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Growth & Jobs | Government committed to business reforms - Clarke

Published:Tuesday | May 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke has said the Government is committed to accelerating the abolishment of blocks to business as Jamaica seeks to grow its economy.

The minister made the comments during the eighth staging of the Business Environment Reform Roundtable, which was hosted by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently.

The event explored the reforms needed to improve Jamaica’s performance on the World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR), and the plans to execute more reforms to make it easier to do business in the island. Clarke explained that these reforms will boost the country’s economic growth.

He said, “We have consistently ranked as the most competitive economy by virtue of this survey [the DBR] in the Caribbean region. Despite this performance, however, we can’t be complacent because, as a presentation alluded to, all countries are striving to do better ... so it’s for this reason, and the need to increase the pace of reform, that the government is committed to accelerating this process. The prime minister has been vocal about the Government’s appetite for reform that will lead to faster economic development.”

Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and chairman of the NCC; Diane Edwards, president of JAMPRO; and Julie Ryan and Silvia Carolina Lopez Rocha of the World Bank, also led discussions on Jamaica’s performance in the DBR ranking and its impact on the country’s ability to attract investments and other business opportunities.


The World Bank reported that Jamaica has made considerable growth in executing reforms; for example, decreasing the period to start a business from 31 days in 2004 to three days in 2019. However, legislation and other changes are needed to increase the pace to improve Jamaica’s business environment.

Jamaica must accelerate the pace of executing reforms. Edwards explained that the roundtable provided the opportunity for private and public stakeholders to assess Jamaica’s performance in the Doing BusinessReport ranking in a collaborative setting. The forum also displayed the reforms needed to ensure that the country continues on a journey of transformation. She noted that with this information available, it was key for Jamaica to put reforms in place at a faster pace to be competitive on a global scale.

She said, “I think this has been a useful exercise for taking stock of where we are on the path of transformation. We are becoming an efficient and a high-performing society, and that, to me, is extremely exciting. The challenge that I think we still have is about pace of change. we cannot afford to move slowly while other countries around the world accelerate their rate of effecting reforms. We must be decisive and fully committed to the goal of getting to the DBR top 10.”

The NCC Roundtable displays all the various efforts across government to remove bureaucratic impediments, and improve efficiency.