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    Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, has expressed the view that a collaborative approach to governance is the way forward, as this will guarantee the process of growth and development of the country in a dynamic global environment.
    Addressing participants in a session on the second day of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Investment and Capital Markets four-day Conference at the Rose Hall Resort and Country Club in Montego Bay recently, Dr. Davies noted that for this process to be effective, the principal actors such as; members of the public or clients, professionals or special interest groups, regulators, the media and members of the political directorate, all have specific critical roles to play.
    Focusing on the role of the regulators, which he stressed was one of the most difficult, Dr. Davies said, “Collaborative governance demands of them that rules and regulations should be applied without fear or favour. The difficulty is that there are times when those against whom these rules and regulations should be applied are established icons. Furthermore, because the loss of position and financial resources is such a major ‘come down’, regulators may place themselves in personal danger in executing their tasks,” Dr. Davies noted.
    “Nonetheless, within the context of striving towards a common objective of improving governance, the laws must be fully applied with equity,” the Opposition Spokesman added.
    He further pointed out that the regulators had the obligation to increase the level of public education and public awareness, as in the final analysis, the resources being managed belong to the public, hence, educating them on the industry and the steps which can be taken, must be seen as the first line of defense.
    Highlighting the role of the media as one of the ‘actors’ in facilitating the expansion and development of the capital market in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, Dr. Davies said, “In any society with a market driven financial sector, all forms of the media have a critical role to play, not only in informing the public but also to complement the watchdog responsibilities of the regulators”.
    He said that too often he said, media houses do not play this role and this deficiency speaks to several issues. “The first relates to the need for media houses to employ persons with the appropriate training to comment critically on financial matters. Many assigned this task are often taken up by hype and public relations without being able to probe beyond superficial statements and headlines,” Dr. Davies asserted.
    “The final important area of responsibility for the media is to ensure that the state, ostensibly in pursuit in acquiring information for national security, does not become over intrusive into the private lives of citizens,” Dr. Davies added.
    The investment conference was held from January 29 to February 1 under the theme, ‘Partnering for Change, Embracing Competition for Regional Advancement in a Global Environment’.

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