Thu | Apr 26, 2018

Region depends on Obama's economy fix

Published:Tuesday | January 22, 2013 | 12:00 AM
President Barack Obama speaks at the ceremonial swearing-in at the US Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, yesterday.
The first family and the vice-president listen as recording artiste Beyoncé sings the National Anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in at the US Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
The president makes a toast with his wife during a luncheon after his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday. Others are (from left) Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, Vice-President Biden; his wife Jill; Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY; and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The president (second from left) accompanied by (from left) First Lady Michelle Obama, Army Maj Gen Michael J. Linnington, Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden watch during the presidential review of the troops on the east side of the Capitol.
Obama gives his inauguration address on the West Front of the Capitol.

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.

Spin-off effect

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.