G-G Says Economic Environment Right for Private Sector to Deliver


Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has emphasised that with interest rates on the decline, foreign exchange supply secure, a rigorous economic programme in place and the signs of recovery in the global economy emerging, the country is looking to the private sector to be the vanguard of its recovery.
“It is to the private sector that we must look for the investments that must be made to get the wheels of the economy turning, generate new jobs and create opportunities for others to invest,” he said.
The Governor-General was delivering the Throne Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, today (March 25).
He said that the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to do all it can to facilitate this new drive and to support businesses, large and small, to invest, produce and grow.
The Governor-General said that as the economic climate improves, the Government will be targeting strategic investments in critical areas such as tourism, information and communication technology and logistics, which offer significant job-creating opportunities.
He noted too that priority will be given to advancing the Education Transformation Programme, undertaking critical road and water supply projects, improving public transportation and providing affordable housing solutions.
In addition, the Governor-General informed that discussions are being held with a view to having at least one alumina plant re-opened this year.
Turning to the plight of the poor, he noted that this year, the Government will be strengthening the social safety net, targeting additional resources to assist the most vulnerable in the society, with special emphasis on the children of the poor.
The Governor-General said that despite the difficulties experienced last year, the Government is encouraged by the performance of the tourism and agricultural sectors.
“We increased our stopover arrivals by 3.6 per cent, outperforming all other Caribbean destinations and being one of only three countries in the region to record improvement over the previous year,” he said.
In terms of agricultural production, he noted that this increased by 12 per cent, despite the drought being experienced in recent months.
“Our farmers have demonstrated that they are capable of producing and that they can grow more of what we eat. They are to be commended and supported. We pray that the drought will break soon, so that these gains are not eroded. With improved extension services, marketing and integration with the manufacturing sector, agriculture offers significant opportunities for investment and further growth,” the Governor-General said.

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