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Jamaica urged to focus on services industry

Published:Thursday | August 1, 2013 | 1:51 PM

A professor at the University of the West Indies (UWI) is urging the country to focus its efforts on building the services industry where it has a competitive advantage.



Professor Vanus James, says natural talents in music and sports must now be formally honed.



He is urging the UWI and other universities in the region to begin thinking of training persons in skill areas we can export.



James’ suggestions arise out of his study into the relationship between Jamaica’s exchange rate regime and economic performance.



He has found that a floating exchange rate instead of a fixed one is the way to go for Jamaica.



According to him the best approach is to operate a managed float under conditions in which the policymaker tackles the problems of expensive imports and industrialisation.



The study, which was commissioned by the Edward Seaga Research Institute, found that real exchange rate, rather than the nominal, appears to be the main issue in the sustainability of Jamaica's economic growth.



Seaga, who has constantly mooted for a system of pegged exchange rate, said the study and findings provided food for thought.



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