Online registration of businesses by March 2018
The Government intends to put the necessary systems in place to facilitate the online registration of businesses by March next year.
This is to be undertaken through the Companies Office of Jamaica, which is responsible for the registration of local and overseas companies, individuals, and firms carrying on business in Jamaica.
Making the announcement, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda, noted that the initiative forms part of the Government's efforts to improve the country's business environment.
The minister was addressing a signing ceremony for an advisory agreement with World Bank subsidiary International Finance Corporation for the establishment of a national trade portal. The event was held at the ministry's St Lucia Avenue offices in New Kingston on Tuesday.
Establishment of the portal will make all regulatory trade-related and other trade information useful to Jamaican importers and exporters, investors, and potential investors, easily and readily available on a single integrated website.
This will serve to increase transparency and predictability of trade procedures and in doing so, increase the compliance level and reduce the cost of doing business through trade.
Samuda said that the initiative would serve to "signal the degree to which we have joined the rest of the world ... in (establishing) a portal that will provide information to the trading community (in one convenient space)".
He noted that enabling online business registration would be the next step in the process of making doing business in Jamaica easier, which would also improve the country's ranking in the World Bank's Doing Business Report.
For her part, State Minister for Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams said that the signing "marks progress on the path to making trade a lot easier between us and our various partners".
Williams said that the portal would help to greatly improve the trade facilitation environment, which she said entails the simplification and harmonisation of international trade procedures, and a comprehensive and integrated approach to reducing complexity and cost.