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  • The Government is working assiduously to ensure Jamaica is able to exploit the potential opportunities anticipated with the onset of the technologically driven fourth industrial revolution, says Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness.
  • Noting that activities linked with this development are “rapidly changing [the] world in which we live”, Mrs. Holness said the Administration has been taking steps to bolster investments in education; boost capital expenditure, particularly targeting infrastructure development; and undertake institutional strengthening.
  • These, she pointed out, “are some of the strategic areas of focus that we believe will enable us to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution”.

The Government is working assiduously to ensure Jamaica is able to exploit the potential opportunities anticipated with the onset of the technologically driven fourth industrial revolution, says Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness.

Noting that activities linked with this development are “rapidly changing [the] world in which we live”, Mrs. Holness said the Administration has been taking steps to bolster investments in education; boost capital expenditure, particularly targeting infrastructure development; and undertake institutional strengthening.

These, she pointed out, “are some of the strategic areas of focus that we believe will enable us to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution”.

Mrs. Holness, who is also wife of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, was speaking at the opening session of the 37th annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Friday (June 21).

The two-day event is being staged by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) under the theme ‘Navigating Global Disruption; Creating Opportunities’.

Mrs. Holness noted that global technological developments have, in less than two decades, advanced from conceptualisation and experimentation to practical implementation of engagements.

“This signals that Jamaica, and the Caribbean in general, must be prepared for the opportunities today that do not exist,” she added.

To this end, Mrs. Holness said the Administration has moved to advance the teaching-learning process at the early childhood, primary and tertiary levels.

“The global disruptions that are taking place require people who are emotionally intelligent, agile and critical thinkers. We have had to make a shift. We believe that the investments that we are making, primarily in our young people, will enable Jamaica to take full advantage of the new emerging world,” she argued.

Mrs. Holness also noted that significant investments have been made in infrastructure, citing this as key to Jamaica’s ongoing growth and development.

She said while expenditure in this area has been constrained in the past due to the extent of Jamaica’s indebtedness, programmed allocations have doubled over the last four years, moving from $30 billion to some $72 billion earmarked in the 2019/20 Budget.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Holness said the Government has embarked on a programme of institutional strengthening and development, designed to help in sustaining the turnround in Jamaica’s economic fortunes.

These, she noted, include enhancing the Bank of Jamaica’s independence, in keeping with monetary policy implementation, and plans for adequate provisions to minimise the country’s financial vulnerability to risks associated with natural disasters.

“Through the work of both the Government and members of the private sector, we have seen our environment booming. We each have a role to [play] to make [Jamaica] stronger,” Mrs. Holness added.

Nearly 600 participants from 22 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean and Asia are attending the conference, which concludes on Saturday (June 22).