Speech

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

Madam Speaker,
It is an honour and a privilege to stand before this Honourable House this afternoon to report to this country, that I love so much, on the performance of my Ministry over the past year, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce; and to outline our programmes for the new financial year.

Madam Speaker, I don’t take this task for granted nor do I take it lightly. I take it humbly as I continue to serve the
people of Jamaica.

The year behind us was not an easy one and the road ahead will have its challenges, but with God on our side, we
are confident that we are on the road to recovery. We have been confronting the adversities, whilst managing the
crises and we are committed to Overcoming the Challenges, and Recovering Stronger and Faster.

Madam Speaker, as I address this Honourable House this afternoon, I wish to publicly record my gratitude to my
family, my Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues, led by the Most Honourable Prime Minister, my constituency and the leadership and staff of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and its Departments, our Boards of Directors — Business to Business and the leadership and staff of our agencies.

The Ministry oversees a portfolio of 18 internal Divisions, two Departments, and 15 portfolio agencies that have
worked tirelessly over this past year to ensure that the strategic objectives of the Ministry were accomplished,
despite the challenges presented.

I wish to acknowledge the support and work of our Minister of State, the Hon. Dr Norman Dunn, who joined the team in October 2020 and has taken on the task with great fervour and our Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Sancia Bennett Templer, who took up the reins in March of 2021.

Special acknowledgements to my colleague Minister, the Hon. Floyd Green, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries;
and the leadership and staff at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with whom we shared portfolio responsibilities as the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), up until September 2020 and with which we continue to work closely.

I would like to especially thank Permanent Secretary Dermon Spence, who led the super Ministry, MICAF, diligently
before the separation and continued in this role for the MIIC up to February 2021.

Madam Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the resilience of our Jamaican people, particularly our investors, and entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as our large business enterprises.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us adversity and crisis; however, Madam Speaker, we have undertaken
various initiatives to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic and we are on the way to recovery. But the truth be told Madam Speaker, is that we cannot blame all our problems on the pandemic. There are issues that precede the pandemic which need to be addressed and must be addressed. These include our competitiveness and levels of productivity which must be overhauled in a meaningful way.

Madam Speaker, my presentation today will be done in two parts. Firstly, I will focus on the Ministry’s response to Overcoming the Challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic after which I will move into the policies, plans and activities that are being undertaken to Recover Stronger and Faster.

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