Co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Keith Duncan, is warning that Jamaica needs to recover quickly from the recent rains, so that it can keep on its current growth track.
Jamaica has passed all its primary targets following the first International Monetary Fund, IMF, review under the precautionary standby agreement.
Duncan says going into the Hurricane season, if the damage from the recent rains is not addressed soon, future projections could be affected.
“Inside of the budget for this year, there is a one per cent contingency reserve – one per cent of GDP , that is approximately J$20 billion that is in place that in the event of fall out, in revenue expenditures or any kind of disasters that there is some room in the budget for such situations. But however you have to manage that contingency reserve very prudently because we are now moving into the hurricane season. We have to deal with the infrastructure and fall out as it does impact productivity with the rains that have occurred, so we really have to move Jamaica back to normalcy.”
He also expressed optimism that the government’s target of 5 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 4 years is still achievable.
However, he argues that this depends on whether Jamaica remains focused.
He states that a number of growth commitments, including the Logistics Hub, would need to be targeted.
“I definitely believe that the target can be achieved if those things are done and if we really focus on strategic projects one being our logistics hub ….. I met with the French economic officer yesterday – there are a lot of French companies that are involved in logistics in Jamaica and they are very comfortable with the future of a logistics hub in Jamaica,” he said.
[Source: RJR Online]