Two-Day National Planning Summit Gets Underway


Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, James Robertson, last night (Nov. 2) launched the two-day National Planning Summit, which is aimed at arriving at a consensus on the critical initiatives that will drive economic growth and sustainable development for Jamaica.
In his address at the opening ceremony held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, Mr. Robertson, said that the government is fully cognizant that in order for the country to move forward, teamwork, effective consultation with stakeholders, strong leadership and execution is fundamental.
He said that the way forward for the country is through sustained levels of economic growth to create jobs, reduce poverty, raise the standard of living and pay down the national debt.
“High levels of investment, local and international, are required for us to achieve that objective. If we are to attract that level of investment, we must create an economic and social climate that makes us the favoured nation for substantive, long-term and productive investment activity,” he stated.
Mr. Robertson appealed to the government officials and public and private sector leaders in attendance, to collaborate on the way forward in the interest of the nation.
“We are here as leaders to agree on a shared national vision. We are here as leaders to define the strategies required to bring that national vision to life. We are here as leaders to further collaborate on the suite of projects and initiatives that will ensure delivery on broad strategic objectives. We are here as leaders to tackle the main challenges that have continued to stymie and bedevil the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our Jamaican people,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wesley Hughes, said that the main objective of the National Planning Summit is similar to that of the Vision 2030 plan launched earlier this week, which is, to put Jamaica in a position to achieve its full potential.
“Growth of services at the global and national levels is what we have to focus on. We have to focus on strategic investment in human resources and our competitive advantages in specific service sectors,” he stated.
He cited tourism, the creative industries and sports as areas that need increased focus, while employment and opportunities for youth development must be addressed.
The National Planning Summit is being hosted by the government in association with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and Price WaterhouseCoopers under the theme ‘Jamaica Tomorrow’.
The event will bring together a broad coalition of senior government ministers under the leadership of Prime Minister Bruce Golding; local and international private sector leaders, leading public sector representatives and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). Several brainstorming sessions have been planned for the two days, with some of Jamaica’s top business executives and entrepreneurs slated to participate.

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