Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica has come a far way in its 55 years of political independence.
In his message to mark Independence Day 2017, Prime Minister Holness said Jamaica has overcome several challenges despite the odds.
“We are a tough, courageous, purposeful, and determined people. We have proven over and over again in our 55 years that we are equal to any task, once we put our collective minds to it. There are some challenges but I have absolutely no doubt that we can successfully defeat them,” Holness said.
He pointed to the country’s macroeconomic reforms and he noted the hard decisions made, and the sacrifices of Jamaicans to strengthen economic independence.
The prime minister noted that the country achieved a primary surplus balance of $135.9 billion in the 2016/2017 fiscal year, which was $12.9 billion above the minimum seven per cent target.
In addition, Holness pointed to the $1.46 billion earned from the tourism sector for the first six months of the year, which translates to a 7.5 per cent growth in the sector.
“We are a self-respecting nation — proud, free, and quite capable to be masters of our own destiny. We have many things to give the world, we seek no special favours. There is no reason for us to be poor; with our creative human capital and fortitude in tackling our economic challenges, there is no problem we can’t defeat,” Holness said.
The prime minister also paid tribute to the many Jamaicans who have done pioneering work at home and across the world, and the country’s athletes.