JIS News

Director General in the Ministry of Development, Dennis Morrison, has said that Jamaica was now undergoing a period of reform to adjust and modernise the economy, similar to what Great Britain did some years ago.
“In terms of the economic situation, ours is similar to what was experienced in Britain in the late 1970s into the 1980s and the early 1990s. Those of you who can recall, in that period this country suffered from problems of high inflation, the British Pound was unstable and there were complaints about the level of investment. You had to go through a period of reform to adjust and modernise the economy and that is exactly what is taking place in Jamaica at this time,” he said. Mr. Morrison was speaking at an investment seminar for Jamaican nationals in the United Kingdom on October 3.
He pointed out that reform was a very difficult process, but there were opportunities to be gained. “It is painful at times and people are called on to make sacrifices, but it brings with it tremendous opportunities,” Mr. Morrison said.The Director General noted that the Jamaican economy was evolving and offered people the opportunity to create their own investment and employment opportunities.
He argued that Jamaicans needed to establish firmly that they had an orientation for business and to see business as something at which they could excel.
“The challenge we now face in and out of Jamaica is to mobilise our people, over five million strong, to build a strong nation in what has become a very competitive and hard world in which to survive and grow,” the Director Generalsaid. He reiterated the importance of remittances to the country’s economy, noting that last year it doubled to US$1.2 billion and was now the number one earner of foreign exchange for the island, outstripping tourism and bauxite. Mr. Morrison, who is also Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), was one of the panellists at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Investment 2003 Seminar. Other panellists included State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with responsibility for Jamaicans overseas, Senator Delano Franklyn; General Manager of JNBS, Earl Jarrett, and General Manager for Real Estate at JNBS, Jacqueline Peat-Smith. Mr. Jarrett spoke of the investment opportunities in Jamaica, and services and facilities offered by JNBS to assist and support Jamaicans wishing to invest in the island.
He said there was no perfect time to invest in Jamaica and persons waiting until conditions were perfect, might end up missing out or paying a very high premium.
Mrs. Peat-Smith’s presentation focused on the real estate sector in Jamaica and the range of property investments that were available.
The seminar attracted a large audience, including many second and third generation Jamaicans, such as Lisa Smith who accompanied her uncle. “I found the seminar very good. I never really considered investing in Jamaica, but after listening to the speakers, it is now something I would seriously think about,” she told JIS News.

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