‘Jamaica is a great place to invest,’ says Minister Hylton

LONDON – Jamaica’s growing business sophistication, strategic location, impressive workforce and ongoing commitment to inward investments and free enterprise were among the attributes identified by Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, as he positioned the island as “a great place to invest” at the fourth annual Jamaica-UK Investment Forum at Drapers’ Hall in London on March 29.

“Our growing business sophistication premised on location, people, and competitive price, are compelling value propositions…Looking at Jamaica today, significant opportunities exist in the energy, housing, agriculture, infrastructure, ICT/BPO, niche manufacturing and tourism sectors,” stated Minister Hylton.

He indicated that his ministry is presently focussed on building a globally competitive platform for business and industry, by vigorously engaging in establishing policies and programmes that are critical to fostering an environment that will stimulate investments as the basis for sustained economic growth. He noted that in doing so, the government has taken into account the ongoing process of globalization and its impact on the broader economic landscape of Jamaica.

“We are, therefore, committed to facilitating investments that will contribute to the development of the country’s productive capacity, generate GDP growth with employment, and support long-term macro-economic stability,” said Minister Hylton.

He used the opportunity to outline his ministry’s ten-point strategy designed to take the country towards the goals of the Vision 2030 plan to make Jamaica, “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. Among the areas of focus of the strategy are sustainable economic growth with jobs, public-private partnerships, commitment to a functional government, boosting Jamaica’s Global Business and Competitiveness rankings, business facilitation to spur the growth of start-ups, addressing priority legislation and prioritizing an MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy.

Anthony Hylton (right), Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, greets Nick Cooper (2nd right), Executive Director, Cable & Wireless, at the Jamaica-UK Investment Forum held at Drapers’ Hall in London on March 29. Looking on are Claude Duncan (left), JAMPRO’s Vice President, Investment Promotions, and Lachlan Johnston (2nd left) of Cable & Wireless.

The Minister also shared the vision project of the Flagship Global Shipping and Logistics hub, and signalled the government’s intent to do whatever is necessary to facilitate investments in the infrastructure required to position Jamaica as a global shipping and logistics hub for trade in the Americas.

In his closing remarks, Minister Hylton told the gathering that Jamaica’s new engagement of investors will be transformative and pragmatic, and will exemplify the phrase, “Jamaica: Ready for Business”.

“We are ready for your business, and we are prepared to work harder and to go further in helping you to achieve breakthrough results for your investment.”

The Jamaica-UK Investment Forum was organised by JAMPRO in collaboration with Developing Markets Associates (DMA). Among the other speakers at the event were Sancia Bennett-Templer, President, JAMPRO; Graham Glover, UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Jamaica; Joan Edwards, Jamaica’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK; Nick Cooper, Executive Director, Cable & Wireless; Marlene Street–Forrest, General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE); Laurence Jones, JAMPRO’s European Regional Manager; and Claude Duncan, JAMPRO’s Vice President, Investment Promotions.

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