President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith, says he’s confident Jamaica can begin to lead the region in growth, with figures of more than 5-percent.

He says there’s a lot of optimism about the island. However, crime and education are some of the issues that must be addressed urgently.

Nationwide’s Kalilah Reynolds sat down for a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Dr. Smith, following the CDB’s annual press conference in Barbados this morning.

The CDB President says there’s a lot of excitement about the investment opportunities in Jamaica in recent times. He says he believes the country can exceed 5-percent economic growth. The question is when?

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One of the things that would depend on is crime. Dr. Smith, who’s also Jamaican, says it’s an issue that keeps him up at night. And he says it will take more than the police and the military.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Smith says Jamaicans shouldn’t panic about the fluctuations in the dollar, even as the price of US dollars approached a record high last week. However, he says the Bank of Jamaica might need to consider more timely interventions.

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