JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica is well positioned to make further economic gains this year, given what the government has done under the IMF programme.
  • The Managing Director argued that the fiscal adjustment in the public sector should eventually lead to some ‘crowding in’ of the private sector.
  • Mr. Fisher noted that the tourism sector is showing signs of strength, having reached the two million stay-over visitor threshold last month.

Managing Director of the United States based investment firm, Oppenheimer and Company Inc., Gregory Fisher, says Jamaica is well positioned to make further economic gains this year, given what the government has done so far, under the tight economic programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr. Fisher said 2014 will be a very important year for Jamaica and pointed to several factors that are supportive of the country’s economic growth going forward.

He was addressing the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Ninth Regional Conference on Investments & the Capital Markets, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, on January 21.

The Managing Director argued that the fiscal adjustment in the public sector should eventually lead to some ‘crowding in’ of the private sector. “What I mean by this is, as the government reallocates fewer financial resources on the economy as a result of lower deficit, it should, over time, lead to the opening up of financing for private sector investments,” Mr. Fisher said.

Mr. Fisher noted that the tourism sector is showing signs of strength, having reached the two million stay-over visitor threshold last month, and that the product is still very competitive.

He also posited that the port and logistics industry holds promise and offers Jamaica some diversification from solely being a tourism destination, which is good, as it offers the country a cushion from global shocks.

“I am not expecting a sudden rise in Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, but these factors will hopefully build the needed economic momentum that has been greatly missed for decades and finally get Jamaica on a higher path of growth,” he said.

Mr. Fisher offered kudos to the Jamaican government for displaying the needed courage to undertake the painful but necessary actions under the IMF programme. “This unfortunate pain is needed, if Jamaica is going to begin its own economic recovery stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, General Manager, JSE, Marlene Street Forrest, said this year’s conference theme: ‘From Productivity to Prosperity: Regional Survival & Growth through Investments’, puts focus on the fact that the only way that our countries will prosper, will be through production that is competitively geared towards local, regional and international consumption.

“In Jamaica and the region, we are beginning to appreciate that the shifts in global economies have changed. The decline in welfare states, lengthening of retirement ages, rising unemployment, the increase in the number of working poor and the demand for smaller but more efficient public sector have become commonplace around the world,” she noted.

Mrs. Street Forest said this year’s conference will examine issues that are so critical to the region’s survival.

“We seek to put on display some of the many projects and plans that have been mooted as most likely to move our region forward. We understand there will be more talk but we expect that if those with the ideas are within the same venue as those who can finance the ideas, the results will be positively explosive. It is imperative that we move talk into action,” she emphasized.