JIS News

Government is to establish an Implementation Unit that will stimulate and guide its investment and development programmes. The unit is to be housed at the office of the Prime Minister and will benefit from the guidance of an advisory board that will comprise both private and public sector representatives. The board will be a small and efficient one, headed by a Chief Executive Officer who will have the responsibility of guiding the process of seeing which agencies will be responsible for elements of the implementation programme.
Making the announcement at a wrap-up press conference at the end of a 3-day National planning summit at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Rose Hall Montego Bay yesterday (November 4), Prime Minister, Hon Bruce Golding said the Unit would report directly to him because so much of what is to be done will cross cut a wide range of ministries and government agencies. This, he said would need Prime Ministerial authority to ensure that the process is carried out effectively. He said the Unit will be monitoring the implementation of recommendations of the specific objectives discussed this past weekend, in order to stimulate investments and to look at what needs to be done to enable investments. Reports will be made every three months at which time a meeting will be held to carry out an evaluation to see what progress has been made and whether timelines have been met.
Mr. Golding said he was always clear that what is needed is the kind of environment that would encourage private sector investment. Having established this partnership, there was the need to identify issues and to agree on a collaborative approach to removing the obstacles to investment. He said it was out of these discussions that government decided to sit down with private and public sector representatives, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the trade unions and Non- government agencies, to formulate a plan of action. The National Planning Summit under the theme, ‘Jamaica Tomorrow’ was developed from those discussions and he said time was spent on structuring the programme. The government engaged the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers to guide the discussions to ensure they were result oriented so that at the end of the exercise the parties would arrive at conclusions that were relevant.
“What we did not expect out of the discussions and which we don’t have, is any one thing that we are going to do by a specific date, because development growth is a process”, the Prime Minister said. He said a full report from the summit would be prepared later this week.
He said the government, with private sector support, is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure increased production, increased tourism arrivals, and ensuring growth in agriculture. But he said all of this has to be calibrated within an overall framework that involves careful management to protect the macro-economic fundamentals of the country. Mr. Golding said the government is prepared to hold hands with the private sector in a partnership stronger than this country has ever seen in order to ensure that investors do invest and that when they invest they create jobs that are meaningful, productive jobs that will provide income for families not earning before, to provide the catapult necessary to move this country forward.
In his remarks at yesterday’s wrap-up press conference, the President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Mr. Chris Zacca, pledged his organisation’s commitment to ensuring the success of the programme of collaboration between government and the sector. Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr Everton McDonald, also pledged his company’s support to the government.