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New PSOJ head to focus on leveraging CARICOM benefits

Published:Sunday | August 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon

Newly appointed head of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), Paul B. Scott, says leveraging the benefits of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) membership will form part of his objective as the new leader of the private sector body.

Scott was elected the 18th president of the PSOJ following Wisynco chairman, William Mahfood's exit of the post to concentrate on reshaping his company that suffered extensive fire damage a few months ago.

"It is really important that we understand what the benefits of being in CARICOM are. For so long, CARICOM has been, essentially, a political construct and the private sector is really not engaged regionally on some of the issues that surround CARICOM," Scott told Sunday Business.

Scott, who is also chairman, chief executive officer and principal shareholder of the Musson Group, said his focus will see the PSOJ working on a strategy "to make CARCOM work to the benefit of the private sector".

Locally, the PSOJ head said focus will be placed on ensuring "that fiscal discipline is maintained and we keep on the course of managing our public finances appropriately.

"In addition to that, we need to grow. The growth has been ridiculously low for the last 30 years, and we have to do something different."

According to Scott, "The vast majority of the issues that we have in this country are manifestations of the lack of economic growth. So it's very important that growth is at the top of the agenda."

Scott is also chairman of Seprod Limited, Agro Investment Corp and General Accident Insurance Company.

He serves as a director of several local companies including Scotia Life Insurance Company Limited, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the American International School in Kingston.

Other members of the PSOJ executive are vice-presidents Dennis Cohen, deputy group managing director of National Commercial Bank; Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson, managing director of Continental Baking Company; and Frank James, group chief financial officer at GraceKennedy and Company.

Vikram Dihman, chief operating officer of the ICD Group of Companies will hold the position of honorary treasurer, while the honorary secretary is to be appointed by the executive committee at their first meeting.