JIS News

Real estate investors are being urged to diversify into other industries, in order to create the levels of economic expansion that will support continued growth in the sector.

The advice comes from State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, who pointed out that such investment would create wealth for Jamaicans, who could then put their money into real estate.

“What good are new houses, apartments, offices and factories if we do not build other industries at the same time, so that people have the financial resources to acquire real estate?” he asked, while addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ) at the Terra Nova Hotel All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on June 22.

He noted that while “investment from foreign direct investors can support this process, there is also a place for Jamaicans to commit to nation-building by actively engaging in direct investments to different industries”.

“One area for consideration, for example, is in infrastructure that is now necessary to spur economic development along Jamaica’s southwest and southeast coastlines in tandem with the development of the road network,” Dr. Dunn said.

He noted that there are also opportunities in areas such as agro-processing, light manufacturing and in finalising goods for export.

“Your partnership with other well-placed Jamaicans can ensure growth to support what we are now witnessing in the real estate industry,” he pointed out.

Dr. Dunn noted that the RAJ is uniquely placed to advance Jamaica’s development, building on the strong foundation of investments, which is being laid by public and private-sector entities.

In the meantime, the State Minister urged players in the construction industry to abide by the standards that are set for raw materials for real estate construction, such as hollow concrete blocks, steel, roofing material, and aggregates for concrete.

“These standards are in place to safeguard health and safety and to build trust and confidence in the quality of the buildings that are erected. They are a necessary component for the industry to operate reliably,” he said.

He lauded the RAJ for providing opportunities for industry agents to receive ongoing training and certification.

“This is commendable, as it ensures that professionals in your industry can compete successfully and confidently in both the local and international marketplaces,” he said.

Dr. Dunn said that the Ministry actively supports ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) towards certification to ISO 9001:2015 standards, noting that as of mid-June this year, 22 MDAs have received certification, with others at varying stages of completion.

“Our goal is for both the public and private sectors to be trained at the highest levels, and I, therefore, congratulate those of your members who have successfully pursued certification in your industry.

“I also encourage the others to take this important step towards improving your global competitiveness, as this indicates that you adhere to high ethical standards and apply international best practices to your business activities,” he said.

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