The Inter-American Deve-lopment Bank (IDB) and Compete Caribbean have provided funding of US$653,000 (J$69.2 million) to undertake reform aimed at improving business competitiveness in Jamaica under an ongoing technical assistance programme.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton told a press conference in Kingston last week that funding from Compete Caribbean and the IDB have been used, among other things, to support drafting of the legislation for the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP) legislation.
They have also provided funding for the establishment of the collateral registry, public awareness, support for insolvency and the Companies (Amendment) Act to prescribe a single form for business registration.
improve country's ranking
Hylton explained that "these reforms were initiated under the Jamaica Competitiveness Enchant-ment Programme. The overall intention is to improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica and therefore improve our ranking internationally."
The World Bank 2014 Doing Business Report showed that Jamaica has fallen three places to 94 and comes amid calls from corporate Jamaica for the Government to do more to create a more business-friendly climate.
Hylton said it was the Government's aim to improve areas including the enforcing of contracts, registering businesses, access to credit, reducing the cost of doing business, simplifying the process of business start-up and make adequate provisions for corporate and individual insolvency.
The 2014 Doing Business Report shows that Jamaica's ranking placed it behind seven of its CARICOM peers, namely: St Lucia, 64; Trinidad and Tobago, 66; Antigua, 71; Dominica, 77; St Vincent and the Grenadines, 82; The Bahamas, 84; and Barbados, 91. But it also puts it ahead of seven: St Kitts-Nevis, 101; Belize, 106; Grenada, 107; Guyana, 115; the Dominican Republic, 117; Suriname, 161, and Haiti, 177.
This year's report, subtitled Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, again ranks Singapore at number one for the ease of doing business.
Compete Caribbean is a private-sector development programme which provides technical assistance, grants and investment funding to support development activities in the Caribbean.
Locally, it has funded the Investment Promotion and Economic Development Framework which aims to increase foreign direct investment inflows to highly productive sectors.