JIS News

In his New Year’s Message, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, addressed the economic challenges which face the country while reassuring that the Government is implementing policies to stimulate the economy and protect jobs.
His message addressed the impact that the international global downturn and policy initiatives of the USA, the world’s largest economy, will have on Jamaica, noting that the crisis is not going to go away with 2008.
“It is alive and well and while its fury in terms of bank failures and stock market crashes may have abated, its effects in terms of investment flows, availability of credit, currency instability, the demand for goods and services, job losses and general economic uncertainty will persist for some time,” the Prime Minister said.
Noting that Government’s primary focus was positioning the country for the earliest possible recovery, the Prime Minister gave an account of the activities that the Cabinet will undertake to ensure that the economy was protected.
“Over the next few weeks, the Government will be engaged in intense discussions at Cabinet level, with our policy technicians, with the private sector and trade unions and with critical stakeholders to prepare ourselves for the road that we must travel. It will involve fundamental changes that will enable us to make a quantum leap from a frustrating past into a confident future,” Prime Minister Golding said.
The Prime Minister explained that there would be significant changes in the way international finance and business is conducted, and that Jamaican organisations would have to respond to these changes.
“The world is not likely to return to what it was before the crisis began. The international financial structures are likely to be different; trading patterns are likely to be different; investment decisions and the attitude to emerging markets are likely to be different. Fast-growing areas of economic activity are likely to be different. Some traditional doors are likely to be closed and new ones opened. It’s going to be a new ball game that requires a new game plan.”
Prime Minister Golding noted that Government, the private sector and unions will have to make decisions about the sacrifices that need to be made in order to ensure a productive future.
“We are going to have to make changes in the way we approach the business of production, efficiency, competitiveness and marketing. It can’t be business as usual because business as usual won’t be good business,” Prime Minister Golding warned.

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