The Government minister responsible for cutting bureaucracy for businesses says the country has seen a surge in investment activities since March last year, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs.Daryl Vaz, the minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, was giving Parliament an update on what he said was the “considerable investment package” he had announced last year as under review and which, he insisted, would contribute to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
“For the past fiscal year, capital expenditure by JAMPRO-facilitated investment projects was targeted to be over US$360 million, of which it is estimated that approximately US$257 million was achieved as at January 2017,” Vaz told Parliament in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate on Tuesday. “This expenditure is estimated to have provided over ten thousand jobs.
“Total investments supported by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) for the year thus far are over J$25 billion, with the potential job creation of over five thousand persons,” Vaz added.
He said that 192 new businesses were created or supported through the DBJ’s programmes, and J$43 million in grants were disbursed to 27 companies under the Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship Programme. “These were mostly Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with innovative products or business models that required financing to boost their operations,” Vaz said.
“I cannot stress enough the MSME sector as a driver of growth and employment in any economy, and so we are moving to ease the constraints faced by MSMEs due to the lack of capital,” Vaz added.
He said that this fiscal year, the DBJ is targeting support of over J$26 billion in investments and over J$7 billion in loan approvals. “It will provide support to 200 new businesses and impact 810 MSMEs through capacity development initiatives” from which 4,500 new jobs are expected.
“JAMPRO is projecting the value of investment flow for all Jamaica to be some US$600 million, with the potential for creating thousands of jobs and national export sales value of US$1.6 billion,” he said.
“We have encountered challenges along the way. However, we are undaunted by the setbacks, and have identified the corrective measures to lead us to success,” Vaz said, adding that the Government was “cementing the gains and creating a prosperous future for Jamaica”.
Source: Jamaica Observer
Published Date: April 27th, 2017