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Sustainable Economic Growth
Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Date:  3/21/2012 
The Jamaican government has taken steps towards achieving sustainable economic growth, guided by the National Development Plan: Vision 2030 Jamaica which was conceptualized in 2009. Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan provides a comprehensive planning framework in which the economic, social, environmental and governance aspects of national development are integrated, and is expected to put Jamaica in a position to achieve developed country status by 2030, guided by the mantra “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”. During 2011 the PIOJ continued to build the long-term sustainable framework for the implementation, monitoring, evaluation and communication of the Plan to the wider public. In the area of policy and planning, several results were achieved in 2011; the third year of the 21 year implementation period.
Institutionalization of Vision 2030 Jamaica
Over the reporting period, the Plan Development Unit (PDU) which has direct oversight of Vision 2030, continued to advance the process of institutionalization internally within the PIOJ and externally with key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to embed ownership of, and engender commitment towards the implementation of Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Strategic Cons03/21/2012ultations with MDAs
In keeping with Cabinet Decision 20/09 which directed all MDAs to align their corporate and operational plans with Vision 2030 Jamaica and the MTF, the PIOJ as the National Focal Point for Vision 2030 Jamaica continued to carry out ongoing meetings with MDAs to facilitate:
• alignment of the corporate and operational plans of MDAs with Vision 2030 Jamaica and the MTF;
• alignment of key national policies and strategies with Vision 2030 Jamaica, including the National Minerals Policy (draft) 2010 - 2030 and the State of the Environment Report 2010;
• the revision and finalisation of performance indicators and targets for key MDAs including the ministries of National Security, Justice, Education, Energy and Mining, Health, Labour and Social Security, and the Environment;
• progress towards agreement on coordination and reporting requirements.

Work with the Cabinet Office also continued to complete the alignment of the new Strategic Business Plan templates by the Cabinet Office in FY 2011/ 2012 with the goals and outcomes of Vision 2030 Jamaica, including the explicit alignment with the three (3) year plans and budgets for the eight (8) pilot ministries under the phased establishment of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System (PMES) in the public sector.
Also spearheaded by the PIOJ in 2011 were the Growth-Inducement Strategy and the Community Renewal Programme, which were developed as key initiatives aligned with the priority National Outcomes of the MTF in consultation with stakeholders in the public sector, private sector and civil society.

Establishment of a robust performance monitoring and evaluation system

Thematic Working Groups
Thematic Working Groups (TWGs), with membership drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society and international development partners are being established as part of the monitoring and evaluation framework for Vision 2030 Jamaica. TWGs provide a dynamic framework in which to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate strategic priorities and actions; track indicator progress; identify and mobilize resources for the sector or thematic area; promote new policies and projects; share information, knowledge and expertise; and ensure concerted and coordinated technical support towards national development. It is expected that a total of 17 TWGs will be established and that each will meet at least once per quarter. By the end of 2011, the establishment of ten (10) TWGs namely Education and Training; National Security and Justice; Strong Economic Infrastructure; Effective Social Protection; Energy and Minerals Development; Environment and Natural Resources Management; Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change; and Population, Tourism and Health were facilitated.

Consultations toward an Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
The Vision 2030 Jamaica monitoring and evaluation framework is being built on existing systems and processes within the public sector. During 2011 several high-level meetings were held with key agencies including the PIOJ, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MFPS) to ensure the integration of Vision 2030 Jamaica into proposed and existing national and sectoral processes and mechanisms for planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation in the public sector. These included:
• the establishment of the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System (PMES) in the public sector including the proposed development of a Whole of Government Business Plan;
• the new Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) being introduced in six (6) pilot ministries in FY 2011/2012 to provide a rolling 3-year budget for the public sector; and
• the Jamaica Public Investment Prioritization System.
The overall expected outcome is an integrated national framework for monitoring and evaluation which is consistent with current public sector transformation efforts and the Government’s commitment to Results-Based Management (RBM), and which is fully aligned to Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Capacity Strengthening
Members of the PDU participated in training to enhance the application and use of the JAMSTATS DevInfo system for national statistics. The JAMSTATS system is used as the database for the framework of national indicators and targets used to track progress under Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Performance Reporting
A draft 2-Year Progress Report on Vision 2030 Jamaica for FY 2009/2010 and FY 2010/2011 was finalized. As an integral part of the PIOJ Quarterly Press Briefings during 2011, four quarterly reports were made on the National Dashboard of Indicators introduced in the previous year to track the country’s progress towards the achievement of the national goals articulated in Vision 2030 Jamaica, using the following eight areas of measurement for national development and social well-being: Health Status; Education Status; Labour Force Quality; Security Status; Justice Status; Economic Growth; Employment and Environmental Stewardship Status.
During the period the full framework of over sixty-two (62) national indicators and targets used to track progress under Vision 2030 Jamaica were updated on the JAMSTATS database, including data time series for available years, baseline values and targets for 2012, 2015 and 2030.
Commencement of Preparation for the new MTF 2012-2015

