Tue | Jan 26, 2021

PM wants Ja to be centre of innovation, technology of the Caribbean

Published:Thursday | June 14, 2018 | 9:39 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness - JIS photo

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is committed to making Jamaica the ‘centre of the Caribbean for innovation and technology’.

“We want to be the centre of the Caribbean for trade and commerce and logistics, business process outsourcing, agribusiness and energy, and we are working to achieve that,” he said.

Addressing a group of current and potential investors at the Jamaica Investment Forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Wednesday, he urged partnerships with local and international stakeholders to generate investments in key sectors.

“We extend ourselves, we extend our hands in partnership with our investors. Come make the investment in Jamaica; be part of the dream,” Holness said.

Highlighting Jamaica as an ideal destination for business, the Prime Minister said that discussions are far advanced for the development of an economic industrial park, which has an estimated value of between US$3.7 billion and US$6 billion.

“You are coming into an economy that, yes, is relatively small, but which has tremendous potential for expansion, so if you get in now, imagine what the value of your investment stake will be in five, 10, 15 years’ time. Pair that with the commitment of the Government to good policy and good politics. Jamaica is the right business proposition for you,” he said.

He noted that the Government’s economic doctrine at this time includes a focus on fiscal discipline, improving the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, and maintaining a flexible exchange rate.

He reiterated his commitment to a partnership approach with the private sector, as well as improvements in the ease of doing business, and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the public sector.

“For us, the debate is about getting Government to be at the right size, nimble and responsive while being aspirational, innovative… in how it creates a regulatory environment and a policy environment in which investors operate,” Holness said.

He told the investors that the positive effects of measures to improve the public sector are already being experienced, as operations to merge and rationalise some entities have been completed or are far advanced. 

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