US$50 Million Growth Competitiveness Project Being Finalised

Story Highlights

  • The Government is currently finalising a four-year US$50 million Growth and Competitiveness loan project with the World Bank.
  • JAMPRO, through the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), will be coordinating the execution of component one of the project.
  • The initiative is a core plank in the administration’s economic growth strategy, and seeks to drive investment and create sustainable employment over the long term.

The Government is currently finalising a four-year US$50 million Growth and Competitiveness loan project with the World Bank, as it continues to improve the business environment in Jamaica.

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the announcement during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 21.

He noted that Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), through the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), will be coordinating the execution of component one of the project.

“This component will place specific focus on increasing Jamaica’s competitiveness, through strengthening of the country’s competition laws and the work of the Fair Trading Commission,” he said.

The Minister noted that component two will provide for the development of the Master Plan for the Global Logistics Hub Initiative, and the packaging of Hub investment projects, noting that JAMPRO will also have access to funds, for project origination and investment promotion.

The initiative is a core plank in the administration’s economic growth strategy, and seeks to drive investment and create sustainable employment over the long term.

It aims to take advantage of the anticipated increase in trade activities expected as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion by 2015.

“Component three of the project, will support a lending facility as well as capacity building and linkages programmes for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),” he informed.

Minister Hylton further noted that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) will be working with JAMPRO as the lead coordinating agencies, for discrete components, supporting critical aspects of the Industry Ministry’s work.

In the meantime, he informed that the government is aggressively pursuing a business reform agenda to move Jamaica’s rankings up the Doing Business and Global Competiveness Indices.

“This coordination work is primarily being done by the NCC that comprises private and public sector entities,” he said.
Minister Hylton pointed out that Cabinet has approved the expansion of the role of the NCC to identify and remove bottlenecks, faced by investors, in their interface with Government regulators and other entities.

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