The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) engages world leading consultant to boost growth

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has commissioned the services of a world leading economist to assist the agency in developing policy recommendations for further growth in the local economy.

Making the disclosure during the Institute’s quarterly press briefing on Monday November 22 at its offices in Kingston, Director General, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, said the PIOJ is working on initiatives to facilitate a more robust and healthy recovery of the economy.

As such, he said that Professor Donald Harris of Stanford University, who is highly regarded internationally as an economist on growth issues, will arrive in the island to work with a PIOJ team, which the Director General himself, will lead.

“The general terms of reference of this effort are to generate growth inducement strategies for the economy based on the removal of binding constraints and the creation of an enabling environment. It is also to support emerging business clusters that can produce globally competitive output,” he informed.

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, addresses the quarterly press briefing on Monday November 22 at the PIOJ in Kingston.

Dr. Hutchinson said though the timeline is short, he expects the agency’s recommendations to inform national priority discussions and policies as early as the upcoming budget cycle. “We have started a series of consultations with the stakeholders in the private, public and civil society sectors. These consultations are intended to be nationwide,” he said.

Additionally, he said the PIOJ will be signing, in early December, a Technical Cooperation Agreement on economic growth and social wellbeing development with the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), in Brazil. IPEA is Brazil’s planning institute and one of the leading economic policy establishments in South America.

Dr. Hutchinson said the cooperation agreement is the outcome of a meeting with Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding and former President of Brazil, His Excellency, Luiz Inácio DaSilva at the first Brazil/CARICOM Summit on April 26, 2010 in Brasilia. The initiative will be primarily funded by the Government of Brazil.

The PIOJ head said discussions are almost complete and the terms of reference for the undertaking will be finalised. “I will be personally leading a team from the PIOJ to Brazil to study how, in the face of challenges similar to ours, especially in the areas of high public debt, macro instability and urban crime, Brazil was able to unlock growth and development in their economy that has proven to be sustainable, broad based, poverty reducing and humane,” he remarked.

He informed that early next year a team from Brazil will spend a month at the PIOJ to further work on the technical aspects of these issues, he said.

Dr. Hutchinson added: “The PIOJ’s elevated focus on fostering broad-based economic growth and social wellbeing development is its direct charge from the Prime Minister, who as Minister of Development has portfolio responsibility for our work.”

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