Montego Bay Poised for Expansion

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is positioning Montego Bay as a major centre for business in western Jamaica.
  • “This bustling city… is poised for growth and expansion. Indeed, Montego Bay, and particularly the port and its nearby coastlines are part of an overall plan to modernise and expand our points of entry to ensure maximum appeal for new investment, and to strengthen our current industries in the western part of the island,” Dr. Chang said.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is positioning Montego Bay as a major centre for business in western Jamaica.

He noted that Montego Bay is one of the fastest growing cities in the Caribbean and presents high investment appeal in an open and welcoming atmosphere.

“This bustling city… is poised for growth and expansion. Indeed, Montego Bay, and particularly the port and its nearby coastlines are part of an overall plan to modernise and expand our points of entry to ensure maximum appeal for new investment, and to strengthen our current industries in the western part of the island,” Dr. Chang said.

He cited major investments in tourism and Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), which have created wealth, while boosting employment.

“We are proud of the town’s long-standing status as the vanguard of our tourist sector and more so of its positioning now as a hub for innovation and growth in our logistics and the BPO sector,” he added.

Dr. Chang was addressing Thursday’s (July 20) session of the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s (SBAJ) Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Caribbean Conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in St. James.

The Minister, in noting the critical role of the MSME sector in reducing poverty and creating sustainable jobs, said the Government is committed to creating the environment where such businesses can thrive.

He noted that through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), MSMEs have been provided with increased access to capital.

The agency estimates that an additional $6 billion will be available for lending to MSMEs through approved financial institutions.

Under the DBJ’s Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship Programme, 192 new businesses have been created or supported, and $43 million in grants disbursed to 27 companies.

Also addressing the conference were Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.

The conference, from July 19 to 21, is being held under the theme: ‘Collaboration for Caribbean Sustainability’.

The three-day event brings together stakeholders from across the Caribbean to discuss legislation, economic growth, financing, trade and investment, with the specific objective of shaping opportunities for regional small businesses.

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