The country made progress in a number of key areas in 2010, as the Government remained focused on meeting the targets of Vision 2030 Jamaica, the national development plan.
Vision 2030 Jamaica, including the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) 2009-2012, which were tabled by Prime Minister the Hon.
Bruce Golding in the House of Representatives in May 2009, provides a road map for making the country the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business by 2030.
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, addressing a quarterly press briefing on November 22 at the PIOJ, in Kingston.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), an agency of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), which has been leading the process, reported advancement in empowering persons to achieve their full potential; making the society secure, cohesive and just; making the economy prosperous; and achieving a natural healthy environment.
Focus is being placed on education attainment, including improving adult literacy, tertiary enrolment, and the results of the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC), as the Government empowers Jamaicans to achieve their full potential.
One of the main targets of Vision 2030 is to see 60 per cent of Jamaicans acquiring the requisite certification by 2015.
Creating a Safe Society
The Government of Jamaica remains committed to creating a safe society for all, and has made outstanding progress in the area of security, which is seen in the significant reduction in major crime rates last year.
The main contributing factors were the disruption of gangs and their activities by the police, increased co-operation between citizens and the police and increased use of proactive and technologically-driven policing methods.
The Government also remained determined to consolidate the gains, through programmes aimed at community renewal, strengthening of the Police/Civilian Oversight Authority, and facilitating mainstream social services within affected communities.
Achieving Economic Prosperity
Achieving economic prosperity is a major strategic goal under Vision 2030, and the Government has made a number of strides in this area, despite the challenges of the global recession, drought and the heavy rains in the latter part of 2010.
The country, during the year, was able to achieve a stable foreign exchange rate; interest rates on Government paper and Central Bank deposit instruments at a 33-year low; inflation rate projected in the six to seven per cent range; and the net international reserves stood at a healthy US$1.9billion.
There was also the resounding success of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), which opened in January and closed on February 24, with a participation rate of 99.2 per cent.
Despite the torrential rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole in September, which damaged road infrastructure and agriculture, the economy remained on course to record growth in the December quarter for the first time since 2008.