Samuda on Mission to Help Jamaica Become More Competitive


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has said that the objectives of his working visit to Canada from May 19 to 23 were to learn from the Canadians’ business development experience, and find strategies to help Jamaica become more competitive.
“In the final analysis, we cannot attract investments if we have burdensome bureaucracy or any form of uncompetitive practice that will send the wrong signals to our investors,” he said.
The Minister was speaking to members of Invest in Canada Bureau, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) on May 20, in Ottawa, Canada.
Accompanying the Minister were Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye; Manager of Investment Support Services at Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Robert Kerr; Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira; Director of Commerce in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Andrene Collings; and Modernisation Projects Co-ordinator in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Lorna Perkins, “We’re trying to earn our way out of the difficulties we face and we feel that the only way we’re going to be able to do that, is to improve our infrastructure and to become more competitive. So, I hope to leave here with new and refreshed ideas,” said Mr. Samuda.
The Invest in Canada Bureau, which is equivalent to Jamaica Trade and Invest, is responsible for promoting and attracting international businesses to Canada.
Director General, Danielle Thibault, said the bureau’s mission, “is to market Canada as the location of choice for international businesses, attract new investors to Canada, facilitate expansions by existing investors, work with partners on retention and identify irritants expressed by investors and work to address them.”
Ms. Thibault noted that every year the competition increases for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), because of the increase in the number of investment promotion agencies.
“Our competition is also rapidly improving their investment climate and it’s a race for incentives, such as the best corporate tax rate,” she said.
The Director General told Mr. Samuda that Canada relies heavily on its cadre of overseas Trade Commissioners to promote and be that first point of contact for potential investors.
Ms. Thibault gave the Minister her assurance that the Bureau will remain available for further consultations.

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