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  • Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chair, Richard Byles, says there is growing interest among private sector stakeholders towards investing in Jamaica.
  • Mr. Byles was speaking at EPOC’s monthly briefing at Sagicor Life, New Kingston, on Tuesday, March 15.
  • However, Mr. Byles is of the view that this is not likely to discourage persons from investing, pointing out that “if the markets are there, they will.”

Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chair, Richard Byles, says there is growing interest among private sector stakeholders towards investing in Jamaica.

“I think that more and more, there is (growing) enthusiasm…you see it in the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce business confidence survey. When you talk to the private sector, there is a lot more optimism and hope being expressed. I think many of them feel that the worst is behind us and the economy has a chance to grow,” he said.

Mr. Byles was speaking at EPOC’s monthly briefing at Sagicor Life, New Kingston, on Tuesday, March 15.

His comments came against the background of the recently released Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) figures showing increased credit allocation to the private sector.

“For the period, January to December 2015, the increase was 9.6 percent. When you look at the consecutive 12-month periods before, it was 7.8 percent (in 2014) and 4 percent (in 2013). That’s a good indication that the private sector is picking up on their investments,” Mr. Byles said.

He noted that the stakeholders’ “major concern” relates to bureaucracy within the State agencies with which they do business, and which they have expressed a desire to see reduced.

However, Mr. Byles is of the view that this is not likely to discourage persons from investing, pointing out that “if the markets are there, they will.”

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