GOOD SIGN: Thanks to “macro-economic improvements” (in the words of Finance & Planning minister Audley Shaw), Jamaica’s economy has moved from “stable” to “positive,” according to the Ritch Ratings agency. Shaw chalks up this heartening turn of events to recent reduction in unemployment (10.3%, a 10-year low); stabilization of the Jamaican dollar; growth in the tourism and business process outsourcing industries; and a construction industry that is on the upswing. “We are moving in a very aggressive way to deal with all the fundamental issues that collectively militate against business and consumer confidence and investments and, by extension, growth,” says Shaw, speaking at an EU/Caribbean Investment Facility signing ceremony on February 1. “We have to make sure that we do the necessary things to make our country more appropriately aligned to global standards.”
> Sound byte!
“We have a large number of young persons who have no identification. Not having an ID puts you at a disadvantage. It stops you from having opportunities. This national ID is going to address that type of challenge that we now have within our country.” – Chief Technical Director at the OPM, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, at a recent town hall meeting about the National Identification System (NIDS), slated to commence its pilot project phase in January 2019