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Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the motion in this truly historic 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate.

The successful negotiation and signing of the 4-year Extended Fund Facility Agreement with the International Monetary Fund, has now shifted the nation’s attention from issues of macroeconomic stability, to growth and development.

This focus on growth and development is critical, if the country is to defeat the cycle of stagnated growth and poverty, and experience a new future of sustained robust economic growth with vastly improved standards of living for our people.

Jamaica’s economy has failed to achieve sustained levels of economic growth for over three decades. What has emerged from this is a continuing fragile economic environment with considerable underlying vulnerabilities. This has contributed to a high public debt that now imposes an enormous burden on our fiscal capacity. This situation constrains the public investment programme, required to support the growth and economic transformation, to improve the economic livelihood of our people.

The recently approved IMF Agreement calls for strong pro-cyclical fiscal policies, designed to meet the country’s debt obligations, and focuses on the goal of fiscal consolidation. But, Mr. Speaker, since that alone cannot solve our problem, we must follow up with a growth and development strategy that changes our present reality and transforms the Jamaican economy.

Download Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Anthony Hylton’s Contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate

So Mr. Speaker, these growth plans along with other critical measures are needed to achieve this transformation. These measures include structural reforms, improving the implementation of projects, significantly reducing the misuse and misallocation of government resources, increasing total factor productivity and, competitiveness of our firms, as well as facilitating greater asset mobilization.

Mr. Speaker, in this mission, WE must remain resolute and stay the course until we achieve the transformation that leads to a sustainable growth path that will once and for all enable Jamaicans to realize their dreams.

In my presentation this afternoon, I will therefore outline key elements of the growth agenda, which are required to achieve economic prosperity through sustainable development, investment and job creation.

Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce plays a pivotal role in the drive to achieve the Government’s growth agenda. The core components of this drive are strategic investments, improving the business environment, macro-economic stability, entrepreneurship and innovation, energy efficiency and human capital development.

So my presentation, Mr. Speaker, will deepen the understanding of the strategy to achieve growth and showcase the Ministry’s plans to diversify the economy and stimulate wealth and job creation…READ MORE

Download Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Anthony Hylton’s Contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate