Shaw accepts Man of the Year Award on behalf of Government, finance ministry staff

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Finance Minister Audley Shaw, who was named Man of the Year on being presented with the Jamaica Observer's Chairman's Award Sunday night, accepted the accolades with humility, saying that the recognition belonged to the entire Government and his staff at the Ministry of Finance.

“I accept this award on behalf of the prime minister, the Government of Jamaica, my Cabinet colleagues, the Ministry of Finance — the entire Government of Jamaica — for the work that is being done,” Shaw said, after being presented with a crystal trophy and framed citation by Observer Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, during the 20th staging of the newspaper's prestigious Business Leader Award at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

“We salute you for being a friend of the business community and for your outstanding stewardship of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. We also salute you for your unfailing service to the growth and development of Jamaica's private sector,“ the citation states.

“We salute you, Audley Shaw, the Jamaica Observer's Man of the Year 2017, as you continue to prepare a road map for Jamaica's economic future,” the citation adds.

The citation traces Shaw's history in public service, noting that he moved from promoting investments as an officer of the Jamaica National Investment Programme into his current position, in which he is helping to create an enabling environment for investors and the business sector.

Pointing out that he made his foray into national politics in 1987, the citation states that Shaw, a sixth-term Member of Parliament for Manchester North Eastern, has demonstrated that he understands the concept that “all politics is local”.

“Dubbed 'Man ah Yard' for your tenacity, you are, to the people of Manchester, an example of a hometown boy who has made good by your achievements in Government,” the citation states.

“In this your second stint as chief steward of the nation's finances, the task set you is to preside over a fiscal austerity programme, to tighten public spending, reduce debt and undertake economic reforms.

“Your most ambitious target is to reduce Jamaica's debt to gross domestic product ratio from 116 per cent to 108 per cent by the end of the fiscal year and down to 96 per cent by 2020.

“In tough times, great leaders shine through because they buck the trend of gloom and doom. You are that leader... using the challenges of a tough economy to become more effective and inspirational in your quest for strong and sustained growth,” the citation states.

It describes Shaw as a resolute leader, a pragmatist, sometimes uncompromising, but always demonstrating a profound commitment to Jamaica.

“We laud you for paying special attention to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Recently, you secured funds from the Inter-American Development Bank to expand the Credit Enhancement Fund so that people within this important sector can access financing to grow their businesses and hire new employees.

“On the matter of interest rates, you have gone to bat for the private sector, offering to reduce the asset tax for financial institutions if they bring down the cost of borrowing for businesses,” the citation adds.

It commends him for embracing the Jamaica Stock Exchange Junior Market, saying that it must have been a moment of some satisfaction for him to participate in the recent celebration of the Junior Market's eight years of success.

The citation also praises Shaw for being named Caribbean Finance Minister of the Year 2016 by GlobalMarkets newspaper in October this year, and points out that the publication, in addition to recognising him for “beating expectations and being focused on growth and stability”, praised him for his “excellent performance in meeting fiscal targets and cutting public debt”.

Shaw, noting that the citation spoke specifically to his being a friend of the business community, said he and the Government “look forward to aggressively working as a team with the private sector and the people of Jamaica, so that we can move our country steadfastly from poverty to prosperity”.

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