Jamaica’s economic outlook positive – Dr. Carlton Davis

LONDON – Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis, has said that the outlook for the Jamaican economy was positive, with moderate growth this year, while unemployment was less than 11 per cent.

In addition, he said the government’s ability to keep inflation low, while maintaining $2.3 billion in net international reserves “gives a lot of confidence to investors”.

Dr. Davis, who was addressing a public forum at the Kensington Town Hall in London on Saturday (Dec. 9), noted that Jamaica, this year, recorded a positive trade surplus with the United Kingdom (UK).

“Trade between Jamaica and the United Kingdom is significant. If you look at 2006 it was over $500 million, with exports from Jamaica made up mainly of alumina, sugar, bananas and a whole variety of other things. We in return, imported $250 million from the UK, so we actually have a positive trade with the UK. It’s a significant business,” he noted.

The Cabinet Secretary noted however, that crime remained a challenge, even though major crimes had decreased.

With research showing a strong correlation between deportation and crime, the Cabinet Secretary pointed to the need for protocol on deportation, which would, among other things address “how Jamaica prepares to receive the deportees”.

He noted that between 1995 and 2005, more than 33,000 persons were deported from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, with more than 72 per cent of the deportations being crime-related.

The Cabinet Secretary also gave updates on the tourism industry, major infrastructure projects including airport improvements, and electoral reform.

Representatives of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), National Land Agency, and the Passport and Immigration Department also made presentations.

The seminar organized by Jamaican National Building Society (JNBS) under the theme ‘Outlook for the Future: Doing Business in Jamaica’ was the final of three seminars held in the UK last week.

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