JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson says that by remaining steadfast in the determination to transform the Jamaican economy to compete on an equal footing in the global environment, the last three years had seen a rise in the country’s prospects for sustainable economic development and has led to investments of over US$1 Billion by overseas investors in several sectors including tourism, telecommunications and infrastructure. He said now that interest rates were trending downwards, this should be matched by higher levels of domestic investments in order to spawn new businesses and create new jobs.
Mr. Patterson who was speaking in Toronto on Wednesday (Apr. 7) at a function hosted by Mr. Michael Lee Chin, Chairman of AIC Investments Ltd. said there were many challenges during the period of transformation, but the country had remained steadfast in its purpose in order to create a land of prosperity, where every Jamaican is able to realize their full potential.
“The going during that period has admittedly been difficult. We have had to pass through our moments of turbulence in the marketplace. But we have remained steadfast in purpose because we have been determined to reach our destination to create a land of prosperity where every Jamaican can eventually secure a job and be able to realise their full potential,” Mr. Patterson said.
He said although the financial sector had experienced a set back during the period of transformation and the Government had provided assistance to the sector at a considerable cost, this was done in the recognition that a sound economy has to be built on confidence.
“One of the areas which initially caused a set back was the financial sector. For a time the Government had to come to its rescue.we did so at a considerable cost but we recognised that you can’t build a sound economy where confidence does not exist. People who put their money in a licensed banking institution or who invest their pension funds in an insurance company, expect to get their money back when they need it,” the Prime Minister stated.
Mr. Patterson said there were now positive signs in the financial sector and cited the turnaround of the National Commercial Bank, the growth in the local stock market as well as the strong performance of the bauxite/alumina and tourism sectors as primary examples.
He said the recent naming of Jamaica among the ten best countries in which to do business was an indicator of the Government’s success in creating an investor friendly environment. “We have achieved this international recognition because we have introduced the requisite policies and services to increase our competitiveness in the facilitation of investors,” Mr. Patterson said.

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