Jamaica on the Road to Economic Sustainability – Whiteman


Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman has said that the multi-billion dollar investment projects announced recently in the mining and tourism sectors were proof that the country was on the road to economic sustainability.
He said the projects, which included a US$790 million expansion of the JAMALCO plant in Clarendon, three new hotels by the RIO Spanish Hotel Group and the major 500-hectare tourism development for Trelawny, were examples of the kinds of investment that were already in train or were on the horizon for Jamaica.The Minister was speaking at a meeting of Jamaican community and business leaders at the Jamaican High Commission in London on Thursday, April 29.
Senator Whiteman said the Government was working hard to ensure that all the agencies that had to deal with investors and investments were fast tracked and competent.
“One of the reasons that we can speak with a little more confidence is that for the first time we have seen interest rates coming down, without the usual run on the currency, and at the same time, the fiscal deficit has contracted and we have not seen a devaluation of currency or a rise in inflation. These are the things investors want to know about your economy.what is the state of the fiscal balance and the state of your interest rates,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that the budget debate was completed on April 28, and the Government’s theme was: ‘One Vision, One People: A Strong Jamaica’, adding that this theme was needed to ensure that Jamaica created and maintained the right climate to attract investments. “We are at a point now where we could miss opportunities if we are seen as a divided society. We really need, as a country, to pull together, not to hide the negatives but to put them in a context and really do what we can to create and sustain that investor friendly climate that now exists,” Senator Whiteman emphasised.
High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Maxine Roberts, who introduced the Minister, said Jamaica had done well and was a good place for investment.”We have been named in the top 10 of 130 countries where it’s best to do business, which was done by the World Bank. It is wonderful to get such kudos. the economy is growing and things are looking up,” she said.
The High Commissioner told the gathering that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K. D. Knight and Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips would be in London early May for the UK/Caribbean Forum to discuss, among other issues, the impact of expansion of the European Union on the relationship with the region, especially as it related to trade in sugar and bananas.

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