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Stabroek News

Portia unveils programme for economic development
published: Friday | February 10, 2006

Nagra Plunkett, Staff Reporter

WESTERN BUREAU:

PEOPLE'S NATIONAL Party (PNP) presidential candidate Portia Simpson Miller on Wednesday presented her seven-point programme for economic development and wealth creation that will be implemented by her administration if she is elected as the country's next Prime Minister.

"An important part of our economic development strategy will be community governance and local government. Our initiatives in education and training will be closely aligned to our economic strategies," Mrs. Simpson Miller told a gathering of party supporters and members of the business community at the Chatwick Gardens Conference Centre in Montego Bay.

EDUCATION LINCHPIN

"Education is the linchpin of economic growth and the catalyst to maximise our productive outputs. Our wealth will, therefore, come from creativity, innovativeness and productivity of our people," she said.

The policy programme, which the Local Government Minister described as "people-centred", will address the problem of job and income generation by establishing profitable businesses in communities, providing adequate social services and facilities to support entrepreneurial revolution over time and the financing for entrepreneurial expansion.

"We will address the scourge of poverty by strengthening our poverty alleviation programme, give real meaning to community empowerment by strengthening community governance and giving real power and resources to local government," Mrs. Simpson Miller outlined.

She added, "We understand the threats and opportunities of globalisation and so we will ensure that our trade and foreign policies address Jamaica's development needs, in particular, the entrepreneurial needs of communities."

The presidential candidate said she would pursue a bottom-up approach to national policy, planning and decision. By doing this, she hopes that the average citizen in every community in Jamaica has an opportunity to influence the important national and regional decisions that affect their lives.

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