Minister Phillips who delivered a lecture entitled, Jamaica’s Path to Prosperity”, at the CIN 10th Annual Lecture Series at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem New York on Wednesday, October 29, pointed out that Jamaica’s aspiration for social reform rests on this upward economic trend.
“All of us would want a society in which all our people find opportunity for good employment and secure the benefits of social progress in education and health which will enable our people to reach their full potential as human beings”, he said.
The Minister told the large audience that he was confident that the government was laying the foundation to achieve sustained growth through a series of economic reforms. This has involved significant sacrifice from all Jamaicans, but the good news is we are seeing signs of the rewards which await us if we stay the course and complete the task.
Minister Phillips pointed out that some successes include the completion of five successful quarterly reviews under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended fund facility and that he had every confidence that the country will pass the sixth quarterly review. The Minister further noted that the country’s debt is down below 139 percent of GDP.
He said over the past four quarters growth returned resulting in improvement in agriculture, tourism, bauxite and mining. Additionally, inflation is under control, interest rate is trending down, and unemployment is down year over year while the country’s net international reserves now stand in excess of US$2.1 billion enabling the country to return to the global capital market. He said our exchange rate has also stabilized.
“Let the word go out from here to every investor, local or foreign that Jamaica’s economy is truly open for business and its foundations are getting stronger every day. It is my hope and expectation that as investors across the world including Asia, Europe and Latin America mobilize to participate through investments in Jamaica, more Jamaicans within the Diaspora will take advantage of the new economic environment and the opportunities which exist in Jamaica”, he said.
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