JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called for a collaborative approach to improve the country’s micro-economic standing, in order to attain economic growth above 2 per cent.
  • According to the Prime Minister, while macro-economic indicators continue to have a positive outlook, the country’s micro-economic progress remains static.
  • “We’ve been doing everything correctly. We have gotten high scores by all markers on the macro fiscal issues and how we have handled debt; how we have handled foreign exchange; how we have handled public expenditure and how we have handled our taxation. Where we still have challenges would be at the micro-economic level,” the Prime Minister noted.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has called for a collaborative approach to improve the country’s micro-economic standing, in order to attain economic growth above 2 per cent.

According to the Prime Minister, while macro-economic indicators continue to have a positive outlook, the country’s micro-economic progress remains static.

“We’ve been doing everything correctly. We have gotten high scores by all markers on the macro fiscal issues and how we have handled debt; how we have handled foreign exchange; how we have handled public expenditure and how we have handled our taxation. Where we still have challenges would be at the micro-economic level,” the Prime Minister noted.

Mr. Holness was speaking at the official launch of the Essex Valley Agriculture Project, held at the Lititz Primary School, in St. Elizabeth, on January 16.

The Prime Minister noted for the last quarter, the outturn was 1.8 per cent; the quarter before that it was 2.2 per cent, and that for the past three years the country has not been able to get over the 2 per cent hump.
“We can’t say that we’re growing until we have crossed 2 per cent, as 2 per cent is really, from our perspective, the threshold for takeoff,” Mr. Holness said.

He emphasised that a culture shift is needed to further expand the economy on the micro-economic front, adding that the Government continues to put strategies in place to entrench micro-economic stability and promote growth.

“Where we still have challenges would be at the level of the firm, the level of the farmer, the level of the technocrats and bureaucrats in the regulatory environment in the Ministries, agencies and departments. How fast are we working? How Innovative are we? How responsive is the bureaucracy? That is where the challenge is. A large part of that requires a culture shift,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Holness emphasised that all players in the economy must make responsible decisions that will stimulate economic growth.

“It is about bringing together all the players in the economy, so that they have an understanding that their micro action, their small action, their individual action has an impact on economic growth outturn,” the Prime Minister explained.

The Essex Valley Agriculture Development Project, which represents one of the largest investments in irrigation infrastructure in Jamaica, will impact the livelihoods of over 700 farmers on 718 hectares of land through the provision of irrigated water and improved access to local and global agricultural markets.

It is being funded at a cost of £35. 5 million by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and seeks to enhance the productivity of farmers in the Essex Valley, in a socially inclusive, gender equitable and climate sensitive manner.