John Mahfood, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), says the domestic economy is ripe for business and is urging investors to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Expo Jamaica 2023 tradeshow on April 27, he outlined several indicators, which he noted, create a positive environment for investment.
The indicators include sustained economic stability, an inflation rate that has been on the decline, while the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is currently below 90 per cent.
Additionally, Mahfood said the tourism sector, which is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP, is experiencing a boom, with record tourist arrivals. The construction of some 8,000 new hotel rooms now underway signifies continued growth of the industry, he noted.
He pointed out that manufacturing grew by 6.3 per cent in 2022 and said the sector is experiencing a resurgence and presents many opportunities for investment.
According to the JMEA president, growth in the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has seen some 44 companies being listed; projecting more in the next few years, which he considered is a positive sign of economic progress.
Mahfood said that the economic stability and growth, which he attributed to approximately eight years of economic reform and prudent fiscal measures, commencing with the signing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, is evidence of a mature and consistent fiscal programme.
“That means that it has been eight years that our governments have been leading us in the right direction and creating a much stronger Jamaican economy. We can now start to reap the benefits of eight years of sacrifice and start to build our economy. All sectors are now on a positive trend, including the manufacturing sector,” he emphasised.
“I believe that we are at the point in our economy when we can expect to see a long period of economic progress and opportunity,” he added.
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