Prime Minister Andrew Holness now has in his possession a blue print for economic recovery. After 8 weeks of deliberations and the participation of several Jamaicans sitting on various sub committees the economic recovery task-force recently submitted its report to the prime minister.
The 134 page document was tabled in parliament on Tuesday, July 14.
Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke in a recent appearance on CVMLIVE explained how the task force defined the idea of economic recovery.
We have been reading the content of the report and will share with you a few of the highlights.
I’ve solicited the help of some of my colleagues to bring the major findings and recommendations of the taskforce compiled in the document titled ‘rebuild Jamaica’ to you as we continue to track Jamaica’s path to economic recovery in the COVID-19 era.
According to the taskforce, the current crisis has presented the opportunity to embrace what it calls ‘reform with ambition’.
The taskforce is recommending that the government not simply fix what has been broken by returning Jamaica to pre -COVID reality but the country must address the fundamental gaps that have been exposed by the pandemic and exploit the opportunities offered by the crisis.
The recovery task-force says success will require building an economy that can thrive even with the realities of COVID-19.
It’s recommending that the government recommit to and accelerate macro fiscal reform and business climate improvements.
A strong recovery from COVID-19 it says will require the maintenance and entrenchment of macro-economic stability and improvements in the business climate that will boost productivity. This will rest heavily on completing institutional reforms and legislative amendments.
And…the restoration of the tourism sector will be a key pillar of recovery.
The taskforce says with the sector projected to decline by 85 percent between March and June and overall economic decline being tourism led the simplest and quickest path to recovery is to ensure that the tourism industry returns to healthy levels.
It says the restoration of tourism to pre COVID-19 levels of output will go a long way to achieving recovery objectives.
And the taskforce says Jamaica must recover with higher levels of growth. This can be achieved by ensuring that the production of goods and services reach a larger domestic component.
This will in turn result from deepening the local supply chain, strengthening linkages between the domestic economy and tourism as opportunities abound to deepen the local supply of agriculture, entertainment and manufactured goods to the tourism sector.
According to the taskforce COVID-19 provides the opportunity for Jamaica to build its recovery on a more modern foundation. It says there are enormous gains to be reaped from better use of technology and the digitization of public and private services.
The diversification of Jamaica’s base is also important. The taskforce says the country’s economic base is too primary and narrow which makes us more vulnerable.
They are pointing the government to opportunities in logistics, light assembly and the manufacturing of medical supplies.
The taskforce is also recommending a strengthening of the social safety net and greater investment in youth as well as community and social development.
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