Further Reduction in Red Tape Vital – Shaw

Story Highlights

  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is cognisant that much work remains to be done to further reduce bureaucratic impediments to doing business in Jamaica.
  • Mr. Shaw was speaking at a Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market stakeholders’ luncheon, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on June 1.
  • He remains optimistic that the Administration’s five per cent growth target in four years can be achieved through single-digit interest rates and equity financing facilitated through the JSE.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is cognisant that much work remains to be done to further reduce bureaucratic impediments to doing business in Jamaica.

He noted that Jamaica’s improved ranking at 75 out of 138 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2016/17 Global Competitiveness Report, up from 107 in 2012, “reflects our concerted effort to reduce, or eliminate… red tape for businesses”.

“But, we still have a (far) way to go…  and we have to step up our programme of facilitation, because the weight of bureaucracy continues to be a negative factor that militates against expeditious decision-making and getting things done much faster. It is something that we have to continue to concentrate on,” the Minister emphasised.

Mr. Shaw was speaking at a Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Junior Market stakeholders’ luncheon, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on June 1.

The overall standings see Jamaica ranked second behind Barbados, which remains the highest Caribbean country at 72, with the Dominican Republic at 92 and Trinidad and Tobago at 94.

Jamaica’s improved ranking has been attributed to streamlining of the business-registration process; establishment of a secured transactions framework to facilitate improved access to credit through the inclusion of movable property as allowable forms of collateral; the central collateral registry; and the tabling of supporting legislation.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said the Government’s implementation of Jamaica’s economic programme under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) remains strong.

 

This, he said, was consequent on sustained macroeconomic discipline and reforms initiated that “have also boosted stability and confidence”.

Mr. Shaw noted that despite recording a flat out-turn for the March 2017 quarter, due to exogenous shocks associated with drought and other factors, the 2016/17 fiscal year averaged growth ranging between 1.1 and 1.2 per cent as against a projection of 1.7 per cent.

He remains optimistic that the Administration’s five per cent growth target in four years can be achieved through single-digit interest rates and equity financing facilitated through the JSE.

“We are not turned off by any setbacks, as we have had in the past few months (with flood rains, among other factors). We have to be dogged, we have to be persistent, and we have to pursue excellence,” the Minister emphasised.

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