JIS News

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, has encouraged private holders of capital within the Caribbean, to invest in the region’s productive sector.
“If you look within the Caribbean. there are resources which somehow we need to tap for reinvestment in the Caribbean and expansion of Caribbean economy,” Dr. Davies stated, as he addressed the Jamaica Stock Exchange-organized Investments and Capital Markets Conference on Wednesday (Jan.18) at the Half Moon Hotel in Rose Hall, St. James.
The three-day conference, which ends today, is being held under the theme: ‘Creating investment opportunities for the growth and development of the region’s capital markets in a globalized environment’. Participants involve local and overseas financiers, financial analysts and technocrats employed at all levels in stock exchanges and central securities depositories.
According to the Finance Minister, there were private holders of capital, that have foreign exchange reserves of an equal size as the Jamaican government’s Net International Reserves, which stood at approximately US$2.1 billion. He said that these private reserves were usually in bank accounts or other deposit instruments.
“What will it take to spring those deposits, to move them from simply being deposits into investments, into actual wealth creation activities?” he asked. He challenged persons within the securities industry, and those seeking capital for expansion and growth for their businesses, to adopt innovative ways to encourage holders of capital in the Caribbean to invest more in the region.
Admitting that he did not have all the answers on how to achieve this goal, Dr. Davies expressed the view that increased reliable information flow would give persons with resources the impetus to invest. He also cited the Caribbean integration process as a medium that would provide enormous potential for growth within the region.
“Despite the small size of our national markets, it provides us with the basis to grow, provide businesses with the opportunities for expansion based on equity investment, provide governments with the opportunities for accessing resources within the Caribbean, but there are challenges that we have to face,” he stated.
He expressed the view that if the conference could serve to re-awaken the minds of the participants to the different possibilities inherent in Caribbean integration, then it could be considered a success.