APPARENTLY FRUSTRATED by the slow pace at which work permits are being processed to allow expatriate workers into Jamaica, Chinese company COMPLANT has appealed to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to do more to facilitate the process.
Following a closed-door meeting with a Jamaican delegation headed by Simpson Miller in Beijing recently, Dr Carlton Davis, chief advisor to the prime minister, said COMPLANT is desirous of importing skilled workers for the modernisation of their sugar plants.
"I am not going to pre-judge but what the people are saying is that they need certain technical skills and they want that to be expedited," Davis said.
COMPLANT, which has acquired Jamaican sugar factories, operates as Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited.
"They are upgrading and modernising the plants and they need certain skills so there are concerns here and there," Davis said.
During his contribution to the Sectoral Debate, Labour Minister Derrick Kellier announced that a review of the work permit system is being undertaken.
Speaking in China during Simpson Miller's five-day official visit which took place late last month, Davis said Jamaicans should not fear the grant of work permits to skilled workers.
"Our skilled people go and work in other people's country. We have to accept that skilled people are going to come into ours as needed. We are in an international environment in which you are competing for capital, competing for the best. What we have to do as a Government is to make the environment as favourable, with due regard to our citizens having an opportunity. That is the game we are in and what Jamaica wants is the economic growth and investment to get us to a better place than where we are currently."