JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has said that Jamaica’s recovery from the current global economic malaise will, to a large extent, depend on the quality of its human capital.
“Jamaica’s primary economic imperative is education, which is essential for building human capital,” the Minister said. “An educated workforce will put Jamaica in a favourable position after the recession is over,” he added.
Minister Bartlett was speaking at a Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) ‘Outlook for the Future’ forum on the Jamaican economy held on June 6 at the York College Performing Arts Centre in Queen’s, New York, U.S.A.
Addressing the topic: ‘Economic Imperatives for Jamaica 2009’, Mr. Bartlett, who represented Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw at the event, cited security as another major area of focus, as the country rides out the recession and “prepares for the other side.”
“Improving the nation’s security would mean going beyond the legal systems now in place, to making the police force more people-friendly and more responsive to the needs of communities,” he said, noting that social intervention programmes in areas of education, job training and providing small business opportunities for young people, are being introduced to help curb crime.
The Government is also looking to build and improve infrastructure, he said, especially at the ports, to expand access into global markets. He pointed out that the Highway 2000 road project has made it easier to move goods and services across the island.
He urged Jamaicans abroad to be part of the economic recovery process and noted that through prudent management, the country’s financial services “have not been ravaged” by the global crisis.
Deputy President of Jamaica Trade and Invest, Lisa Bell, gave a power point presentation titled: ‘Investing to Build Jamaica’, which highlighted the country’s investment projects and its very competitive ranking in a number of global indices.
The forum included an extended question and answer session, where participants sought clarification on a variety of issues that could inform their decision to invest.
One questioner coined the term “Jambassadors” to describe Jamaicans in the Diaspora, who are positive representatives for their homeland and Minister Bartlett, noting his liking for the term, said he will borrow it for future use.
The forum was part of an annual JNBS series designed to inform the overseas Jamaican community and others, about the state of the economy and investment opportunities in the island.

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