- Mrs. Simpson Miller said that attacking the problem of low productivity is critical for economic growth in the short to medium term.
- The Prime Minister defined productivity as “a practical pathway by which this country can accelerate and sustain growth in gross domestic product (GDP).
- The week is being observed under the theme: ‘Productivity – Pathway to Competitiveness and Growth: Getting From 2013-2030’
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is calling for an increase in the level of productivity, to ensure economic growth and a better standard of living for all Jamaicans.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that attacking the problem of low productivity is critical for accelerating economic growth in the short to medium term and this is clearly articulated in Vision 2030, the country’s roadmap for development.
“To move from our current level of productivity in 2013 to an improved level in 2030, every Jamaican has a critical role to play. It will be our united effort that will yield economic rewards that will benefit not only the country, but each individual,” the Prime Minister said, as she addressed the opening ceremony of National Productivity Awareness Week on October 7, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The week is being observed under the theme: ‘Productivity – Pathway to Competitiveness and Growth: Getting From 2013-2030’, which Mrs. Simpson Miller pointed out is well aligned to the government’s economic growth agenda.
“As the economy grows, we want the social development indicators to improve. My government will never leave any of our people behind. Our mission is to find ways and means of achieving higher levels of economic growth, whilst ensuring that our programmes of social inclusion will stem poverty and hopelessness in our society,” she said.
The Prime Minister defined productivity as “a practical pathway by which this country can accelerate and sustain growth in gross domestic product (GDP); enhance growth in the standard of living of our people, thereby enhancing their human dignity; reduce inflationary pressures and ensure price stability; raise profits and profitability of businesses; generate employment and decent jobs; and attract high value added foreign investments with the commensurate technology and innovation.”
She pointed out that declining productivity means that Jamaican output is becoming less competitive, relative to that of other countries. “This means that our ability to compete on the domestic and overseas markets is being retarded. This in turn restricts the ability of our economy to absorb additional workers and pay them a decent wage. This is why this government sought to place emphasis on improving productivity,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that one of the first things that discerning foreign investors look for is the level of economic activity and productivity by local investors. “It is with this in mind that the Government is placing strong emphasis on encouraging our local investors and exporters to lift their productivity levels. We are also encouraging and supporting efforts for business expansion, reinvestments and job creation,” she added.
She cautioned however, that investor confidence cannot be built overnight and global competitiveness, perceived or practically achieved, is a moving target.
“The one constant is the excellence that resides within the Jamaican productive sector and a dynamic business support network,” she said, adding that partnership is the key to “our collective success.”
She urged the Jamaica Productivity Centre, the organization hosting the week of activities, to step up its support of the national effort to improve Jamaica’s global competitiveness.
The Prime Minister also called for a programme of public education, “to ensure that all Jamaicans understand what productivity is and what increasing productivity means to our survival as a nation.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller urged participants in the week of activities to think outside the box during their deliberations. “Be bold, be imaginative, debate, discuss and select the options that can help the transformation of our economic agents and public agencies to become more competitive, in order for us to gain high economic status and social transformation.”