Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Impedements to doing business in Jamaica ...2015 and Beyond

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Valerie Veira
Professor Graham Hall
Indianna Minto-Coy
Megan Deane
Dr Noel Cowell
Professor Densil Williams
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Forbes Magazine has ranked Jamaica as the best country in the Caribbean in which to do business. What are some of the impediments to doing business in Jamaica? What should be done differently in 2015 and beyond? We put these questions to participants in our Editors' Forum on Wednesday.

Professor Densil Williams, executive director at the Mona School of Business and Management: 2015 should be the year when we call for improvement in labour productivity. It's definitely too low. Also, agro-parks have to get working. There are not many things that can get us out of unemployment in the short term beside things like agriculture and the business-processing industry, and we must pay attention to those things which will be able to generate growth.

Valerie Veira, chief executive officer at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation: The public sector needs to go through all their procedures on a clean-house basis. There are many actions that have been traditional. Do they add value to the process? I believe if we review some of these things, we are well on our way.

Megan Deane, chief executive officer, Creditinfo Jamaica Limited: We are at the point where we are making informed decisions with the relevant stakeholders and the conversations that are taking place are in the right direction. In spite of all the challenges, I believe the future is bright.

Dr Noel Cowell, senior lecturer, Mona School of Business and Management: We are seeing that as the cost of living gets higher, while people's income are declining and, especially in the public sector, wages are suppressed as a matter of policy, we should also look to finding ways to increase motivation among our workers because that has contributed greatly to low productivity.

Professor Graham Hall, visiting professor, Cardiff Metropolitan University in Europe: What I have noticed is that this country is very bureaucratic and formal. Going into a bank, for example, is torture for a lot of citizens, and going forward, I think we ought to adapt best practices.

Dr Indianna Minto-Coy, deputy director at Mona Centre for ICT and Telecommunications Policy Studies, Mona School of Business and Management: One of the key points going forward has to be and understanding that what works in one country might not work for us here in Jamaica, and it's for us as a country to understand how we design policies and laws that will fit our economy and business environment.