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Holness: JLP preparing new growth strategy

Thursday, January 23, 2014    

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OPPOSITION Leader Andrew Holness says that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is working on the details of a new economic strategy, based on creating the knowledge-based society the party believes is essential for growth and development.

"We are thinking about a new pathway to development, and we feel that the pathway to development is significant investment in human resource development," Holness told members of the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew at their weekly meeting at the Police Officers' Club in, Kingston, last week Thursday.

"The new economy that Jamaica must create is one in which... all Jamaicans are literate, numerate, are able to communicate, can interface with technology, and are innovative," he said.

He told the meeting that the JLP will be coming to the country soon with more details of this vision, which will include a ministry of knowledge, education and growth to spur growth.

Holness, who was speaking on the subject of an 'Alternative Economic Programme for Jamaica', said that the Jamaican economy is a classic case of an "old economy" which, after 50 years of Independence, has not developed the linkages needed to take advantage of its economic assets.

"It is an economy that has not had the benefit of long-term strategic planning for infrastructure, education, innovation, and technology. So, we are still having quite a struggle with the important concept of urban development and the speeding up of the approval process for developments," he stated.

"So, when you look at the Jamaican economy, you realise that it is an economy that cannot take us into the future," he added.

The JLP leader also presented the party's three newly appointed deputy portfolio spokesmen -- Pearnel Charles Jr, who will work alongside spokesperson on national security and leader of Opposition business in the House of Representatives, Derrick Smith; Smith's son, Duane, who will support Dr Andrew Wheatley on ICT and the digital economy; and Marlon Morgan, who will work with William JC Hutchinson, spokesperson on agriculture and fisheries. The meeting was chaired by the club's president, Howard Walker.

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