says contractors and contracting firms play critical roles in improving productivity in the construction sector and the wider economy
  • “I believe the time has come for the strategic role of contractors to change. Today we need contractors who not only crunch numbers, but who are willing and able to look beyond the profit margin and see that they have a role to play in advancing the growth agenda, by contributing to increased productivity and influencing the implementation of sustainable projects, where consideration is given to the social, economic and environmental impacts on the country,” he said.
  • The Minister also urged contractors to increase their use of technology in carrying out their operations which, he contended, would lead to improved outcomes while generating significant employment.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says contractors and contracting firms play critical roles in improving productivity in the construction sector and the wider economy.

“I believe the time has come for the strategic role of contractors to change. Today we need contractors who not only crunch numbers, but who are willing and able to look beyond the profit margin and see that they have a role to play in advancing the growth agenda, by contributing to increased productivity and influencing the implementation of sustainable projects, where consideration is given to the social, economic and environmental impacts on the country,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at the eighth annual Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) breakfast forum held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston under the theme: ‘Construction – A Driver of Economic Growth’.

Dr. Chang said contractors are the construction sector’s implementers as they transform plans to physical outcomes and, to a large extent, influence productivity across the industry.

“Traditionally, contractors have entered construction projects at the back end and have not been seen as having a role to play at the conception and planning phases. They would simply look at the economics of a project and if the numbers make sense, it is considered to be worth the risk,” he said.

The Minister also urged contractors to increase their use of technology in carrying out their operations which, he contended, would lead to improved outcomes while generating significant employment.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chang he said the administration is committed to facilitating and engendering productivity in the construction sector.

He said steps have been taken to increase transparency and reduce uncertainty around the awarding of government contracts; streamline the tendering process; reduce bureaucracy; ensure that realistic project planning and feasibility studies are done; increase consultation with industry players to improve project outcomes; and ensure there is greater political consensus around planned projects to improve market confidence and guarantee continuity.

Dr. Chang also reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the economic growth and job creation agenda, pointing out that “as we seek to advance that growth, it is evident that the construction sector has a role to play in driving that process.”

The MSBM roundtable series is an annual forum where senior organizational leaders in the Caribbean explore solutions to most pressing issues affecting the region, by engaging industry experts and academia in meaningful dialogue.

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