Christopher Zacca plans to focus his efforts on energy, trade and economic development and he has already tapped his team of heavy hitters to help push his agenda as the new president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).
JMMB Group CEO Keith Duncan, and vice-president of the PSOJ, is to chair the trade committee and has been tasked to evaluate and draft a position paper for ratification of the PSOJ Council, said Zacca - no timeline was given for completion of this task - while GraceKennedy CEO Don Wehby, also a vice-president, will chair the committee on economic development.
"I have tasked our staff to develop objective indicators of our human and economic development as an independent nation and to benchmark these to other similar countries globally so that we can say with confidence, and not with emotion, we have done well here and we have done poorly there," said Zacca, who was elected president on July 19 to replace Joseph M. Matalon.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica has agreed to work with the PSOJ in this exercise.
David Barrett, a consultant in the energy field, is to lead the group's lobby on energy. Zacca was scheduled to meet with Barrett, who chairs the energy committee, on Thursday to see how "the energy profile can be raised and bring to the forefront for greater focus", recalling that the committee existed under the tenure of previous presidents.
"Without cheaper energy we can't compete and grow. It is a game changer and the PSOJ intends to take a leadership role on this critical issue," said Zacca, who himself led the Government of Jamaica's efforts at developing an LNG market before leaving the job to run for the PSOJ presidency.
In the meantime, Zacca said that he is planning to continue the work that Matalon has started. The various position papers and proposals that the PSOJ have worked on and adopted is going to make the PSOJ's advocacy task much easier and allow the new executive, under Matalon's leadership to hit the ground running, Zacca said.
The PSOJ has adopted an Economic Policy Framework, drafted positions on national security, education, reform of the bankruptcy and arbitration laws, as well as the public-sector pension reform. It also led the Private Sector Working Group on tax reform.
"Joe, you have left me a pair of giant shoes to fill. You are leaving the PSOJ a stronger organisation than you found it and this is the job of all leaders. I will try my best to do the same," Zacca said.