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Sectoral Debates 2008 - The Hon. Michael Stern

Release Date: 
Saturday, June 28, 2008 - 15:00

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

Sectoral Presentation by the Hon. Michael Stern, MP, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment June 2008

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Prime Minister, Ministers, fellow Parliamentarians, it is with a great sense of history that I stand here in this Honourable House to deliver my very first Sectoral Debate presentation as the Member of Parliament for North Western Clarendon.

It is only appropriate, Mr. Speaker, that I should publicly express gratitude to the constituents for having elected me as their Member of Parliament. I wish to express gratitude to my management team, councillors, caretaker, other executive members, constituency secretary, area leaders and PD workers, residents and voters of North West Clarendon.

I must express special gratitude to my wife and family who sacrificed a lot by permitting me to enter representational politics. Mr. Speaker, members of my family are in the gallery today. I hope that their sacrifice will not be in vain and that it will lead to the advancement of the individuals in my constituency.

I would also like to recognise members of the Kilsyth Primary School, from the area where my family roots originate and all the people from North West Clarendon who are here in the gallery, as well as my friends who have supported me over the years.

Minister Karl Samuda has been like a father to me and I would like to express special thanks to him for his guidance and support.

Mr. Speaker, I was never a person who thought of myself as a politician. I always thought of myself as a businessman. But some thirteen years ago, I was approached and asked to get involved. I am not here for any personal gain, Mr. Speaker. I am here to make a meaningful contribution to my country.

Since my short journey into representational politics, I must say that many of the Bills being brought to Parliament and Parliamentary changes give me a sense of hope. Some of these include the shift in power initiated by the PM such as:

    Charter of Rights
    Prosecutor General
    Implementation of Constituency Development Fund
    Opposition members chairing most committees of the House
    Committees of the House functioning actively.

I want to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to serve my country. I have great respect for you Prime Minister and I will endeavour to make you proud of my contribution.

Mr. Speaker, my greatest desire is to see Jamaica really progressing towards sustainable social and economic development, in as short a time as possible. I want to see Jamaica genuinely moving forward and I am proud to be a part of that process.

I thank the Lord for guiding me on this journey and trust that He will hear our prayers as we travel along the way to a better day – a better life for all Jamaicans.

Mr. Speaker, my contribution today in this Sectoral Debate is organized into two parts. I will first deal with aspects of the portfolio responsibilities of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce of which I am Minister of State and then I will deal with the developments in my constituency.

2.0 FACILITATING BUSINESS

Mr. Speaker, I now turn my attention to aspects of the portfolio responsibilities of the Ministry. The primary focus of the Ministry at this time is to facilitate businesses in order to achieve growth and development.

Government, through the provision of an enabling environment plays a key role in the development of enterprises. My focus will therefore be on selected matters which serve to foster that enabling environment, among other things.

 

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