$1 Billion to Strengthen and Promote Competitiveness

Photo: Donald De La Haye Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.

Story Highlights

  • As the Government works to create an environment that will allow local businesses to thrive, a sum of $1 billion has been set aside next fiscal year for a project promoting the competiveness and growth of the sector.
  • This will be done by enhancing competition in the business environment, facilitating large-scale private investment, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) capabilities and finance essential to unleash private-sector productivity upgrading and job growth, and financing policy and societal learning through project implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
  • The money will also assist with starting an electronic titling initiative, installing the AMANDA Broadband Network, contributing to the development of a National Spatial Plan, providing support for consultancy on downtown Kingston’s redevelopment, providing consultancy on Kingston’s water and sewerage plans, and supporting consultancy on Falmouth’s sewerage and water systems.

As the Government works to create an environment that will allow local businesses to thrive, a sum of $1 billion has been set aside next fiscal year for a project promoting the competiveness and growth of the sector.

The project aims to strengthen the enabling environment for private-sector competitiveness to help Jamaica unleash productivity and growth.

This will be done by enhancing competition in the business environment, facilitating large-scale private investment, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) capabilities and finance essential to unleash private-sector productivity upgrading and job growth, and financing policy and societal learning through project implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

The money to advance the project has been provided in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure, and will go towards completing a National Investment Policy, completing a merger regime review, implementing monitoring and evaluation for development approvals, and beginning the process of amending the Fair Competition Act.

The money will also assist with starting an electronic titling initiative, installing the AMANDA Broadband Network, contributing to the development of a National Spatial Plan, providing support for consultancy on downtown Kingston’s redevelopment, providing consultancy on Kingston’s water and sewerage plans, and supporting consultancy on Falmouth’s sewerage and water systems.

So far under the project, training and sensitisation sessions have been conducted for more than 140 judges, attorneys-at-law and other insolvency professionals on the new Regime/Insolvency Act to strengthen their capacity to implement the provisions. A consultant was also engaged for the Caymanas Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) Feasibility Study.

In addition, grants of $28.9 million were issued to SMEs; eight recommended projects, totaling approximately US$2.5 million were submitted to the World Bank for approval; nine loans amounting to $92.7 million were issued to SMEs by Approved Financial Institutions (AFIs); and work commenced on a merger review and proposed amendment to the Fair Competition Act.

The project is being implemented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO); and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

It is receiving funding support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

The project, which began in September 2014, is scheduled to end in June 2020.

JIS Social