Monday 19 August, 2019

Holness disappointed with rate of economic growth

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is lamenting the current growth rate of the economy but expressed that efforts at improving that performance are currently underway.

Jamaica's growth rate stands at just under two per cent.

"The Government, the chairman of our Economic Growth Council, myself and all those who have spoken from the Government have expressed our disappointment in that number. We are not satisfied with that. We are working very hard to pass that ceiling of under two per cent. And we are seeing it building, we are almost there, but we are not quite there yet because the truth is that investment made today have a lag effect so you are not going to immediately see the growth results happening right away," Prime Minister Holness remarked.

He added that the speed of doing business is important in driving growth.

"And that is why the speed of doing business is so important you want to condense the time between conception and actual implementation of the projects so that you can get the growth happening right away," the prime minister stated.

He was speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the US$250 million Ocean Coral Spring Hotel by H10 Hotels in Trelawny on Wednesday. 

He pointed out that tourism investments should provide a trickling down benefit to locals.

 "It could be bringing in new capital but the question is what is the value that is being created in the local economy? So if it is that we are importing all that we are using to build then that doesn't count towards growth. If it is that we are importing all the food that will be sold in the hotels, that does not contribute towards growth. What contributes towards growth is when the farmer across the road can get his or her products into the hotel to be sold," Holness said.

"I want it to be clearly understood that any investment in Jamaican tourism must include benefits to the Jamaican people."

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