WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 13 (Jamaica Information Service) – Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says over the next few years, Jamaica should see increased growth in Tourism, Mining, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Business Outsourcing.
He pointed out that this growth is expected as a result of several measures put in place by the Government.
The Minister was taking part in a panel discussion entitled: ‘Caribbean Economies, Has Recovery Arrived’, hosted by the CBIC at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., on October 10.
Dr. Phillips said the country can expect to see further growth with the implementation of the Logistics Hub Initiative, as this sector will form the centre- piece of Jamaica’s economy.
He emphasized that the critical ingredient of this new economic juncture is the leveraging of the island’s geographical location as a critical provider of services of all sorts, to facilitate economic transactions within the hemisphere as a whole.
The Minister revealed that negotiations for a public-private partnership of the Transshipment port in Kingston and the privatization of the Norman Manley International Airport are now in their final phase.
He said these projects will form part of a major logistics initiative which, over time, will see the expansion of services, not only in shipping, but in the assembly and light manufacturing operations destined for all locations in the hemisphere and farther afield.
The Minister said that extensive privatization in the agricultural sector will see a revival of sugar cane and sugar production, and that the mining sector is reviving as bauxite, alumina and aluminum prices rebound.
He pointed out that the Government is offering benefits not only related directly to the mining sector, but also to the provision of energy solutions in the agricultural and sugar manufacturing sectors.
The Minister said the aim is to lower electricity rates by about 30 per cent over the next three to four years, with the expectation that this will provide additional impetus to the manufacturing sector.
Dr. Phillips told the audience that for the first time in five years, Jamaica has accumulated net international reserves (NIR) that will cover more than 16 weeks of imports.
He also noted that the country has achieved five successive quarters of growth as confirmed by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (SIJ).