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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is assuring that the Government will continue to engage members of the business community in dialogue when making decisions on matters of interest to them.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller was addressing Thursday’s (May 21) meeting of the Partnership for Jamaica National Council at Jamaica House.
  • The Prime Minister, who is Chairman of the Council, stressed that unless all parties work together as one, difficulties may arise, adding that she is “very pleased and very proud of the partnership because we can sit around one table (and have fruitful discussions)”.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is assuring that the Government will continue to engage members of the business community in dialogue when making decisions on matters of interest to them.

“I’ve already instructed that when certain decisions are going to be taken that can impact any area (of business), there should be some consultation, because we could get suggestions that perhaps the (issue) could be (dealt with in) a way where no one would get hurt,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was addressing Thursday’s (May 21) meeting of the Partnership for Jamaica National Council at Jamaica House.

The Prime Minister, who is Chairman of the Council, stressed that unless all parties work together as one, difficulties may arise, adding that she is “very pleased and very proud of the partnership because we can sit around one table (and have fruitful discussions)”.

“I hope that as partners, all of us will grasp the opportunity and to understand that, when we are taking decisions that could impact lives, or impact business in a serious way, consultation should be done that there can be an understanding. That is the kind of government I wish to lead, where we listen, we communicate and then we take decisions,” she said.

President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) Brian Pengelley, who was representing the private sector, assured of the sector’s commitment to the social partnership programme, noting that “excellent progress” has been made so far.

“We will stand with the Government through the tough times, but we want to be at the table, we want to be a partner,” he said.

Mr. Pengelley also expressed satisfaction that the “trust factor” between the private and public sectors is continuing to improve.

“I think that’s why we are seeing some of the real successes that we are starting to achieve. Trust is huge, and what we’d like to get to here, is we want to be not reactive, we’d like to be proactive,” he said.

The mandate of the Council, which comprises representatives of academia, civil society, private sector, labour, the opposition and the government, is to achieve consensus on issues of national importance.

In July 2013, the private sector, government, unions and civil society representatives on the Council signed the Partnership for Jamaica Agreement, which is a three-year programme for the country’s stabilisation, growth with equity, and sustainable development, through social partnership.

The priority areas include: fiscal consolidation (with social protection and inclusion); rule of law adherence (and timely justice outcomes); ease of doing business and employment creation, and energy diversification and conservation.

The Council does constant reviews of the agreement, and receives updates from portfolio Ministers on strategies being employed to achieve the targets.