Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, says Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become engines for social and economic growth globally.
“Their appropriate utilization can improve the lives of all Jamaicans and the vision is for Jamaica to utilize ICTs to attain developed country status by 2030. This will involve growth of the ICT sector and the application of ICT in all sectors and at all levels to achieve rapid and sustained development,” Mr. Robinson said.
He was making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 28.
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Mr. Robinson emphasized that ICTs should be used to create value in the economy.
“This is a critical component of the ICT value-creation strategy, which specifically concerns the reversal of our high ICT consumption-to-production ratio and accelerate our positioning as net producers of ICT innovations, with the capacity to satisfy local demand, and supply the regional and, ultimately, global market,” he said.
The State Minister also noted that ICTs should be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government, while stimulating enhanced /new business opportunities in the local ICT sector.
“Ultimately, if the Government assists in creating and exploiting opportunities for the ICT sector to participate in the aforementioned areas, the commercial incentive can lead to much needed capacity building, the development of the ICT skills of local developers and designers, and the emergence of new business models and entrepreneurial opportunities,” Mr. Robinson said.
The State Minister pointed out that development of the local ICT capacity will enhance the attractiveness of Jamaica as a near-shore ICT destination, given its other competitive geographical attributes.
Mr. Robinson said that while the Government continues to strongly exhort all ICT stakeholders to be innovative and to exercise resourcefulness in pursuing ICT-enabled opportunities, there is a critical need for the administration to stimulate innovation and ICT- supported empowerment.
“This includes leading by example through our own imaginative use of ICT to drive efficiencies and improve service delivery in the public sector, and lowering the barriers to experimentation for entrepreneurs,” Mr. Robinson said.
Vision 2030, Jamaica’s National Development Plan, sees the ICT sector as playing a central role in the transformation of Jamaica over the next two decades on the path toward making the transition to becoming a developed country.
Contact: Latonya Linton