JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has emphasized that capital markets and investments were critical to the economic development of any country, and that the material progress in a society could be measured by the state of its capital markets.
Mr. Patterson said that capital markets, which were important elements of the Jamaican economy and the wider Caribbean economy, were “critical to consolidating and enhancing a nation’s role in the on-going globalization process”.
The Prime Minister was addressing the official opening of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Inaugural Regional Conference on Investments and Capital Markets at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, yesterday January 17).
“Countries with well developed capital markets tend to have higher levels of capital formation, grow more quickly, provide better financial services to all segments of their populations, and enjoy greater prospects of long-term financial and economic stability. Bond issuers, investors, intermediaries and regulatory authorities all stand to benefit from an effective and efficient capital market,” Mr. Patterson said.
He pointed out that Jamaica continued to enjoy tremendous sustained investor confidence in global, regional and domestic capital markets, and investors have made it clear that the attraction of capital was highly dependent on the government’s economic policies. He stressed that even though confidence was important, perception of confidence was more essential.
Sharing his perspective on the development of a regional stock market and the great possibilities and opportunities of wealth creation for the average citizen, Mr. Patterson said capital markets created an avenue for the wider population to participate in the corporate sector and share in its wealth creation through the ownership of securities.
“Dynamic capital markets make it possible for the average member of the workforce to get a financial stake in the productive sector. A greater number of listed companies means more opportunities for our citizens to decide to participate in the future development of a company, which they believe has growth and profitability potential, especially if they are interested in what the company does or contributes as its business to the development of the broader society,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that in light of the development of capital markets and investments to drive the country’s economy, “the government has deliberately fostered an environment to bring our people into the participation process of their own long-term development.
I encourage all investors to participate in our capital markets … I urge that the existing institutional assets of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with its fine track record in capital markets, be entrusted to design and market a special bond instrument targeted to CARICOM nationals who reside overseas”.
Turning to the expected role of regional governments in enhancing the process by the creation of a stable macro-economic environment with adequate legislative and regulatory regime, the Prime Minister stressed that, “Governments and stock markets in the region must collaborate on the development and adoption of more aggressive policies, so as to position the region to meaningfully attract and capture global capital flows.”
“We must promote the exchange of technical expertise and move quickly to remove legislative and regulatory barriers to integration. We must work in partnership with existing companies to determine how we can build together a regional exchange that will best serve the development of the region,” Mr. Patterson added.
The Prime Minister said the government of Jamaica remained willing to facilitate the development of a regional stock market and regional integration.
He challenged all participants from the Caribbean and beyond, to seek to develop new and creative ways that could lead to the development of the financial sector in general, the capital markets in particular, and further integration of the regional markets and economies, thereby enabling prosperity for countries and progress of the Caribbean peoples.
The theme of the three-day conference is: ‘Creating investment opportunities for the growth and development of the region’s capital markets in a globalized environment’.