Dr David Lowe, Caribbean Producers Jamaica vice-president, marketing and retail trade
I wish to see this country in 10 years recovering from missteps of the past, to a new Jamaican brand that has created an environment guided by principle, managed with prudence, viewed as transparent and enabling, protected by an efficient justice system, thus inspiring hope for all Jamaicans to realise their full potential.
To make this a reality, I would like to see Jamaica making significant progress in realising all of the objectives set out in its Vision 2030. This document is a credible vision and should be used as the road map, guiding a process of change rather than a reference for academic thinking.
However, there are four specific things that remain prominent in my mind:
1. Improve trust: Improve the trust between the public and private sector. This is not to imply that it is adversarial, but there is still a fundamental culture that prevails on both sides that need improvement. Many national issues may have greater possibilities for success with a shared value approach for problem solving.
2. Commit to fiscal discipline and debt management: Many of the problems that confront us today are based on the lack of resources to handle recurring financial obligations based on policy decisions in the past. The clear issue is that if this country does not commit to financial discipline, we will compromise our ability to make game-changing initiatives.
3. Reduce bureaucracy: In a business context, Government should always be focused on a concept of enablement and compliance. Doing business in Jamaica is an ongoing issue as it relates to bureaucracy. Leveraging greater use of technology to empower people to get approvals and transact business with the government agencies can enable a more expedient process.
4. ‘Renew’ the justice system: Repeal and amendment of outdated laws that are obstructive in the current environment.
For young people thinking of business in the future, I recognise that they represent an important resource for the future growth of our country. Small and medium-sized businesses are the entities that grow exponentially and will generate greater prospects for employment and wealth creation. I place a lot of confidence in the talent and potential of our young people.
Be committed to making that chosen good or service the best on an international basis; in other words, making a concerted effort to benchmark against world-class standards.