JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw has said that the Government is focused on facilitating investment from legitimate and reputable entities.
He made the statement at the launch of the re-branding of Life of Jamaica (LOJ) to Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited on Monday (June 2) at LOJ’s New Kingston head office. The launch comes some eight years after Sagicor acquired a 40 per cent stake in the local insurance giant.
“We have to provide new avenues for the diversification of investment products,” he said, stressing that this must involve legitimate investment, and that it was against this background that the Ministry has started a full review of the legislative framework that will provide the basis for creating greater opportunities for investment in legitimate financial instruments.
“We have to review our laws to open up for mutual funds, hedge funds, for derivatives of all sorts that allow risks, but allows also for adequacy in terms of transparency, providing the appropriate information base for our investors so that they can invest on a sure-footed basis,” he stated. Minister Shaw noted that the establishment of an international financial centre in downtown Kingston was among the government’s plans to boost investment. He argued that the centre could start out as a regional financial facility, which would provide employment for the many qualified Jamaicans who are unable to find work.
“We have so many people graduating now with skills in accounting, finance and insurance and can’t find jobs,” he said, adding, “there is so much room for growth”.
The Finance Minister said that what is needed are higher levels of transparency in governance. “The truth is (that) we have to make decisions not in the interest of individuals or interest groups, but we have to make decisions that are in the collective interest of we the people of Jamaica,” he said.
He cited, for example, decisions which have been taken regarding protection of the country’s revenue, as it is out of such proceeds that the government is able to provide basic services.
Noting the appointment of former Director of Elections, Danville Walker as Commissioner of Customs as of Monday, June 3, Minister Shaw said the new rules that are to be put in place at that department, would not be “popular”. He assured that the new culture and environment which the Government intends to establish there with the support of the private sector, would generate more revenue, which would go toward strengthening the country’s infrastructure and providing better services.

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