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The National Competitiveness Council’s (NCC) Reform Agenda, which outlines a comprehensive approach to improving Jamaica’s business climate and removing the impediments to doing business, is currently before the Cabinet for review.

This was stated by Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton,  at the launch of the Bureaucracy Hotline, 1-888-REDTAPE (733-8273), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, on Monday (October  22).

The agenda is expected to be pivotal in improving Jamaica’s ranking in the World Doing Business Report (DBR), which the Minister said, has “steadily slipped,” over the last five years. 

Mr. Hylton, who chairs the NCC, said the Council has consistently sought to “champion” reforms, specifically related to key factors that are considered in the DBR review.

Noting that the Reform Agenda’s provisions seek to address the activities that impact the indicators in the DBR report, Mr. Hylton said these would “favourably impact” Jamaica’s ranking, “if implemented in the next two years.”

Meanwhile, the Minister advised that several pieces of legislation, aimed at enhancing Jamaica’s business environment, could come on stream early in 2013.

These, he said,  include: the Secured Transaction, Probate, Patent and Insolvency laws;  amendments to the Copyright, Trademark and Companies Acts, as well as implementation of the provisions of the Madrid Protocol. He pointed out that the Ministry has been working “very closely” with the Ministry of Justice on these legislations.

“We think we are making good progress on them, and I expect that come the first quarter of next year, we will have a number of these legislations (on stream),” Mr. Hylton assured.

The Bureaucracy Hotline, which will be in place for the next three months, is intended to, among other things, assist in procuring and streamlining data on  bureaucratic challenges,  which impact local and overseas investors and business stakeholders.

Persons with concerns or who encounter challenges can place calls to the operators, from Mondays to Fridays, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. They can also forward reports to: noredtape@miic.gov.jm.

Mr. Hylton expressed the hope that at the end of the three-month period, adequate data would have been secured to inform the development of a more robust and comprehensive mechanism to address these issues.