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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, has recommended the inclusion of the trade unions represented by the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU); the Small Business Association; the Young Entrepreneurs Association (YEA), and the Women’s Entrepreneur Network (WEN), to the National
Competitiveness Council (NCC).

Minister Shaw made the recommendations as he chaired his first meeting of the NCC on Friday, November 13.

The inclusions, Minister Shaw said are in an effort to ensure the full inclusiveness of the Council.

“I am confident that their active participation in the deliberations at the Council will ensure that our recommendations are more rounded and reflect the full voice of Jamaican productive sectors,” Minister Shaw said.

Housed at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), NCC is geared towards undertaking measures to improve Jamaica’s global competitiveness and local business climate and is driven by a robust Business Environment Reform Agenda (BERA).

Noting that economic recovery and growth have increasingly become the driving objective of the global economy, given the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Shaw said the NCC’s role is therefore to build on this new paradigm and leverage the openness for change.

The minister further informed that the BERA being driven by the Council now stands at over 30 reforms which he said he is confident the Council is able to drive the implementation of “by virtue of the robust governance structure we have adopted.”

Working through the Technical Working Groups and Sub-Committees, as well as the quarterly reports and the Cabinet Submissions, Minister Shaw said the NCC has established a solid basis upon which to identify the needs of the business community and expedite the implementation of the reforms.

Minister Shaw further shared that the reforms put before the World Bank, by the Council, for its continued support via the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP), are also underpinned by a key focus on introducing and strengthening the digital platforms of government entities.

“Business processes are being re-engineered and various legislative reforms are also being targeted to underpin those changes,” the Minister said.

Pointing to other areas aimed at boosting national growth, the minister noted that the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is also in the process of finalizing the FiveYear Agri-Business Strategy in order to effectively promote the valueadded process of creating a modern export-based vertically integrated
Agro-industrial sector.

Meanwhile, speaking of the expected outcomes and the work of government, State Minister within the ministry, Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn underscored the innate innovative nature of Jamaicans and called for the acceptance and utilization of diverse forms of collateral as provided for by the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPPA) Act in order to facilitate the use of Intellectual Property in gaining greater access to capital for business growth.

The State Minister further urged stakeholders to improve facilitation and ease of business by improving their efficiency.

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