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Data provided by the Planning Institute of Jamaica show a 9.6 per cent growth in the country’s construction and installation sector for the third quarter of 2005. An overall growth of 7.6 per cent is estimated for the sector for that entire year.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson made the disclosure on Saturday (Mar. 18) in an address at the 15th anniversary and rededication ceremony of paint manufacturing company Edgechem Ltd. He said the figures were contained in the latest Economic and Social Survey Report to be published shortly and represents the largest growth rate and the sixth consecutive year of growth since 2000.
The Prime Minister lauded the achievements of Edgechem Jamaica Limited, stating that the company’s success was an example of what can be accomplished by local investors who take advantage of the enabling environment that has been provided for the private sector to assume its role as the engine of economic growth.
He said the Edgechem success story was remarkable in that it had taken place during a period of unprecedented change in the local and global business environment. The company began with a capital initiation of $1 Million and two employees in 1990 and today, boasts net sales of over $460 Million and one hundred employees.
Mr. Patterson said Jamaica was on a course of growth and development that would see the fulfillment of the vision for a prosperous country. This Mr. Patterson said has been guided by the National Industrial Policy (NIP) that had outlined the long-term strategic objectives for the country, of which industrial development was among the major components for achieving growth.
He observed that the NIP had guided the transformation of the country’s infrastructure including seaports, roads, telecommunications as well as water and sewerage systems. “These improvements have created a predictable environment for the provision of these services and a reduction of costs to businesses in real terms,” Mr. Patterson stated.
He pointed to the correlation between the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and the e-readiness of Jamaica, as evidenced by the ease with which companies are able to do business using information technology. Jamaica is ranked 41 out of 65 major world economies for its e-readiness and is 49th among 104 countries on the Global Information Technology Index in terms of network readiness.
The Prime Minister said these initiatives were responsible for the favourable investment climate the country was now experiencing. He used the occasion to urge local companies including Edgechem, to expand their base into the borderless region created by the CARICOM Single Market. He said they should endeavour to secure a greater share of local and regional markets as if they did not, others would.
Edgechem Jamaica Limited is managed by President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association Miss Doreen Frankson and recently completed a $55 Million dollar expansion. Although competing in a market dominated by large corporations, Edgechem has a significant share of the automotive, furniture and industrial paint market.

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