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LETTER OF THE DAY - Target production to get Jamaica out of rut

Published:Wednesday | April 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I read with interest the fanfare with which one of the local dailies, in its editorial, greeted the recently announced proposed investment in another distribution outlet in the island by Mr Gassan Azan.

This is similar to the splash given recently to another similar business venture of Mr Gordon 'Butch' Stewart to distribute motor vehicles.

Naturally, business folks will always look to where profitable opportunities exist to make profits for themselves.

New investments are always welcome; however, what bothers me is the type of investments and whether they are the ventures that can develop the country.

Putting out such outlays into distribution outlets does provide a few more lowly paid jobs locally and utilises a little local supplies, but the main beneficiaries (other than the local reapers of the profits) are the people in the other countries producing the goods for these local distributors that rely on importing and marking up and selling these imported goods.

If we are serious about development, we have to begin to target real production and put the resources there to produce goods, both for the local market and for exports.

Distribution activities contribute little to the economy and are a drain on the limited foreign-exchange resources available.

Considering, too, that both these gentlemen are past chairmen of JAMPRO, is importing and distributing the type of investment that drives the thinking? If so, the country will never get out of the hole it is in.

DONALD HARRIS

Kingston 8