JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has categorically refuted claims that Jamaica is a failed state. Speaking at the 37th Annual Awards Banquet of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association at the Hilton Hotel on Thursday (May 19), Mr. Patterson said the fact that one of the largest international banking conglomerates in the hemisphere has maintained Jamaica as a leading profit center in its corporate chain, was evidence that the country was not a failed state.
Mr. Patterson has also disclosed that the social partnership between the government, trade unions and the private sector could become a reality in another two weeks, as the final draft had been completed and the agreement would be placed before the Cabinet and other social partners for consideration and final approval. The social partnership is aimed at stimulating growth and development in a climate of cooperation and agreement, which would also facilitate greater investment in the economy. It would complement the Memorandum of Understanding already in place between the government and trade unions representing public sector workers.
The Prime Minister said Jamaica was on the right track and that the way ahead was clear to consolidate and build on the macro-economic stability that had been achieved. He said market forces must now work to ensure that the benefits gained from the lowering of interest rates by the Bank of Jamaica and the reduction in the cash reserves ratio, are passed on to borrowers.
Mr. Patterson said the unprecedented infrastructural development, emphasis on an enhanced investment climate and the plan to reform education were all designed to drive economic growth and provide increased opportunities for individual entities within the manufacturing and other critical sectors. He observed that the country was in a much better position to compete in a deregulated and globalised world and stressed that the manufacturing sector was critical based on its capacity to generate economic activity and create jobs.
Prime Minister Patterson spoke of the synergies between various key institutions in both the public and private sectors, especially as it relates to the development of loan financing and technical assistance programmes. He said efforts in these and other areas must be re-doubled, as this was vital to facilitating productivity and expansion in the manufacturing sector, as well as improvement in the country’s international competitiveness.
Mr. Patterson stated that in June he would be paying an official visit to the People’s Republic of China, adding that he regarded the visit as significant given the rapid expansion taking place in the Chinese economy. He said the representatives of the private sector were invited to be a part of the delegation noting that the visit would allow them to pursue business initiatives that were identified in the various memoranda of understanding between Jamaica and China.

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