JIS News

Jamaica in 2006, received US$850 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which placed the country fourth in the Caribbean region in terms of FDI inflows.
The information is contained in the World Investment Report 2007, which was launched at the Pegasus Hotel on (Oct. 18).
Other Caribbean countries that placed ahead of Jamaica in terms of FDIs include the British Virgin Islands with US$6.5 billion; Cayman Islands with US$2.9 billion and the Dominican Republic with US$1.2 billion.
The report, which focused on the role of trans-national corporations in extractive industries and its implications for development, noted that in 2006, developing countries attracted US$379 billion in FDIs.
It was also noted that global FDI flows increased by 38 per cent in 2006 to reach US$1.306 trillion. This increase was driven by inflows into developed countries, which rose by 45 per cent to reach $857 billion.
Minister of Industry, Commerce and Investments, Karl Samuda, said that the government would want to see Jamaica placing first in relation to countries receiving FDIs in the region. This, he said, can be achieved by encouraging trans-national companies to invest in Jamaica.
“We are not simply promoting investment in Jamaica in terms of products. We are expanding that to include Jamaica as a brand, as a destination, as a country all that this embraces; the identity of Jamaica as one of the most attractive destinations in the world,” Mr. Samuda stated.
Noting that Jamaica has “every single advantage,” he said that “we have proximity to the most developed economy of the world; we have infrastructure that in some cases is second to none; we have a stable democracy, sophisticated financial institutions, highly skilled workers and we will be expanding on training of our workers, and we have an environment that is conducive to business.”
The Minister said further that the government will be focusing on removing all obstacles to the whole expediting of business activities. “We intend to cut through the bureaucracy and make Jamaica, in addition to being an attractive destination, to being one that is very facilitatory to all commerce whether local or foreign,” he pointed out.
The Report, which ranks countries based on their dependency on non-fuel exports, noted that Jamaica’s bauxite and alumina exports account for a remarkable 60.5 percent of total exports, making it the fifth most dependent country in the world by this measure.In the meantime, Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications, Clive Mullings, said that in relation to the mining and quarrying sector, he is “heartened and encouraged by the possibilities, which characterize the sector.”
“Jamaica is known to posses a variety of mineral resources. These include bauxite, gold, copper, limestone, gypsum, marble, sand and gravel,” said Mr. Mullings.
He added that the bauxite industry in Jamaica at one stage accounted for 25 per cent of world production. The Minister added that despite the numerous challenges, the industry continues to perform creditably.
“In 2006, total bauxite production amounted for 14.9 million tonnes, the highest production level recorded in 32 years. In this period, the sector contributed to some 5.8 percent to the national gross domestic product. This is significant especially in the light of the numerous challenges the industry faces,” Mr. Mullings said.
He also noted that Jamaica offers tremendous possibilities and “it is for us not only to look for investors, it is also for us to represent a hope for our people in terms of these investments.”
“We must harness our resources in such a way that we can transform Jamaica into a first world society and we can find our rightful place in the global economy,” Mr. Mullings stated.

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