FY 2009/2010 represented the first year of implementation of Vision 2030 Jamaica. Vision 2030 and the MTF are now in the third year of implementation. The long-term implementation of Vision 2030 Jamaica as approved by Cabinet calls for the preparation of a new MTF for the next three-year period, FY2012/2013 – 2014/2015. Therefore the process to prepare the new Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) for FY2012/2013 to FY2014/2015 commenced in 2011. The new MTF 2012-2015 will provide the strategic framework for development priorities at the national and sectoral levels over the three year period FY2012/2013 to FY2014/2015.
The steps taken during the period for the preparation of the new MTF 2012-2015 included:
• the recruitment of a Plan Review Consultant to lead the preparation of the new MTF
• the establishment of a MTF Planning Committee to provide oversight to preparation of the new MTF
• the Terms of Reference for the review of MTF 2009-2012 finalized and the procurement process to identify a National Consultant to conduct the MTF Review commenced
• Preparatory meetings held with key stakeholders including Cabinet Office, Bank of Jamaica, SALISES, National Centre for Youth Development, Social Development Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and JAMPRO
• the preparation of supporting documentation including a MTF Preparation Brief, draft Jamaica Country Assessment Report, draft Environmental Scanning Report and a draft MTF Progress Report
The schedule for preparation of MTF 2012-2015 envisages the staging of a Country Assessment Workshop in February 2012 to arrive at consensus among national stakeholders on the main economic, social and environmental issues and challenges for Jamaica’s development over the medium term. It is planned that the draft MTF 2012-2015 will be prepared by April-May 2012 and the final MTF 2012-2015 will be completed for submission to Cabinet by August 2012.
External Communications and Marketing - Vision 2030 Jamaica
A range of activities was completed during the period to support the communication programme for Vision 2030 Jamaica. These included:

Completion of Vision 2030 Jamaica, Popular Version
The Popular Version of Vision 2030 Jamaica was completed in July 2010, and 37,000 copies printed for distribution to a wide cross-section of stakeholders throughout Jamaica and overseas to broaden awareness of the National Development Plan and mobilize involvement in its implementation. In 2011 a Braille version of the Popular Version of Vision 2030 Jamaica was developed and distributed to agencies for the visually impaired. The PIOJ also collaborated with the Social Development Commission (SDC) to hold a series of sixteen “Train the Trainer” Workshops island wide between November 2010-February 2011 to train SDC staff and community leaders on how to use the Popular Version to apply Vision 2030 Jamaica to development planning at the parish and community levels. At the end of December 2011, approximately 26,957 copies of the Popular Version had been distributed to stakeholders.
Paragraphs: 7, 12, 13, 20 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  3/21/2012 

In 2010, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) formulated a growth strategy aimed at inducing economic growth in the short to medium term. The Growth Inducement Strategy (GIS) seeks to “build and sustain an enabling environment for creative and enterprising actors (individuals and firms) to seize emerging opportunities for value-creation” by providing a coherent and comprehensively structured package of strategies and initiatives to systematically address binding structural constraints and achieve sustainable economic growth with social equity. In the current macroeconomic environment and the context of limited fiscal space, three priority “programme themes” which are fully aligned with the long term goals of Vision 2030 Jamaica have been identified to underpin the growth impetus of the 2012/13 – 2014/15 medium term economic programme within the comprehensive strategic framework of the Growth Inducement Strategy. These programme themes are:
1. Asset Mobilization
2. Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction
3. Community Renewal and Empowerment

Additionally, specific areas were also proposed as essential components of the growth-inducement strategy for implementation in the short to medium term, some of which are highlighted below.
Tax Reform

In the area of tax reform it was proposed that a systematic program of tax reform be embarked on to remove distortionary taxes; simplify the tax code; review the external tariff structure; introduce new mechanisms for collateralizing assets (physical capital, financial assets, and land); and package and privatize government-owned assets. The reforms aim to unlock latent wealth tied up in potentially productive assets and promote entrepreneurial dynamism.
International Competitiveness

The GIS proposes that international competitiveness be strengthened via the following media:
? an acceleration of the National Energy Policy Action Plan as an urgent priority and a potential game-changer
? the continuation of ongoing efforts to lower cost of capital and improve transmission to the productive sector
? improvement of productivity of the workforce by ramping up training and labour certification
? the promotion of technical innovation (e.g. greenhouse agriculture) through research and development.

