Phillips predicts economic turnaround for Jamaica

Phillips predicts economic turnaround for Jamaica

BY HAROLD G BAILEY Observer writer

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

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NEW YORK, USA — Jamaica's Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips is expressing confidence that, over the next five years, "the country will see the most sustained period of economic growth and job creation since the 1960s."

This confidence, he said, is predicated on the fact that the last two years represent a period of the most sustained and comprehensive set of economic reforms that have been implemented in Jamaica's history.

Phillips, who was the keynote presenter at the 10th Caribbean International Network (CIN) lecture series here last Wednesday, argued that the economy "is already showing signs of improvements as a result of these reforms."

Addressing the topic 'Jamaica's Path To Prosperity', the finance minister repeatedly acknowledged that the reforms initiated under the current agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), "were painful but necessary".

"Negotiating support for the programme from the IMF and other multilateral partners was a difficult task, and we should not forget the tremendous sacrifices made by critical stakeholders to meet prior conditions that were placed on us," he said.

"I am referring here to public sector workers, domestic creditors including pensioners, and taxpayers in general," he added.

He listed a number of legislative reforms which have been undertaken to strengthen the economy and attract more investors.

"The net effect of the combined economic, financial, legislative and administrative adjustments have been recognised by the global community,and has resulted in an improvement in Jamaica's ranking in the overall global competitive index as reported by the World Bank just today (last Wednesday)," Phillips said, noting that he expects more Jamaicans in the Diaspora to take advantage of the opportunities that the new economic environment will present.

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