THE EDITOR, Sir:
We understand that there has been some amount of lobbying with the aim of bringing an end to the Junior Market.
For Jamaica's sake, and in order to assist in providing well-needed employment in the country, we hope this will not have the approval of the Government of Jamaica.
From LASCO's experience, if it had not been for the Junior Market, we could not have embarked on our expansion project to the benefit of Jamaica, not only by providing well-needed jobs to help the economy, but also to increase exports and improve import substitution in order to earn and save foreign exchange.
From our observation, those companies that have benefited from the existence of the junior market have been growing and are making a significant contribution to the development of the economy.
The unemployment situation in Jamaica is very serious. The same holds true for many other countries. As reported recently, up to 50 per cent of school leavers will not be able to find employment. This is an extremely critical situation, particularly since our young people make up more than 50 per cent of the population.
Our aim should be to do everything to increase business in manufacturing and production in order to increase our exports and reduce import substitution for the benefit of the country.
We hope that, with the conditions stipulated by the International Monetary Fund, there is leeway to help manufacturers. If this is not being undertaken by our Govern-ment, manufacturers will not be able to compete with other countries, especially Trinidad and Tobago.
We hope that serious consideration will be given to continue the Junior Market, with special attention given to manufacturers. Otherwise, Jamaica will be even more flooded with imported products from Trinidad and other countries.
LASCELLES A. CHIN