The Honourable Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, was announced as the new Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) on July 21, 2017 in Kingston.
The announcement was made at an NCC meeting held to explore the body’s strategy to propel Jamaica into the top ten ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, the authoritative report that captures the performance of 190 countries in their efforts to improve the ease of doing business.
Coming from the NCC’s Business Environment roundtable held in April this year, the Council was charged with exploring the reforms necessary to drastically improve Jamaica’s ease of doing business to support the Economic Growth Council ‘s 5-in-4 growth target. The NCC is now performing consultations to create a work plan that will guide Jamaica’s performance from its current ranking of 67 to the top 10.
President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, noted that she supported the initiative as the Agency sees the improvement of the business environment as key to attracting more investments into the country. “Ease of accessing electricity, credit, development approvals and legal support are all critical areas that are looked at by investors before considering Jamaica for investments,” said Ms. Edwards, “We must work towards ensuring that Jamaica is as attractive as possible to both local and international investors. The NCC and JAMPRO will be working to create a strategy to not only improve the business environment, but ensure that this improvement is felt by our international partners and local entrepreneurs.”
In his address to the members of the body, Minister Vaz explained that the NCC’s mandate was critical to Jamaica achieving economic growth targets, and improving the ability for companies to do business efficiently. He noted that as new Chairman and leader of the Secretariat, he would hold members accountable to meeting timelines for reforms, as the Government focuses on boosting economic growth.
Minister Vaz said that the NCC’s work, “… is critical to the Government’s growth targets, and it is definitively the vehicle that we can use to get things done. The work is going to be significant and part of a wider institutional framework that is in place to ensure that we achieve the goals that we want, and more importantly enabling the business environment that will foster investor confidence.”
Speaking of the need for action to improve the ease of doing business and his commitment to the NCC, Minister Vaz said, “There is no better time than now; the NCC has an important role to play, and the members of the council will be able to support each other to get the work done. My commitment is to work assiduously with all members, so that we can get the benefits of executing the business environment reform agenda that is managed by the National Competitiveness Council.”
The National Competitiveness Council (NCC)’s Secretariat is housed at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO). The body aims to improve the business environment to support sustainable economic growth in Jamaica.