The Business Network Model

The exploitation of the full potential of the business-network model has also been advocated by the GIS to promote synergies within and among targeted clusters of economic activity, reduce transaction costs and realize economies of scale: including the building and strengthening of value-chain linkages, both backward and forward, among firms (e.g. business incubator network; linkages between tourism, agriculture, agro-processing, and local services (health, sports, food, crafts, entertainment)); and also to spur the emergence of new clusters of activity based on a logistics hub. Immediate gains for increased employment and export earnings are expected to come from front-loaded measures to expand ICT sites.
Loan Portability

The GIS proposed that stamp duty be abolished, as it has been proven to hinder the portability of bank loans and in so doing facilitates the sub-optimal functioning. The application of stamp duty on the transfer of loans was also found to act as a constraint on the refinancing of debt, which acts a deterrent for borrowers in shifting from high cost loans to more attractive rates of financing. Changes have been made to the regime of stamp duty and transfer taxes on mortgage loans, such that the refinancing and substitution of mortgages between financial institutions is less costly. This has significantly increased the portability of mortgage loans.

Secured Transactions

A secured transactions framework allows borrowers to pledge movable property as security for a loan in a manner that removes ambiguity regarding the property that has been pledged, to whom the property has been pledged, and gives the lender the right to repossess these assets speedily in the event of payment default. It was envisaged that the implementation of the Framework would also lead to a reduction in loan rates as the loan assessment process would be optimized and the degree of risk associated with individual borrowers could be determined. Cabinet has approved the preparation of a new Secure Transactions law and drafting instructions for the preparation of this new law have been issued.
Credit Bureaus
The Credit Reporting Act was passed on August 31st, 2010. The notice was signed by the Minister of Finance to bring the Act into effect from October 1, 2010. The Regulations were passed in the Lower House during the first week of November. The original Regulations were revised and these were passed by the Senate on January 13, 2011. The Bank of Jamaica is in receipt of applications from potential Bureau Owners; with approval for the first licence for the establishment of a credit bureau granted by the Minister of Finance in March 2012.
Land Registration & Titling
The Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) II programme is a Government initiative aimed at assisting owners of land in Jamaica to obtain Certificates of Title and updating the information on existing land titles. The project has been facing a constrained by inadequate capacity at the National Land Agency. Financing also poses another challenge to persons who seek to register property as the average cost of first registration is approximately seventy thousand Jamaican dollars. Private sector firms have been invited to provide financing via loans but have opted to charge commercial rates, resulting in no takers. The National Housing Trust is exploring options to address this situation,
Probate & Land Transfer
Stamp duties and transfer taxes attached to the process of probate were reduced in 2011. Estimates have shown that the previous system of probate taxes resulted in as much as 50 – 60 per cent of deceased estates not being probated. This financial constraint has significant equity implications: for many rural poor or vulnerable persons, property bequests represents one of the main sources of non-cash wealth but these are precisely the persons who are least able to afford the cash costs of monetizing their property
Protection and strengthening of the built environment
Severe and costly damage (in treasure and human life) is perennially inflicted on Jamaica by hazards arising from both natural and man-made causes, recent experience with tropical storm Nicole being only the latest example. Opportunities now exist to simultaneously reduce such costs and create jobs, by redirecting resources within existing fiscal constraints, through “public works”: infrastructure maintenance and improvement; housing construction.
Community Renewal Programme
The Community Renewal Programme (CRP) is aimed at improving the lives of residents in a total of 100 volatile and vulnerable communities in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St James. The Programme has been designed as a coordinating mechanism that will bring together various organisations implementing projects/programmes at the community level in order to improve the level of impact of these projects/programmes and, maximise resource efficiency. The CRP has six main components namely: governance, safety and justice, social transformation, socio-economic development, sustainable physical transformation and youth development.
Consultations have been held with various stakeholders to get their input and identify sources of funding for the various projects being/to be implemented under the programme. Currently, the list of communities to be targeted is being identified using the following criteria: major crimes such as murder, shooting, rape, carnal abuse; violence related injuries; presence of ex-offenders; access for policing (drivable roads, identifiable addresses, forceful prevention of access); poverty levels; grade 4 Literacy results; children at-risk; existence of areas of squatting; and existence of illegitimate electricity and water connections. Additionally, individuals are being recruited to manage the programme and a Secretariat has been established in the Planning Institute of Jamaica to manage the programme.
Paragraphs: 7, 12, 13, 20 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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