JIS News

The Government is having discussions with several multi-lateral agencies, to determine how best they can assist Jamaica to benefit from a wide range of resources available to enhance the country’s capacity for development.
This was pointed out by Finance and Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw, at the opening of a two-day International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)/Organization of American States (OAS) symposium on: ‘Aid for Trade for Caribbean: Making it a Reality’, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on June 16.
Mr. Shaw said that Jamaica was among several countries facing challenges with energy and food security, and noted that these issues were “opening up new vistas of opportunity in terms of investments.”
He cited the role that agencies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and Inter-American Development (IDB) played in capacity building, and stressed the need for Jamaica to undertake “proper assessment” to determine the way forward, in order to take advantage of current opportunities.
“The IDB has worked with us in doing a competitiveness study, and on (that) basis, we are looking at tax reform issues, for instance. The World Bank is now actively working with us on taking a critical diagnostic look at the profile of our debt, and the best way forward in terms of how we can engage the multi laterals, and embrace the private sector in partnership.in terms of how we can manage the debt issue, such that it does not continue to militate against our best chances of investment and growth,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw argued that while Jamaica has fallen behind some of the other Caribbean states, in terms of building institutional and absorptive capacity, the country has made a start by establishing a national development strategy – Vision 2030. This initiative, he said, has critical features of job creation, export promotion, macro-economic stability, while facilitating an internationally competitive environment.
The Minister pointed out that while challenges abound, so did opportunities, and emphasized that Jamaica could achieve much with a disciplined and focused approach.