Speeches by the Prime Minister

Policy Statement – Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the General Debate – 74Th Session of the United Nations General Assembly New York, 27th September 2019
Intervention by Prime Minister of Jamaica the Most Hon Andrew Holness, ON, MP at the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative High Level Event: Progress and Perspectives on Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls, UNGA, New York
Report delivered by the Prime Minister of Jamaica The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP  on behalf of the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing Track
Statement by the Prime The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister ON, MP at the High Level Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy
Statement by the Prime The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister ON, MP at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019
Press Statement on the Conclusion of Official Visit of Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Independence Message 2019

August, 06 2019
My fellow Jamaicans, As we celebrate our 57th year of independence, we have much to be thankful for: - The lowest unemployment rate in our history at 7.8% and youth unemployment fell by 6 percent. - The annual inflation rate is low and stable at 4.2% and the consumer price index is trending downwards. - Our credit ratings are positive, and our foreign exchange reserves are historically high levels - We have had record-breaking tourist arrivals for the last two years exceeding 4.3 million visitors with an 8.6% increase in earnings for the industry. - The deposit interest rate is at 3.2% which is a record low. - Our Stock Market continues to perform well, and the consumer and business confidence indices remain high, these are always good indicators of economic health. - The construction industry is seeing sustained growth, right across Jamaica and particularly in Kingston where we see new construction projects going up at a pace not seen in recent times. And the NHT is providing housing solutions for new homeowners like never in its history. By the end of this month, over 12,500 new housing solutions would have been provided to the market since 2017 and we…

Emancipation Day Message 2019

August, 01 2019
Fellow Jamaicans, We are able to celebrate our emancipation because our great forefathers struggled for justice and human rights.  In this period, we come to terms with our past and define our future unchained. We recall the boldness of Nanny of the Maroons; the defiance of Paul Bogle; the strength and moral fortitude of Sam Sharpe who chose the gallows over slavery. We must hold true to the proud heritage they and others have given us. “We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery … others may free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.”  Those are the words of Marcus Garvey; immortalized in song by Bob Marley. Emancipation was NOT a gift. The end of slavery was an economic imperative but more so it was hastened by the unity of the oppressed in rebellion and supported by people of conscience.   Slavery could only persist because the oppressors were able to divide us. Once there was unity and consensus emerged, freedom was inevitable. In 2009, we embarked on a formal process of consensus building called the partnership for transformation. The 2011 Partnership Code of Conduct and two (2) successive social partnership agreements provided a framework for deepening…

Statement by The Most Honourable Andrew Holness at the High-Level Segment of the 108th Session (Centenary) of the International Labour Conference 12th June 2019

June, 13 2019
Mr President, Jamaica is honoured to speak at this high-level plenary of the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference, to commemorate the Centenary of this most important global institution. Jamaica’s democracy was born out of the struggle of the labour movement. Labour is a respected and deeply integrated partner in the tripartite collaborative culture that is a feature of our sociopolitical system. Indeed, Labour has been a critical partner in overcoming political and economic crises in Jamaica throughout the last century and certainly since our Independence in 1962. A decade ago, Jamaica teetered on the brink of economic collapse. The global financial meltdown at the time exposed the weak foundations of the Jamaican economy. The truth is for decades we had defied economic logic in the management of our fiscal affairs and now we had to reckon with it. Our national debt reached an unsustainable high of almost 150% of GDP, our net international reserve fell to dangerously low levels, and by 2013 overall unemployment stood at almost 16% and youth unemployment was almost 36%. In the face of this national crisis, Jamaica engaged a tough IMF programme requiring at the time a rescheduling of local debt and a…

Remarks by the Most Honourable Andrew Holness at the Official Opening of the S Hotel (Spanish Court) Montego Bay

February, 07 2019
Thank you for your direction of the ceremony so far. Let me assure everyone that my presentation will be brief and therefore I’m expecting to have your full attention. Let me thank Reverend Burchell McPherson for offering the prayers, good to see you again father. Their Excellencies, The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen Dr Peter Phillips, Leader of the Opposition Mr Christopher Issa, Chairman of the Chris Issa Group of Hotels The Honourable Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism and other members of the Cabinet who are here Jamaica is fortunate to have former prime ministers and I want to especially welcome them to this ceremony; the Most Honourable PJ Patterson and the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller. I say fortunate because when you hold this job you get tremendous experience and that experience can be converted into advice. Advice that should not be kept in a silo but advice that can be shared and I’m certain that all prime ministers are sharing their advice and I can say definitively that I have been the beneficiary of many council and sessions where I've been advised, and I personally am grateful to have access to all former prime ministers. Your Worship…

Remarks By The Most Honourable Andrew Holness at the Official Opening of Montego Bay Free Zone Company Limited Data Entry Building No. 7

