Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said the Government stands ready to work with the private sector to create jobs and grow the economy.
"I firmly believe that we can overcome the economic challenges we face, if Government and private sector work constructively together. Achieving national development demands partnership between Government and all the sectors," she stated.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was delivering the main address at today's (Jan. 18) official groundbreaking ceremony for the ATL Autohaus Showrooms on Oxford Road in Kingston.
The Prime Minister, who had earlier participated in a similar groundbreaking at the Lasco facility in White Marl, St. Catherine, said that investment projects such as these are important to the economic life of Jamaica, and are a fitting demonstration of private sector confidence in the country's future.
She said that the Government will provide the necessary support to encourage more business leaders to follow the example.
"These initiatives are what will truly propel our country's development through economic expansion, job creation and improvement in the quality of life of our people," she stated.
The Prime Minister, in her remarks, reiterated a call for the business community to seek to employ at least one qualified Jamaican, who is currently without a job. Such a move, she said, could see at least 40,000 persons being put into productive enterprise.
"Let us call it "Jamaica Employ" and let us advance this partnership for our national development," the Prime Minister urged.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister commended the ATL Group on the timely investment, which is valued at approximately $1 billion.
“I believe with all my heart that a new day has dawned in our country. With the vision and foresight of responsible and committed business leaders like the ATL Group, I know I am not alone in this belief. I am encouraged by your continued investment in Jamaica, and take this as a signal that we are on the runway and taxiing for take-off," she stated.
The showrooms, to be constructed at the site for the former Mas Camp Village, will boast state-of-the-art facilities for ATL's popular Audi and Volkswagen brands. Chief Executive Officer of ATL, Adam Stewart, said that once the project is completed some 40 persons will be added to the ATL automotive team, boosting employment from 160 to 200 persons.
This is the second ATL Autohaus to be built, with one opened in Montego Bay late 2010.
Meanwhile, ATL Chairman, Gordon "Butch" Stewart, announced that the company will be reopening its facility at Lower Hagley Park Road as an ATL Automotive parts centre. The facility has been closed for 15 years.