Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says Jamaica is poised to reap success from the second staging of the Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF), as a result of significant strides being made to ensure that the country is more business friendly for investors.
“We have laid the ground work for an improved business friendly environment, characterised largely by ease and speed. This we have achieved through the focused work of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), its partners, supporting agencies and ministries,” the Minister pointed out.
He was speaking at the JIF press briefing, held today (March 3) at Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in Kingston.
The JIF is slated to be held from March 10 to 12 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, and is set to attract over 150 potential investors representing companies from across the world.
Mr. Hylton said that among the initiatives implemented to improve the business environment are: a new Insolvency Regime; a Secured Transactions and Asset Based Lending regime; an electronic business registration application facility; the Customs management system (ASYCUDA), and E-filling of taxes.
As a result, he said Jamaica has improved its ranking in all major competitiveness indices.
In terms of the way forward, he highlighted that, “we have been focusing our efforts on establishing a logistics-centred economy and have made significant progress to this end.”
“We expect the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regime to be fully in place by the end of this year and the critical pieces of legislation that are necessary to launch the International Financial Services Centre to be in place by the end of 2015,” the Minister added.
“We fully expect that JIF 2015 will not only progress with specific investment projects, but also attract new opportunities that will facilitate wealth creation, increased employment and growth in our economy,” Mr. Hylton said.
He noted that the JIF is a signature event in Jamaica’s broader foreign direct investment attraction strategy, which is focused on positioning Jamaica as a leading investment destination.
This approach, he said, is an integral part of achieving the goals of the country’s Economic Growth Agenda, and delivering growth in GDP and jobs.
The Forum will see executive level representatives from 90 organizations attending, including: Aegis, The Unipharm Group, CEMEX, Accor Hotels & Resort, Apple Leisure Group, Melia Hotels International and The Wyndham Hotel Group.
While most of the investors are out of North America, there are also investors coming from Pakistan, Turkey, China, India, Spain, France and UK.
Headline sponsors for the Forum are JAMPRO, Commerzbank, Digicel Business and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
JIF 2012 has generated 2000 jobs so far, and progressed over US$500 million worth of projects.
Published Date: March 4th, 2015