Region depends on Obama's economy fix
HEAD OF the Economics Division at the University of Technology (UTech), Sharon Nelson, says United States President Barack Obama's feverish push for positive economic growth in his second term in office could provide a glimmer of hope for Caribbean economies.
Nelson reasoned that as president of the world's largest economy, Obama's policies are designed to improve the lives of United States (US) citizens.
"Nevertheless, there should be a glimmer of hope as it relates to US foreign policy, because Jamaica and the Caribbean are in close proximity," she said.
Nelson indicated that meaningful growth in the US economy during Obama's final term in the White House was a must for the US to get off the fiscal cliff on which it finds itself.
"When the US economy is stimulated, more jobs are created, then there will be a pull factor on us in the Caribbean. In that sense, we can have a glimmer of hope," Nelson told The Gleaner yesterday as Obama's second inaugural ceremony got under way. The US president took the Oath of Office to get his second term under way on Sunday, but the public ceremony had been put off until yesterday.
According to Nelson, the spin-off effect from more job creation in the US would positively impact remittances and the tourism sector in Jamaica.
"Increasingly, the US administration will have to turn its attention to foreign policy and, certainly, indications are that they have started to look at Africa, because the African countries are expected to take a leap forward," she said.
Nelson said Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours should be lining up to seize opportunities for growth and development.
"We have a region that is close to the US, a region that has natural harbours and shortened sea routes that can speak to cost reduction in terms of logistics, the whole project that was dealing with exploiting the opportunities of an expanded Panama Canal that needs to be brought to the forefront," Nelson noted.