Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton (left) , enjoys a light moment with Chairman, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Milton Samuda (centre); and Executive Director (Acting)/Legal Counsel, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Lilyclaire Ballamy. Occasion was the National Competiveness Council’s 5th annual business environment reform roundtable at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston today (Feb. 26). The roundtable meeting was aimed at promoting collaboration between the private and public sectors to improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica.
The Government remains committed to strengthening the country’s business environment, through the introduction of key reforms that will facilitate greater investment opportunities and put the country on a path to sustained economic growth.
This was stated by Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, during the National Competiveness Council 5th annual business environment reform roundtable on February 26, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Mr. Hylton, who is also Chair of the Council, said several business reform measures are slated to be introduced at the Companies Office of Jamaica (CoJ), the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Jamaica Customs, among other agencies.
Among them is the online portal to accept electronic business registration applications that is being developed by the CoJ, which he said, is expected to “be deployed by the end of the year”.
“This will further enhance the significant benefits that were introduced with the business super-form last year,” Minister Hylton said. The Business Registration Form or ‘super form’ is geared towards simplifying, speeding up and making the process of registering new companies and business names less onerous, through the use of a single form.
Turning to reforms being undertaken at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Minister Hylton said that Ministry is deepening its efforts to improve the development approval process, through implementation of the Application Management and Data Analysis (AMANDA) software.
The AMANDA software allows for transparency through facilitation of a paper trail, reduce inconsistencies and bring to a halt, the bottleneck in task assignment and processes within the development sector.
“The teams at the Ministry of Local Government and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) are working assiduously at an aggressive timeline to have these initiatives implemented. The increased efficiency of the development approvals process will be further enhanced by the fact that the AMANDA tracking system is expected to be fully operationalised across all planning authorities this year, into next year,” Minister Hylton said.
He also informed that significant work is underway to integrate the Port Community System with ASYCUDA, and the group of Government e-facilitation portals for trade. “This integration should allow for the deployment of the country’s single electronic window, within the next 18-24 months,” he pointed out.
Additionally, Mr. Hylton informed that changes will be made to the Electricity Act, and new operational measures introduced at the Government Electrical Inspectorate, which he said “will revolutionise getting electricity in Jamaica.” Further details on these initiatives will be disclosed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.
He said other reforms that were introduced last year have assisted in improving the country’s business environment. These include: the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act, the creation of the Business Registration Superform and the passing of the Insolvency Act.
The Minister noted that the Council, over its five years of existence, has cemented itself as a credible mechanism through which business climate reforms are implemented and monitored. “Today, right across Government, entities are responding to the call to facilitate greater and expanded private sector entrepreneurship in Jamaica,” he said.
The roundtable meeting was aimed at promoting collaboration between the private and public sectors to improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica.
The National Competitiveness Council is a public-private partnership body established in 2010 to advance policy advocacy, research and public awareness of reform initiatives that facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for businesses in Jamaica.
Published Date: February 27th, 2015