‘The most destabilizing event since world war 2…’ – That is how Chairman of CARICOM and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley has described the current COVID-19 crisis bedeviling the fragile economies of the region.
It has been no walk in the park for Jamaica either. The end of April 2020 marked seven weeks since Jamaica reported its first COVID-19 case and the nation is forced to grapple with both public health and an economic crisis.
The remedy for one apparently contributing to the deterioration of the other – Measures implemented to slow the spread of the virus also slowing down the economy.
Speaking at a digital media briefing on April 27 Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed confidence that the government had found the right mix of measures without having to shut down the economy completely.
A 22 member recovery task force was now assembled to chart the way forward. Prime Minister Andrew Holness insisted that it would not be a ‘talk shop’.
The task force is to be chaired by the Finance and Public Service Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke and is made up of leaders in the private and public sectors, academia, the trade union movement, and civil society.
Pioneer manufacturers are one of the companies reporting an increase in production.
A COVID-19 impact survey carried out by the Jamaica manufacturers and exporters association between march 27 an April 15 showed 28 percent of members indicating a decline in their exports, 5 percent reported an increase while 30 percent had exports remaining stable.
Half of the manufacturers surveyed indicated that their production output had decreased over the period, 19 percent said production was up and 20 percent reported production as being stable.
Watch Part two for more details: