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The Government will be placing emphasis on rectifying key constraints in the business environment over the next two years, as it continues to roll out Vision 2030 Jamaica.
According to the plan’s Medium-Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework, which covers the period 2009 to 2012, this is being done through specific national strategies, including: revising and modernising relevant legislation and regulations; streamlining the bureaucratic processes; improving processes related to land ownership, titling, and transfer; and implementing strategic trade agreements and regional integration processes.
The flexibility and efficiency of the labour market is also being improved, along with enhancements in labour productivity, while the capacity of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) is being strengthened.
A national strategy to develop an efficient labour market will be put in place, which involves steps to ensure that education and training programmes equip workers with the requisite skills, and to improve the mechanisms to bring providers and buyers of labour together.
As it relates to improving the labour environment to enhance productivity and worker satisfaction, the document outlines that, “in the medium-term, the relationships between employers, managers, trade unions and the work force will be improved, the conditions at the workplace will be enhanced to increase worker satisfaction and productivity, core labour standards will be respected, and payment systems will reinforce worker performance”.
Problems faced by MSMEs such as limited access to credit, and high levels of informality and lack of market access, will be addressed as the Government takes steps to develop the capacities of MSMEs, and improve the channels through which they participate in economic activities. This includes widening access to financing, and training programmes to build human and technical capacities.
While the medium-term strategy notes that the public sector modernisation programme has led to improvements in several aspects of bureaucracy, it also recognises that some institutions and related regulations continue to be sources of problems that affect the ability of businesses to function. To address this shortcoming, new institutions such as a credit bureau and a fixed-income securities depository will be established to improve access to financial capital.
As it relates to forging strategic trade arrangements, the document notes that trade relations between Jamaica and the rest of the world is integral to creating conditions for firms to benefit from increased market size.
Jamaica will, therefore, seek to enhance the role of trade and foreign relations in national development by strengthening bilateral, regional and multilateral relations, and improving the ability of domestic producers to take advantage of the external environment/market.
Vision 2030 Jamaica, which is the National Development Plan, seeks to create an environment, which will make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business by 2030. The National Development Plan, which was created by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) following an extensive consultative process, was launched by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding in October 2007.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Golding said the long-term development strategy, which seeks to put the country in a position to achieve its full potential and achieve developed country status in just over two decades, is the beginning of a process that must achieve early in its gestation, a shared vision.
He said the attempt to engage as many stakeholders as possible has been critical to the plan. However, he noted that it was important to engage others who are not a part of any formal group.
He said it was important for the Vision 2030 national development plan to place emphasis on the creation of opportunities, so that everyone, provided that they are prepared to work hard, would be able to enjoy a better life.
Thirty-two sector plans, drawing on the technical skills, expertise and experience of a wide cross-section of the society, is the foundation for the preparation of the integrated draft plan prepared by the PIOJ.
It incorporates the policy statements and priorities of the Government, the outcome of the Government of Jamaica/private sector national planning summit, and the medium-term outlook.
In order to engage the wider society, and to facilitate awareness-building, the PIOJ has, since the plan was launched, made several presentations to interest groups in the society and has also embarked on a series of island-wide consultations, in collaboration with parish councils and local government bodies.