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We can create our own Bill Gates - Holness

Published:Friday | August 5, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has urged directors and heads of agencies in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to ensure that a supportive environment for the private sector is facilitated.

Addressing the ministry's leadership at the opening of a two-day strategic planning retreat held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, Holness said supporting the sector was the fastest route to securing economic growth for the country.

"The way to growth is to support businesses. [We have to] make sure they have finance, security, water, and a good labour force," he said, adding that support of product and market development was also key.

He called on the ministry to remove obstacles to the growth of the sector and to ensure that it is efficient in granting permits to entrepreneurs.

"I want to see more Jamaicans make more profit in their businesses. I want to see more Michael Lee Chins and Butch Stewarts. Jamaica can create our own Bill Gates, and we [the Government] can support that," the prime minister said.

Holness said that part of the role of the ministry is to offer support to youngsters in schools to transform their innovations into products.

"My job is to support business and to make every youth in school understand that he can be a business person, too; that his hard work will be respected and rewarded, and we have to develop that culture to support businesses," Holness said.