High debt, high interest rates, a wide gap in the balance of the import-to-export market, and the fact that most of our critical industries are owned by foreigners paint a grim picture for our financial future. The grim outlook also points to the urgent need for us to start doing a better job at managing our resources.
As we consider that some companies are in liquidation because of accumulated debt, we need to recognise that every business should operate to make a profit, and not to accumulate debt. In addition, the number of people who have been brought under the microscope in recent times for abusing state-owned resources is an indication that a more effective monitoring system needs to be implemented to scrutinise people who work regularly in the remaining state-owned companies.
On the other hand, the fight to protect our local products and producers is an area that urgently requires the support of all Jamaicans. We need to stop wearing patriotism as a disposable mask that we put on during local cultural holidays and heightened sporting seasons. We need to work on developing our own identity (or our own ways of doing things) instead of imitating foreigners.
Local originality is sadly lacking in some areas. Furthermore, if we continue to rely too heavily on "imports" we will rob ourselves of the opportunity to obtain true financial freedom. And as some of us anxiously await another "grant" from the IMF, we should also open our eyes to the critical need to increase production significantly and export local goods.