Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has underscored the need for Jamaica to improve competitiveness and reduce the cost of doing business in order to achieve high levels of success in attracting and landing investments.
“No country today can escape the realities of globalisation, however nations must adapt to these realities by creatively redefining how they articulate their own industrial and commercial infrastructure with the evolving global economic infrastructure,” the Minister said on February 23, at the media launch of the Jamaica Investment Forum at JAMPRO’s offices in New Kingston.
He noted that critical issues such as “removing the barriers to the development of industry and a sustained process of capital accumulation,” must be addressed.
Minister Hylton said that various ministries will be working together to address some of the major impediments to business and investments.
He noted that his Ministry, through the National Competitiveness Council, which has as its focus, the development and implementation of strategies to enhance competitiveness, will target areas in the business environment that are critical to improving the country’s global competitiveness rankings.
The Minister cited bureaucracy and regulation, labour force quality, the foreign trade regime, financial market development, innovation capacity and degree of business sophistication, as areas that need to be factored into strategies aimed at strengthening the country’s competitiveness.
“These factors are of crucial significance to the position that Jamaica occupies in the global rankings and will be a focus of programmed initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth and stemming the growing economic marginalisation of large sectors of the population,” he pointed out.
The end goal, he noted, must be “to stimulate investment and economic growth on a scale that will get the economy on a path of sustained growth and job creation."
The Minister said that the Jamaica Investment Forum, to be held on March 1 and 2 in Montego Bay, is a critical initiative that will aid in the sustenance of economic growth and improving competitiveness.
The forum will focus on the business opportunities that exist in the priority areas of information and communication technology (ICT), tourism, manufacturing and in major privatisation and development projects.
Investors stand to benefit from insightful information pertaining to the government of Jamaica’s investment policies and incentive regimes; and networking opportunities among existing investors and leaders in the local business community.
The forum is being organised by JAMPRO, the country’s investment promotion agency, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Compete Caribbean programme.
By Kadian Brown, JIS PRO