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'Manufacturing will lead to an upturn in economy'

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 7:01 AM

Prominent Management Consultant of the Mona School of Business, Dr William Lawrence, asserts in his new book, Business Renewal and Performance in Jamaica, that manufacturing, along with business-renewal practices, are some of the most important factors which will lead to an upturn in the Jamaican economy.

Lawrence posited this recently at a business renewal and performance workshop hosted by the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association.

The book highlights powerful statistics, based on data from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, to show that manufacturing accounts for over one-third of real Gross Domestic Product in Jamaica. This means that every time a manufacturer makes an additional product in Jamaica, this helps to increase overall economic well-being, reduce public debt and create local jobs.

"Over the past four decades, manufacturing has been a significant driver of economic growth, and this is coming from the data reviewed. I believe we need to look at addressing the shortcomings of the sector, going forward," said Lawrence.

According to him, data from the Jamaica Stock Exchange indicate that "of the 84 firms listed since the inception of the Stock Exchange Main Market in 1969, 47 have reported losses and only 25 have survived. When manufacturing firms suffer, fewer firms file GCT returns, jobs are lost, government spending ability is reduced, and Jamaica has to borrow to meet critical needs.