'Accelerate growth,' JCC urges gov't in light of its unfavourable rating

Laurence Watson
The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the Government to accelerate growth, so that more Jamaicans can quickly reap the benefits.
Laurence Watson, President of the JCC, says the discontent most Jamaicans are feeling with the direction of the economy is due to them making sacrifices without seeing immediate rewards.
He says this is evidenced by the ongoing public sector wage negotiations and the difficulty the Government is experiencing in bringing them to a close, while maintaining its macroeconomic targets.
Mr. Watson was responding to the results of the RJR Gleaner Group Don Anderson poll on the economy which were released on Monday.
Speaking at the RJR News Forum on Wednesday, Mr. Watson said the restructuring of the economy to get it on the right track, takes time.
"When you plant a tree, sometimes it takes five years for that tree to bear; and I think the discontent that is being articulated in the polls have really shown that we need to speed up growth," he asserted. 
He argued that it is clear Jamaica's economic growth has been hindered by crime as well as some agricultural setbacks but said people believe "they have sacrificed enough and it's now time to reap the benefits."
According to the RJR Gleaner Group Don Anderson poll, 55 per cent of Jamaicans believe the country is going in the wrong economic direction.
It also found 34 per cent saying it is going in the right direction while 11 per cent did not know.

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