JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, is confident that Jamaica can become the premier business location in the region, by improving on its advantages.
He expressed the view on Thursday June 18 in a presentation made on his behalf by President of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Robert Gregory, at the launch of ‘Compete Jamaica’ at the JTI’s Trafalgar Road offices in Kingston.
Mr. Samuda pointed to advantages such as: Jamaica being an English-speaking country; its proximity to lucrative markets; and its ports and telecommunications systems being ranked among the best.
“However, there is a need to create an economy that supports business growth and development and encourages and promotes innovation, creativity and productivity at all levels”, he said.
“There are challenges, but our success depends on changing a number of things over which we still have control,” the Minister added.
He listed as examples, the need to reduce the threat of crime and corruption, and commit to greater private and public sector collaboration to achieve real competitiveness and lasting change, that will impact the lives of Jamaicans for generations to come.
Mr. Samuda also highlighted bureaucracy as an hindrance that must be reduced, and noted that the Government has committed his Ministry to improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica.
The Minister lauded the work of the Target Growth Competitiveness Committee (TGCC), which is launching the ‘Compete Jamaica’ initiative, in collaboration with the JTI. The Committee, chaired by Mr. Samuda, has been mandated to increase public awareness of competitiveness, do research and lobby for policy changes.
The TGCC was established under the European Union/Government of Jamaica Private Sector Development Programme.
Mr. Samuda said that ‘Compete Jamaica’ highlights the areas in which Jamaica is competitive. A number of initiatives have been undertaken by the TGCC, to increase public awareness on initiatives related to competitiveness.
The ‘Compete Jamaica’ website is to become a portal for information on competitiveness, and a central repository for documentation related to the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Against the background of Government’s drive to help micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) to grow, ‘Compete Jamaica’ proposes to sensitise MSMEs, and the country as a whole, about Government’s initiatives to deal with competitiveness.
The initiative will, among other things: change longstanding traditions and perceptions about productivity and competitiveness; encourage entrepreneurship and new entrants in the marketplace; and articulate the concept of what it means to be competitive.
Several activities have been planned for ‘Compete Jamaica’, including television features on successful companies; radio jingles; a weekly 15-minute radio programme on competitiveness; official launch of the TGCC website; and a school art competition.

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