Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is anticipating that Jamaica’s economy will be boosted over the short to medium-term, consequent on several private and public sector projects slated for implementation this year.
The projects include : the North/South Highway link between Angels, St. Catherine, and Ocho Rios, St. Ann; enhancement of the island’s port facilities being spearheaded by the government; and several tourism developments being pursued by private sector interests.
Speaking at a post Budget Debate media briefing at Jamaica House on June 7, Dr. Phillips pointed out that the likely contribution of the projects to Jamaica’s economic growth this year had not been factored in, when the estimates for the country’s medium-term programme were initially calculated.
He said, however, that with the anticipated roll out of “at least one, possible two”, of the government projects, “we expect that, that would push up the growth numbers, somewhat”.
The Minister was equally optimistic that the private sector tourism projects, which primarily entail expansion of a number of hotel rooms, “would also have a further push effect on the growth numbers”, once they get underway.
In announcing the projects, when he opened the 2012/ 13 Budget Debate some two weeks ago, Dr. Phillips said their implementation is expected to attract significant foreign direct investments into Jamaica’s economy.
“What we are going to do, on the government side, and what we are urging the local investor community to do, is to pull out all the stops now so that we can push our growth levels,” he stressed.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter