Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Lee-Chin's growth target: A step in the right direction - IDB rep

Published:Sunday | May 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Therese Turner-Jones, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative for Jamaica, says the organisation wants to support the Caribbean in creating vibrant economies where people are safe, productive and happy.

According to Turner-Jones, who was recently appointed general manager for the IDB's Caribbean Country Department, a vibrant economy should be defined by "productivity, has clear rules, protects the vulnerable and provides employment".

"Importantly, a vibrant economy must be growing. Setting an ambitious growth target as the Economic Growth Council, chaired by Michael Lee-Chin, has recently done is a step in the right direction," added Turner-Jones.

The IDB representative pointed to the key factors that would create the kind of economic growth and development that improves people's lives.

"In my mind, it would embody not just economic factors but social and environmental ones as well; opportunity to realise potential for those who want to work; education that helps with high-skilled jobs to drive productivity; less informality and underemployment; more social and financial inclusion and an innovative private sector that works in partnership with government to build a dynamic economy, and less crime and violence."

Turner-Jones was speaking at a public lecture under the theme, 'The 4th Revolution - the Global Race to Reinvent the State' last Monday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.


Providing global insight


Hosted as part of the roll-out of the IDB's new brand identity, the lecture was designed to provide global insight, encourage collaboration and generate discussion on the evolution of the state, sustainable development and competitiveness.

The lecture was presented by Adrian Wooldridge, managing editor and 'Schumpeter Columnist' for The Economist magazine.

Wooldridge has also co-authored several books on globalisation and business with fellow economist journalist, John Micklethwait, including The 4th Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State, The Right Nation, The Company, God is Back, and bestseller, The Witch Doctors.


Democratic overload


He warned that democratic governments are at a stage in their evolution where "the more people demand, the more they are dissatisfied with what they get. It creates democratic overload. Interest groups put more and more pressure on the political system."

According to Wooldridge, all of this culminates in the beginning of the fourth revolution, which should result in smaller, more efficient governments.

"There is a global race to reinvent the state. There is also a global race to see who will come out on top authoritarian autocracy or democracy. I very much hope that democracy will win. But in order to achieve that we need to reform and slim the state," he posited.