Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Holness confident of 5 per cent growth in another 3 years

Published:Thursday | November 16, 2017 | 10:54 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde at the forum. From left are Finance Minister Audley Shaw and Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is confident that Jamaica will achieve its target of five per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in another three years.

GDP is the total value of goods and services of a country.

Holness, speaking this morning at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston at International Monetary Fund 2017 High Level Caribbean Forum, said he acknowledged that achieving the target would not be easy.

"People have said it’s an overly ambitious target but I have never been known to do anything that is not ambitious and I am strongly of the view that we will achieve the growth target set," Holness said.

 

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

At the same time, the prime minister said he was aware of the challenges to growth and the realities of Caribbean economies.

He cited the migration of skilled workers as well as the inefficient bureaucracy in the public service among the issues.

But Holness said there have been significant efforts to improve the economy and the results are encouraging.

He said inflation continues to remain low in Jamaica and the unemployment rate as at July 2017 was 11.3 per cent – the lowest in eight years for any quarter.

"We are making progress," Holness said, noting that he was particularly encouraged that youth unemployment has declined by 2.1 percentage points to 27.5 per cent.

The prime minister said a key focus now is to continue making it easier for people to do business and the government is expecting an improved ranking next year when the international index is released.

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