Business

Aubyn Hill new head of Economic Growth Council

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday announced the appointment of Government s enator Aubyn Hill, as the new executive director of the Economic Growth Council (EGC).

Senator Hill will succeed Maureen Denton as head of the EGC which, since 2016, has been consulting widely and advising the cabinet on broad platform policies and reforms that would facilitate economic growth.

Holness told a press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday — which was called for the announcement — that the decision followed the resignation in August of Maureen Denton, who was originally appointed to head the EGC under the previous PNP government.

“We went through a process to search for a replacement and we settled on Aubyn Hill,” Holness declared, pointing to Hill's experience as a banker.

“I am satisfied and confident that Senator Hill will be able to execute the duties of the office very proficiently, and that at the end of the day we can all be satisfied that Jamaica is about growing and we will achieve five in four,” the prime minister added.

Michael Lee-Chin, who is chairman of the EGC and was Hill's former boss at National Commercial Bank (NCB) noted that he had met the new EGC head in 2002, after taking charge of NCB with the main objective of changing its culture

“The main objective today is to change the attitudes, the values and the outlook of us here in Jamaica. He did an excellent job in laying the foundation for the behemoth of the financial sector of the Caribbean,” he said.

Holness noted that the EGC had its birth during the previous administration, with Denton as its first head. However, he said that in the name of continuity his administration had kept the leadership intact, but had moved the body to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), which falls under the Office of the Prime Minister at Jamaica House.

He said the critical functions of the EGC would continue to be to develop economic policy, a doctrine of economic growth and strategies, and projects for growth across government and the private sector.

In its most recent report on its activities, the EGC noted the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is finalising submissions with respect to the divestment of assets of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ).

The two public bodies, which fall under the MEGJC, are actively pursuing their growth measures, despite failing to meet their targets for the quarter ended June.

For the most recent quarter, the Government had committed to execute seven measures. Four were completed and three, including the UDC and FCJ targets, were delayed, but were actively being worked on.

Those completed included the Development Bank of Jamaica protocol for establishing enterprise teams to handle multiple transactions, which has been submitted to Cabinet; a feasibility study for creation of a global Jamaican immigration card, being undertaken by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies; and amendments to investment regulations allowing pension funds to be used for a wide range of investments, which have been drafted.

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