Initiative aims to facilitate projects that align with national development goals
The Jamaican government has launched the “Priority Investment Project” initiative to increase facilitation of private investment projects that are expected to have great economic impact, encourage innovation, engage the local business community, and will boost the island’s development.
These projects would be assessed by Cabinet, and if approved will be selected and noted as being of national interest. This means that they are expected to have a strategic impact on sustainable development by contributing to the growth of the economy and increasing the competitiveness of Jamaica regionally and/or globally.
A project will be evaluated in seven areas; these are economic impact (which includes a minimum capital expenditure of US$300M or creation of a minimum of 1,200 permanent local jobs), innovation, linkages (use of local resources and suppliers), investment in internationally competitive industries, local economic development, environmental and social impact (where the project must adhere to national obligations for social and environmental protection and sustainable development), and financial capability.
If all these conditions are met and the project is approved by Cabinet, the investor would receive non-fiscal benefits,including the expediting of Government services and support with addressing challenges that potential investors may face during the project cycle.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, The Honourable Audley Shaw lauded the initiative, saying that it has created a structure that will encourage investments that are in Jamaica’s best interests, and align with the island’s economic and social development goals. He said, “This initiative has the potential to not only increase investments into Jamaica, but it ensures that there will be more investments that have a large-scale impact and contribute to Jamaica’s sustainable growth. These investments will create jobs, encourage knowledge and technology transfer and innovation, and will support our business community through linkages and other engagement.”
The Minister went on to say, “It is not simply enough to attract investments, we also want to see investments that can directly or indirectly improve the lives of every Jamaican. This government is committed to using a comprehensive approach to developing Jamaica, and this also applies to private investments. I am therefore pleased to see the launch of this initiative and I look forward to working with JAMPRO to secure excellent projects.”
President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, echoed the Minster’s statement. She noted, “It is critical for Jamaica to improve our facilitation of investments as we work towards becoming a more competitive nation with a business enabling environment. This initiative will therefore boost our work to make it easier to do business in Jamaica, and to increase investments that will help the island to meet its development goals set in Vision 2030.”
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