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Holness: Stop depending on foreign investments to grow economy

Published:Friday | January 2, 2015 | 8:54 AM
Andrew Holness - File

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness says the government should stop depending on foreign investments to grow the economy and focus on local businesses and small entrepreneurs.



He says the government continues to look for investments in logistics and infrastructure to grow the economy when it has been shown this will not necessarily work.



Holness says while it is important to focus on the macro level, growth really comes from focusing on the micro level.



He says many of the things the Government needs to do to promote growth in the local economy do not require a lot of money.



As the opposition leader pushes the government to focus on local entrepreneurs, he is calling for a review of the phasing out of incentives to companies listed on the Junior Stock Exchange.



Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips had disclosed in 2013 that the incentives were being phased out as part of measueres under the Omnibus Tax Incentives legislation mandated by the International Monetary Fund.



He said companies listed on the exchange prior to January 1, 2014 would continue to enjoy their current benefits for the remainder of their unexpired incentive period.



Meanwhile, those listed between last year and December 31 next year would be entitled to enjoy full relief from income for a period of five years from the date of listing.



However, in his message for the new year, Holness said things like keeping the incentives of the Junior Stock Exchange, reducing transaction taxes and improving the time it takes for approvals could help to increase production and investment.



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