Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has announced that some companies have responded favourably to her call to play a greater role in the creation of employment for the jobless in the country.
Addressing members of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM), at its first Speakers’ Forum Luncheon, held at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, on February 16, the Prime Minister explained that she threw out the challenge to the private sector recently, through the Jamaica Employ initiative, and already some companies had shown much interest.
“The programme, which calls on companies to employ at least one additional qualified Jamaican, holds great potential for meaningful job creation and economic development. I therefore encourage those who have not yet done so, to seriously consider becoming a part of the programme,” the Prime Minister said.
“All I ask for is the employment of one additional qualified Jamaican to the workforce. If you can employ more, by all means, please do so. The future of Jamaica and its sustainable development goals also require economic reforms and the removal of impediments to economic vitality, investment and growth. We are committed to implementing structural reforms, including the Public Sector Reform, Tax Reform and Public Expenditure Management,” she noted.
The Prime Minister said the administration is committed to balancing the books, while balancing peoples’ lives at the same time. “One of the best ways to do this is to put more people to work, enabling them to take care of their families and restore their dignity. A realistic and meaningful job creation programme with private sector participation, is a major component,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister emphasised that increased foreign direct investment is critical to realising the country’s goals.
“As part of the government’s efforts to attract global investment, we will next month (March 1-2), host the 2012 Jamaica Investment Forum right here in Montego Bay. This forum will showcase critical investment opportunities in key growth sectors. We have assembled a high level team of local and international speakers to share ideas and strategies on the way forward. I impress upon you as business leaders and entrepreneurs, to position yourselves to take advantage of the windows of opportunity that exist and others, which I am certain, will emerge from this forum,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
She also urged all in the business community and elsewhere in the economy, to “seize the opportunity presented by the occasion of 50 years of political independence, to chart this course to lasting economic progress and prosperity of future generations of Jamaicans.”