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Strategic system of governance needed, says PSOJ CEO

Published:Wednesday | August 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMMark Titus

​Western Bureau:

With a raft of new developments in the services industry, some senior government members are of the view that the project 'five percent in four years' target, which was set by the Economic Growth Council (EGC), will be surpassed.

However, Dennis Chung, executive director of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), does not think it will be achieved without a strategic system of governance.

"The continued increase in business and consumer confidence, and the success of events such as the Montego Bay Trade Expo, demonstrates that there is significant private sector interest," said Chung, while giving the keynote address at last week's media launch of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Expo 2017.

"Driving around Montego Bay and Kingston, we also see evidence of significant investments, so there is no doubt that significant private sector interest exists."

However, despite the encouraging signs he has been seeing, Chung said it will require more if growth is to exceed the projections made by the EGC.

"Increased investment and economic activity is certainly not enough to create sustainable three to five per cent growth," noted Chung.

"This is evidenced by the fact that in the past (1990s) we have seen record levels of FDIs (foreign direct investments), and even then, we struggled to get to three per cent.

"What will happen is that we will get to three percent in one year and then we fall back to our consistent average of around one per cent," he said.

Last November, Prime Minister Andrew Holness predicted that the 'five per cent in four years' target would be exceeded.

During his recent address at the official ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the acquisition of BPO firm Elephant Group by Centerfield Media, Dr Horace Chang, the minister without portfolio in the Office of The Prime Minister (OPM), suggested that seven per cent growth was highly possible.

The much-anticipated three-day MoBay Expo 2017 will be staged from October 13-15 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St James. The event will feature interactive seminars on topics such as the creative industries.

Audrey Marks, Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, will be the keynote speaker.