Government Must Utilize Stock Market As A Strategic Investment Tool – Holness

Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 15:15

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness rang the bell at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) to symbolically signal the opening of trading activities for the 2015 New Year.  In his remarks post this ceremonial act he explored the Governments role, as what he termed a ‘market maker’, to ensure that the powerful potential of the stock market could stimulate and foster national growth. He emphasized that the Jamaica Labour Party having launched both the Stock Exchange and the Junior Stock Exchange in its administration, had clearly signaled its commitment to the facilitation of this resource as a strategic tool of investment to enable national growth.

Mr Holness went on to make linkages between the provision of government services and opportunities for private public partnerships as investment opportunities expedited through the JSE. He made particular mention of the contribution of human resources development to this activity, observing that he had come to recognize during his tenure in the Education sector, that Jamaica has an extremely talented pool of innovators which if properly trained and utilized can push the frontiers of growth for the Jamaican economy.

He advised the JSE managment that there is a new frontier where government can lead business to the stock exchange. The Opposition Leader said “..Take for example a huge public sector entity such as the NWC. Every 5 years significant debt for the entity is assumed by the government. The provision of water has been seen as  a public good, but increasingly it is seen that this is not the case. If this is re-crafted and placed under true corporate scrutiny in the public sphere it could provide a vast boost to the stock exchange.”

In closing Mr. Holness reviewed other growth considerations and notified the audience that the party is ‘thoughtfully and creatively exploring options such as utilizing the NHT, a cash rich public sector entity which could allow for the creation of a genuine secondary mortgage market to support growth and development.’ The party he went on to advise the administrators and staff of the JSE, will share more of these possibilities with them as well as the public in the near future.

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