In encouraging more American companies to bring the production side of their business to Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has opined that a shift in the United States’ economic policy would also be beneficial to the island’s economy.
Holness made the wide-ranging statement after a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on Friday.
The two leaders had earlier discussed opportunities for partnerships to make Jamaica an example of a prosperous and thriving small island democracy within the region.
According to Holness, it would be in the interest of the United States to look at countries, such as Jamaica, for strategic investment.
He elaborated that, “There is the issue of how do we convert our democracies into prosperous economies, and I think for small developing states like Jamaica, a small shift in economic policy could result in gains that are significant both for our economies, but for your economies, as well.”
Establishing Jamaica as “a near-shore” production and investment hub could result in those economic gains, according to the prime minister.
“Jamaica considers itself to be a friendly near-shore destination for investments and production capacity,” said Holness.
“… And I think that it would be in the interest of the US to look at countries like Jamaica to position strategic production capacity which could be beneficial for the stability of production chains and supply of goods and services,” he added.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said it is important for democracies to work together and explore partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
He cited the 60-year relationship between Jamaica and the United States as an example of that.
“We are now at a point where we can pivot to other areas of our economic and social development, (and) our human capital development,” remarked Holness.
“Jamaica has been a net exporter of talent to the United States and I think our longstanding people-to-people relationship with migration back and forth would have been mutually beneficial,” he continued.
“… But Jamaica is in a state now where its growth potential… could potentially be limited by its human resource development, and this is an area in which we want to explore ways in which we can further partner,” shared Holness.
In his remarks before the meeting, Blinken congratulated Holness for his strong leadership of Jamaica.
“I really want to applaud, Mr Prime Minister, your very strong economic leadership in Jamaica, and our partnership in the Caribbean, which I think has never been better, and that’s in large part due to your engagement and your leadership,” stated Blinken.
He echoed Holness’ sentiments, which he (Holness) made after the meeting, that Jamaica and the United States have had a “very long and strong relationship, particularly on the people-to-people side of things.”
Continuing, Blinken said: “From government-to-government perspective, Jamaica and the United States have shared values and needs.
“We’re both strong democracies, and… it is very important that democracies work together to strengthen their partnerships and to explore ways in which we can help each other,” declared the US secretary of state.