Above: Minister of Industry Dr Christopher Tufton (JIS Photo)
There still issues for the Jamaican government to adjust as it seeks to expand the country’s manufacturing sector, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Dr Christopher Tufton said.
“It’s a challenge, because manufacturing, over the years, has not benefited from a macroeconomic environment conducive to its development and, indeed, to its expansion,” Tufton said. “Over the last two or so years, there has been some noticeable adjustment to the macroeconomic environment, which could create a platform for an expansion in the manufacturing sector.”
Tufton said there some signs meriting optimism, including the country’s Net International Reserves being at its highest level in 20 years, and what he said was a contained level of inflation.
But several stumbling blocks remain — including the integral cost of energy.
“[The issue is] not just the cost of energy from the standpoint of generating their direct activity here in Jamaica, but the competition they have to face when compared with other regional players that benefit from a much lower cost on energy,” he said. “And that’s a reality we have to deal with.”
Tufton was speaking at the launch of the World Investment Report 2011 at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)’s head office in New Kingston.
— Jamaica Information Service