Jamaica Braces For Economic Impact From Russia And Ukraine Conflict

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the Government is monitoring and preparing for the impact that the country’s economy will face because of conflict between the neighboring countries, Ukraine and Russia.

“We expect that the impact on Jamaica could be through the global energy prices, oil prices, in particular, and possibly through some commodities, maybe wheat [and] flour prices,” he said.

“Global inflation impacts local inflation and external shock. Energy prices [might] go up as a result of uncertainties in the energy market,” he further added.

He noted, however, that the Jamaican economy continues to show strong recovery even in the face of crises. He, however, urged the energy and agricultural sectors to “be more resilient”.

“We need to do much more in our energy resilience. We have not done enough to cut our reliance on oil, when we have abundant sunshine and wind. We have been, as a country, toying with our energy policy,” he said.

Jamaica should have been at 50 percent renewable energy generation by now, he said.

“I’m urging the people who are in the energy sector to set that ambition,” he added.

He further disclosed that the announcement for “a major project” that will change Jamaica’s reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels will be made in a few weeks.

“In an uncertain world, where we are price-takers of a commodity that is susceptible to all kinds of global conditions, we must insulate ourselves by utilizing our God-given sunlight, wind and water,” he urged.

Meanwhile, he said food security is also vital to sustaining the economy.

“As the prices go up, households are finding it more difficult, because [with] the options to switch from high-cost food to low-cost produce, we don’t have many,” he said.

“We need to spend much more effort on ensuring our food security,” he further noted.

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Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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