Jamaica on a path of economic growth – Shaw

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Jamaica on a path of economic growth – Shaw

Friday, March 15, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, says Jamaica has been on a path of economic growth for the last few years.

The minister said that the local investment climate has vastly improved and our lead investment promotion agency, JAMPRO, can attest to the fact that investors are calling.

According to him, “we have attained macroeconomic stability with incrementally improving levels of Gross Domestic Product growth, even while several fledgling industries find their footing and inspire further growth in the economy”.

Shaw was giving the keynote address at the Planning Institute of Jamaica's inaugural Economic Growth Forum and the launch of the Growth Inducement Programme Research Report 2019, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel on March 14, 2019.

He further stated that the government will continue to create an enabling environment for individuals and businesses to thrive and create wealth for themselves and their communities, and in turn bolster national economic growth and development.

“I must pause to commend the PIOJ for its role in helping to steer and support the development of our country. Our Growth Inducement Strategy, established by the PIOJ, has helped to contextualize the scope of work and the areas in which this work is needed in order to bolster our position as a country to grasp and maintain a handle on sustainable development,” the minister stated.

He added that the components of the strategy are also reflected in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), which underpins the IMF-supported Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Arrangement on the path for economic reform for Jamaica.

Shaw noted the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in recognition of its role as a driver of growth, will be focusing on several strategic priorities for the 2019/2020 budget year. These areas, he said, are targeted within the context of the national agriculture development strategy and will serve as a catalyst to enhance production and productivity, improve infrastructure, as well as, support the expansion of businesses, particularly the MSME sector.

“It cannot be lost on us that the agricultural sector grew by just over two per cent in the last quarter of 2018, despite a 6.9 per cent increase in domestic crop production in that quarter. It also cannot be lost on us that agriculture is a primary pillar of economic growth. Our plans to develop a modern, state-of-the-art agro-processing centre aimed at increasing local production toward ensuring food security and boosting exports is, therefore, foremost on my ministry's agenda. It is aligned well with the fourth plank of the country's Growth Inducement Strategy, which speaks to Building International Competitiveness by decreasing the cost of production and promoting innovation, among other things,” Shaw continued.

The Growth Inducement Programme was established by the PIOJ in recognition of the need for broad-based technical support of key economic growth initiatives under the Growth Inducement Strategy 2012. The programme is intended as a comprehensive guide to help achieve meaningful economic growth in the medium term and aims to produce targeted and usable research designed to identify and propose solutions to key hindrances to growth.

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