JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The administration is resuscitating traditional economic activities in which Jamaica has already established a track record of meeting world competition.
  • Initiatives are underway in agriculture and tourism to increase productivity levels and output.
  • The Prime Minister noted that the actions being taken are expected to yield benefits.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the administration is resuscitating traditional economic activities in which Jamaica has already established a track record of meeting world competition, as it pursues its objective of economic and employment growth.

Mrs. Simpson Miller, who was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) Ninth Regional Conference on Investments and the Capital Markets at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday night, January 21, said initiatives are underway in agriculture and tourism to increase productivity levels and output.

She cited the Agro-Parks programme where small farmers are being given an opportunity to play a greater role in the expansion of the sector, and the continued development and modernization of the country’s physical and communication infrastructure, as part of Government’s aggressive growth strategy and employment expansion programme.

The Prime Minister noted that the actions being taken are expected to yield benefits, leading Jamaica to achieving its major targets as articulated in Vision 2030.

She pledged, however, that the administration will never lose sight of the fact that its major objective is to systematically raise the living standards of Jamaicans, in particular, those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

“Rapid economic growth is a laudable objective, but unless such growth provides greater opportunities for those who are anchored at the bottom, the objectives listed in Vision 2030 will remain mere illusions for the majority of the population. We are doing all we can to put in place the facilities, which will provide new opportunities for the poor, within the constraints of the limited fiscal resources available,” she stated.

She further informed that the reform of the education system is underway as Government tries to open up opportunities for the entire population.

“We recognize that unless we facilitate the environment that provides opportunities for upward socio economic mobility for the majority of the population, it will be impossible for the nation as a whole to progress,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that her administration recognizes the need to be fiscally prudent and to “stay the course” in reducing the debt ratios and the deficit.

“It is within this context that we remain steadfast in terms of our commitment to the objectives laid out in Vision 2030. It is also in this context that we intend to successfully meet the conditionalities of the Extended Fund Facility negotiated with the IMF,” the Prime Minister said.

She pointed out that the IMF agreement is not an end in itself, but a stepping stone towards achieving economic growth with equity on the way to meeting the objectives laid out in Vision 2030.

“Every Jamaican deserves the opportunity for a balanced life. Every Jamaican must have an opportunity to earn a decent living, make a home and raise their families in beautiful Jamaica,” she advocated.

“We propose to do our best to leave no one behind. This is the philosophy, which will shape our dialogue and it is against this background that we rise to meet the challenges of today and achieve the vision for tomorrow. This is the only practical way to economic development and social progress,” the Prime Minister stated.

The JSE conference is being held under the theme: ‘From Productivity to Prosperity: Regional Survival & Growth through Investments’.