JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says there are encouraging signs that the economy is on the rebound.
  • Therefore, he is calling on the private sector to continue, like the Government, “to take ownership of the future by exhibiting greater levels of confidence in the performance of the economy
  • The country’s strategy of accelerated growth is centred around attracting new investments in agriculture, tourism, shipping and logistics and business process outsourcing.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says there are encouraging signs that the economy is on the rebound.

Therefore, he is calling on the private sector to continue, like the Government, “to take ownership of the future by exhibiting greater levels of confidence in the performance of the economy under the prevailing Economic Reform Programme.”

Addressing the official opening of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) 32nd Annual Business and Workplace Convention, at the Sunset Jamaica Grand Resort and Spa, in Ocho Rios, on May 8, Mr. Kellier said that most gratifying for him is the Economic Policy Oversight Committee (EPOC) expressed view that Jamaica “is expected to pass the fourth International Monetary Fund (IMF) primary balance target.”

“I boldly suggest that there are encouraging signs that the economy is on the rebound, although we still have a huge mountain to climb in restoring prosperity and growth to the economy. Over the next three years, for example, the country has to achieve a primary surplus of 7.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as part of the strategy to further reduce our debt,” the Minister informed.

He noted that such milestone could be achieved if a greater level of confidence in the performance of the country’s economy is demonstrated by the private sector, which must take ownership of the future.

“Despite the tough economic environment, we believe that we are heading in the right direction and are prepared to do what is necessary and prudent to keep Jamaica open for business.  We are, in essence, a government that is determined to see business succeed, since the success of business in a market economy like ours invariably leads to an increase in the levels of exports, greater efforts at innovation and increase in the levels of investments,” the Minister said.

He noted that the country’s strategy of accelerated growth is centred around attracting new investments in agriculture, tourism, shipping and logistics and business process outsourcing.

“So serious are we about this initiative, that within my own Ministry, we have gone to great lengths to strengthen the commitment of the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) to spearhead the productivity revolution now underway throughout the entire country,” Mr. Kellier said.

He added that the JPC’s commitment to the growth agenda was further strengthened by the Ministry’s involvement in the process of Labour Market Reform, with focus on a review of the country’s labour laws and reducing the impact of excessively high redundancy costs.

“This is not the time to become complacent, rather it is the time to push harder, take risks, innovate, invest in research and development and accelerate the engine of growth,”  the Minister said.

Activities of the four-day convention and expo (May 8-11) are being carried out under the theme: ‘Our agenda … growth, development, partnership for prosperity’.