February, 07 2019
Madam Director of Protocol and Ceremony, Ms Gloria Henry Reverend Peter Burnett, Thank you for your prayers The Honourable Karl Samuda, the Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Mrs Marlene Malahoo-Forte, Attorney General and Member of Parliament for the constituency in which we are now, Mr Mark Hart, Chairman of the Montego Bay Free Zone and other members of the board who are here, Professor the Honourable Gordon Shirley, President and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica and other members of the board of the Port Authority who are here, His Worship the Mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, the Mayor of Montego Bay and other members of the St James Municipal Corporation who are in attendance, Members of the Montego Bay Free Zone Global Services sector workers, Executive Representatives of the public and private sector agencies who are here, Media Representatives, ladies and gentlemen, Let me start with a few housekeeping matters. Firstly, the bypass is still on track and in fact by way of an update the Cabinet last year approved the submission for the bypass to proceed. The submission for funding is now with the China Exim bank awaiting their approval but we've…

Remarks by The Most Honourable Andrew Holness at the Official Launch of Essex Valley Agriculture Development Project

February, 07 2019
Thank you very much Dermon and may I offer you congratulations on your new appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. Since I made it the recommendation for the appointment I know that you will do a good job. I want to thank Mrs Myers for her fervent prayers for us. I gather she is a member of the board of Lititz Primary School and while I’m at it may I congratulate the students for their dramatic performance in every sense. I too have some association with agriculture and my father also insisted that I do some duties in the pig pen so in acknowledging the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, I want him to know that he's not alone in that upbringing. It is the most humbling experience and Warren got it right that it was a promotion to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries because I know that the man-of-farm will do an excellent job and I tell you why I feel that way. He has the natural ability to understand the people. He has the natural ability to motivate and inspire but more than that he has a…

2018 Christmas Message by Prime Minister Andrew Holness

January, 04 2019
What a blessing it is for us to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we acknowledge that He is the reason for the season. Take a walk with me down memory lane, as we revisit the old time Jamaican Christmas.   Children are happy, laughing and playing, families coming together, the barrels cleared, carols playing, traditional spirited sorrel and fruitcake being made. Rice and gungo peas being cooked, the aromatic smell of every kind of meat is on the table for the Christmas feast. No one is left out.  Sounds of merriment can be heard in every rural community and every urban place, grand market, Junkanoo and Christmas Service. Nowhere in this narrative, is there any room for violence, our children are safe, returning residents have no fear, no guns are about, peace and love, joy and kindness abound. This is the true, authentic Jamaican Christmas we can enjoy once more, where everyone is looking out for each other, spreading good vibes and good cheer. I am certain that in many parts of Jamaica the nostalgic Christmas scene I described is unfolding, but sadly, in other areas, people are being impacted by violence.…

New Year’s Message 2019 by Prime Minister Andrew Holness

January, 04 2019
This is the new day that the Lord has made and we who have been spared to see it, rejoice and are glad in it for we stand on the threshold of new possibilities and opportunities. As a country, we were able to accomplish much in 2018: Our economy continued its recovery and entered its growth phase We have established a flexible exchange rate and record low inflation Business and consumer confidence remain high Record high levels of employment including youth employment Record low unemployment rate Reduction in absolute poverty Rapid expansion in industries such as business process outsourcing, mining, tourism and logistics Record number of infrastructure projects including the Mandela Highway Improvement Project, Constant Spring Road, Three Miles, Ferris to Mackfield and many more Record number of housing starts and developments through the National Housing Trust and the Housing Agency of Jamaica Major gains in improving safety and security in the country which resulted in a 22% reduction in murders for 2018. All these accomplishments were the result of skilful implementation of a strategic plan to transform Jamaica into a modern, peaceful, and prosperous society. We cannot and will not slow our pace, much remains to be done. Peace…

PM Holness Remarks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Conference of Executive Management and Heads of Mission

October, 09 2018
The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP Prime Minister of Jamaica  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Conference of Executive Management and Heads of Mission   Tuesday, October 9, 2018 Jamaica Pegasus Hotel   Salutations: Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles, Jnr, Minister of State Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, Permanent Secretary Heads of Diplomatic Mission and Consular Post Under-Secretaries Directors and Staff of the Foreign Ministry Members of the Media   Good morning.  First, let me apologize for my raspy voice. I had to attend a water conference yesterday and I got wet. It is indeed a pleasure for me to join you today to start your Conference and I thank you, Minister, for your warm words of welcome. I wasn’t able to join you yesterday because I had to attend this Water Conference which was in Montego Bay which I got wet  but I managed to get back very late last night because I thought I was absolutely important that I get a chance to eyeball the people who are representing Jamaica overseas and more than that foreign policy is a very important tool of this administration.…