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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has thanked the World Bank for providing the financial and technical support for reforms being implemented across government.
  • He notes that the Bank’s loan-funded Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Programme has been “particularly supportive” through the provision of resources for business environment reforms designed to strengthen Jamaica’s global competitiveness, thereby attracting significant investments.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has thanked the World Bank for providing the financial and technical support for reforms being implemented across government.

He notes that the Bank’s loan-funded Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Programme has been “particularly supportive” through the provision of resources for business environment reforms designed to strengthen Jamaica’s global competitiveness, thereby attracting significant investments.

“It has supported key initiatives, such as the development approval reforms process, the rollout of the public interface for the Application Management and Data Automation (AMANDA) system, which is now dubbed the Jamaica Development Applications Portal; the development of the National Spatial Plan information technology platform, the National Business Portal, and the reorganisation of border agencies,” the Minister outlined.

He was speaking at the eighth annual National Competitiveness Council (NCC) Business Environment Round Table Forum, which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on May 9.

Mr. Vaz said the reform agenda embarked on by the Administration has identified targeted engagements across government “that will, ultimately, improve the country’s ease of doing business”.

He noted that the area where the biggest impact is anticipated this year is in the registration of property, where three reforms have been recorded.

These, the Minister pointed out, are the National Land Agency’s (NLA) decision to remove the legal stipulation that companies transferring property would require a physical copy of the Companies Office of Jamaica’s (COJ) letter of withstanding, which it transformed into a back office process.

“The NLA has since undertaken the verification check itself, which is reflected in the drastic reduction in requests from the Companies Office of Jamaica. The policy shift has consequently removed the need and the cost to secure the documentation from the COJ,” he indicated.

The other two reforms, Mr. Vaz said, are a reduction in the property transfer tax from five to two per cent, and a reduction in the stamp duty to a flat fee of $5,000.

Mr. Vaz emphasised that the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), which he chairs, remains “unwavering” in its commitment “to make Jamaica the place of choice to do business”.

The NCC is a 20-member public-private sector body established in 2010 to drive and monitor the implementation of reforms across government, which are designed to improve the ease of doing business.

The Minister said the Council, housed at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which serves as the Technical Secretariat, is supported by various other public- and private-sector implementing agencies.

Held under the theme ‘Going Beyond! Getting Jamaica in the Global Top 10’, the forum highlighted the work being done by the Government and NCC to institutionalise reforms as a daily part of the country’s operations.