Five per cent growth not possible in near future — Golding

Five per cent growth not possible in near future — Golding

Observer business writer

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Opposition spokesman on finance Mark Golding is of the view that “we are nowhere near five per cent growth projected by the Government through the Economic Growth Council”.

This five per cent growth rate, which Golding was referring to, is the projected growth rate aimed at putting Jamaica on a path of higher and sustained growth in gross domestic product (GDP) within a four-year period.

Speaking at this week's Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, Golding called for some key structural economic reforms in order to even think about achieving the stated five per cent target.

“I don't think we can achieve five per cent in the near future, but I think it's possible to achieve five per cent beyond because of the talent of our people, the abundant resources we have and Brand Jamaica,” he told reporters and editors.

He believes that in order to get started on the quest, we need to fix aspects of bureaucracy as well as expand and improve our workforce.

“We have a workforce in which too many persons have no training; as society is structured now, it's very difficult to get the five per cent.

“However, with a deliberate plan around how we are going to uplift people and improve their capacities in the workforce, this can be realised” he further added.

As it relates to the current economic model, Golding asserted that we need to “ensure that the benefits of the society and the improvements of the economy are made available to those who are less participatory so as to ensure that these people get an equal opportunity to make a good life for themselves and are given the best chance of achieving the Jamaican dream”.

In addressing questions on the impact of how a properly developed model can benefit businesses; Golding stated that in supplying demands, the customer's power to purchase goods and services is what drives businesses, hence any instance reflecting low levels of growth, in spite of accommodating monetary policies, is harmful to the profitability of business.

He therefore proffered that “having a more buoyant macro economy is what will give customers more disposable income to consume goods and services in business”.

Fixing the ills of the economic model, some of which he identified as crime and violence and inequality, access to finance and as well as bureaucracy to doing business, are just some of the ways he believes will effect further growth for the country going forward.

This for him will also assist with turning society around and giving greater hope to Jamaicans.

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