KINGSTON — Finance Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has underscored the importance of dialogue being maintained through the Partnership for Transformation (PFT), if consensus on decisions regarding the nation’s progress, is to be reached.
The Partnership is a coalition of the political directorate, Government, Opposition and private sector interests, who meet for discussions on common measures to address a range of issues, including: the rule of law, fiscal and monetary performance, job creation, and employment strategies.
Speaking at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) Luncheon Forum at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on July 19, Mr. Shaw said one of the key decisions that need to be taken is the type of governance structure best suited for the nation.
Additionally, he cited the need for concurrence on a set of “tried and proven economic policies” that provide a “consistent, reliable and predictable framework” within which a dynamic market economy can flourish.
“We must continue with the dialogue. We are at a point of intersection in the economic life of Jamaica, which is approaching 50 years since independence, and we are at a point where we have to make some very critical decisions about the way forward,” he reasoned.
Noting that the provision and dissemination of information in this regard is “very critical”, Mr. Shaw underscored the pivotal role and responsibility which organisations, such as the JCC, must play in ensuring that the information arising from such decisions is shared, and that “we have a clear path as to our direction forward”.
“Whenever there are signs of deviation from those consistent policies, as an organisation (you) must be courageous enough to cry out on specific issues, whatever those might be,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw said they should also be vocal on the larger global issue of the kind of governance that must be consistent for the people of Jamaica, “so that confidence can become a factor that increases steadily, if not ploddingly, but is always building to the point that we can reach the levels of growth that other countries celebrate”.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter