JIS News

Chairman of Digicel Group, Denis O'Brien, is encouraging the business community to help support the transformation of Jamaica’s economy.

“The building blocks are there and I think we are at a tipping point right here in this country of really transforming the economy,” he said at a workshop and luncheon for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) held Tuesday (February 15) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Contending that from an economic point of view, Jamaica is on the cusp of greatness, he advised the business sector “to stand up and be counted” and make investments in the country now that “all macro things are stabilised."

“You now have fiscal rectitude; you are shrinking your deficit in an incredible way and in such a short period of time. But also the way you have refinanced all your borrowings…this reforming zeal has to continue and Jamaica is the pipeline into so many economies into the region here,” he said.

In the meantime, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, lauded Digicel for its commitment to contributing to the growth of the economy.

“We are very appreciative of the commitment that Digicel…has made to Jamaica. We have a long way to go, but they continue to set the pace,” Minister Shaw said.

The Minister said Digicel, over the past 10 years, has been helping to transform the economy in Jamaica, particularly in terms of recent efforts to revitalise downtown Kingston. “US$60 million is committed by Digicel and they have already started the construction that is taking place and under way down there today."

“But it is not just investment for the sake of their own bottom line….the last count was well over $200 million that has been used to revitalise and beautify and rebuild the coronation market,” Minister Shaw added.

The workshop and luncheon, dubbed ‘Secrets to Business Success’, was put on by the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, Jamaica in association with the Mona School of Business and the Jamaica Bankers’ Association.

The event featured a panel discussion involving a number of the country’s successful entrepreneurs. Business leaders also shared practical advice with SMEs on how to effectively manage and grow their businesses.