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Hon. Audley Shaw’s Statement on Mr. Edward Seaga’s Contribution to Jamaica’s Development - House of Parliament June 19, 2019


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June 2019
 
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Above Body

 20 Jun 2019    communications   

During the first decade of independence between 1962 and 1972, Jamaica’s average economic growth under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was almost 6%. This was under the stewardship of the late Sir Donald Sangster in the first five years and subsequently the late Edward Phillip George Seaga as Minister of Finance during the second half of that decade from 1967 to 1972. It is worth noting that during this five-year stint of Mr. Seaga at the helm of the Ministry of Finance, with the Rt. Hon. Hugh Shearer as Prime Minister, the economy grew by an average of 5.56% per year.
Interestingly, in 1970, the Jamaican economy experienced growth at the rate of 11.9% which still stands as the highest ever annual growth rate since independence. Having had this impressive and unprecedented growth during the first 10 years
of independence, a fledgling nation was showing signs of the prosperity that could be achieved under steady and wise leadership.
He then bequeathed a growing economy to a People’s National Party (PNP) administration in 1972, which saw the economy grew by 9.2 per cent. That subsequently changed and the economy went into a sustained period of negative growth.
After Mr. Seaga was elected as Prime Minister in 1980 and reassumed the role of Minister of Finance, he burnished his reputation as an economic wizard by registering growth of 2.6% in 1981. He gradually rebuilt the fundamentals of the economy, nursed it back to health, and by 1987, the economy registered a growth of 8% which was the largest growth in a single year since 1972, the year we left government.
The momentum was such that despite hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the economy still grew by over 2%, and once again, the JLP bequeathed robust growth of 7% in 1989 to the incoming PNP
Administration. The remnants of these growth initiatives also produced growth of 6.3% in 1990 before the country was once again plunged into a sustained period of anaemic and negative growth.
It was in this period of rebuilding (1980-1989) that I had the pleasure of joining the government in promoting investment through the then Jamaica National Investment Promotion Ltd. (now known as Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) ) which was established by Mr. Seaga as part of the initiative to restore the Jamaican economy. In fact, he was the lead investment promoter for Jamaica with a passion for human development that it led him to establish the Human Employment and Resource Training Programme (HEART).
May his performance in so many areas of our economic, cultural and social life serve as a never-ending inspiration to all of us.

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  • EATING JAMAICAN:Minister J.C. Hutchinson, chef for the day, serves up an all-Jamaican breakfast to students at the… https://t.co/rDXR8CUubq Posted: 1 day 6 hours ago
  • State Minister Hon. Floyd Green delivers an address at the National Social Enterprise Forum, held at… https://t.co/fLGOnEMIVE Posted: 2 days 5 hours ago
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