Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the stock market provides a means of equity as it allows Jamaicans – both rich and the poor – to own wealth by owning parts of firms.
Speaking at the Jamaica Stock Exchange Opening ceremony on the 17th Regional Investments & Capital Markets Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus on Tuesday night (January 24), he said it is critical that the government promotes a stock market.
“As you grow and the stock market becomes part of the pension fund, part of the insurance funds, part of people saying instead of saving in banks I am going to save in stocks or buy stocks for the future for my children, then you start to see the distribution of wealth in the society changing,” said Mr Holness.
The prime minister said the government is committed a process of transforming the public sector.
“What we need to do is strengthen the regulatory arm of government so that it can divest itself of assets to the private sector- government regulate and private sector produces efficiently,” he said
The prime minister emphasized that the stock market is a strategic investment for the government in terms of the incentive and making the right policy because it is necessary in answering the question of equity. “If it were come to pass that some of the functions of the NWC are privatized – who will own it? We would expect that the Jamaican people invest in shares in the NWC. That is how we are going to create wealth. That is how we are going to move from poverty to prosperity,” he explained.
Prime Minister Holness stated that it is very important that Jamaica gets its economic house in order. He highlighted that a commitment was made last year to return the benefits to the Stock Market for the Junior Stock Exchange and that has been done with favourable results so far.
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