Declaring that, “we are here because we mean business”, three senior Jamaican Government Ministers told the first Jamaica United Kingdom Investment Forum yesterday (February 5) that, despite the international economic downturns, now was the right time to invest in Jamaica.
The three Ministers were – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh; Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda; and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance, Don Wehby.
According to them, Jamaica is showing tenacity by going after investments, and they were confident that the time to seize the opportunities that the country can offer in preparation for the upturn that would come in the future was now.
Dr. Baugh said, although the world faces the most serious crisis in modern history, the solution resided in partnerships with other countries, as well as with the private sector and investors.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Don Wehby, makes a presentation at the Jamaica-United Kingdom Investment forum, organised by Jamaica Trade and Invest, in London, on February 5.
He said Jamaica was aggressively positioning itself as a place to do business. He added that the recent signing of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), provided opportunities for European investors in Jamaica, including using Jamaica as a launch pad into the rest of the Caribbean, Latin and North America.
Mr. Samuda said that this was the time to be bold in taking steps that would build the foundation for a strong and economically prosperous future. “We are ready to seize the moment. We are aggressively pursuing new approaches. We are building new partnerships and strengthening existing ones and our historic ties. We want to build ‘win win’ relationships,” he said.
Senator Wehby spoke of Jamaica’s many competitive advantages, including plans for comprehensive tax reforms, increased public sector productivity and increased growth. In addition he said, Jamaica also had an independent central bank and was committed to diminishing bureaucracy and red tape.
The Forum held in Westminster London, England, looked at topics such as: the EPA; Investing in Jamaica; and Jamaica’s Improving Economy. There were also presentations from successful l investors in Jamaica, including GraceKennedy, Digicel and Blue Mountain Coffee (Europe) Limited.