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JAMAICA | Think Big and Great things will Happen - PM Holness

Featured Prime Minister Andrew Holness says "We must as a nation put all our energies behind growing our economy and providing jobs." Prime Minister Andrew Holness says "We must as a nation put all our energies behind growing our economy and providing jobs."
KINGSTON, October 8, 2017 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to achieving five percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in four years.

Mr Holness says the country must think big as this is the first step in doing big and great things.

“Jamaica must never lose its ambitiousness. That is what defines us, our ability to reach further than we can stretch, to speak louder than our voice. And we must never tell our children it can’t be done,” declared the Prime Minister.

Mr Holness also added that he is not daunted if for one quarter the country experiences a 0.1% decline in the growth rate.  

“The truth is our growth figures mimic what happens in agriculture, and in the quarter that was affected, we had very serious rains. But as we transform our economy, not away from agriculture but to be less dependent on agriculture to things like developing the roads so we can actually do logistics operation, our economy will grow. Growth will come; it must happen if we continue to do the things we are doing,” he expressed.

We must redouble our efforts

He continued, “We must not celebrate when we don’t achieve our targets, we must redouble our efforts. We must as a nation put all our energies behind growing our economy and providing jobs,” concluded Prime Minister Holness.

Prime Minister Holness officially opened the Marcus Garvey Drive roadway yesterday (October 5) at the Garmex HEART Academy in Kingston.

Under the Marcus Garvey Drive Improvement Project, approximately 2.44 Kilometres of roadway between East Avenue and Harbour Street was rehabilitated.

Approximately 40-thousand motorists can now access the six-lane highway.

Only recently, the Statical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN indicated that Jamaica had broken its more-than-two-year growth streak.

The economy contracted by 0.1 per cent in the June quarter, due to unfavourable weather and the devastation of crops from the beet armyworm infestation.

Jamaica's economy last contracted in the December 2014 quarter when GDP shrank by 0.2 per cent.

Statin said the main contributors to the current decline were the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which fell by 9.5 per cent, and mining and quarrying, down 10.9 per cent.

Statin also reported a reduction in the production of root crops, which decreased by 8.5 per cent, as well as vegetables, which decreased by 20.2 per cent. The total area of vegetables reaped fell to 4,342.2 hectares from 5,099.2 hectares last year, a 15 per cent decline.

Traditional export crops also fell, mainly resulting from a 37 per cent decline in sugar cane production linked to weather-induced suspension of operations at two main sugar factories, Golden Grove and Monymusk. Cocoa production also fell by 76 per cent as the frosty pod disease continued to impact the crop.

Animal farming remained relatively unchanged for the review period, while banana rose from 15,087 tonnes to 16,471 tonnes and plantain production rose from 11,125 tonnes to 11,378 tonnes.

In the mining sector, alumina production fell to 426.5 thousand tonnes from 477.4 thousand tonnes, while crude bauxite declined to 862.8 thousand tonnes from 1,017.7 thousand tonnes. The sector was affected by heavy rainfall as well as malfunctioning equipment at one of the factories.

Lower output levels in crude bauxite production were influenced largely by the loss of one of the major markets.

  • Countries: Jamaica