Kingston, Jamaica – In the wake of Jamaica’s recent 8-point advance in the Global Competitiveness Report rankings, the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has been appointed to coordinate the first component of a US$50 million World Bank Project geared at improving the country’s business environment through more simplified business processes, and strengthening the development of investment projects and small businesses.
The announcement was made today (Sept. 24) at the launch of the 6-year ‘Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project’ at the UWI Mona by Dr. Peter Phillips, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service.
Component 1 of Project is funded to the tune of US$3.1 million under the World Bank’s Loan Programmes, and will provide technical assistance and implementation support to various government entities to address critical business regulation and procedural issues that inhibit robust business operations and expansion. These interventions are expected to improve Jamaica’s movement in the global competitiveness indices even further by directly addressing the delays in development approvals and construction permits and supporting the legal and regulatory framework for the new Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regime and technical assistance programmes at the Fair Trading Commission.
“JAMPRO welcomes the opportunity to play a lead role in this project given our track record in managing the work of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC)”, says JAMPRO’s President Diane Edwards.
The NCC Secretariat monitors the implementation of some 28 reforms on the Government’s Business Environment Reform Agenda and consistently works with public and private sector partners to improve the business climate and remove bureaucratic impediments. It is a major part of JAMPRO’s mandate to drive initiatives that will enhance investor perception of the country and ultimately lead to increased investments.
“This is a demonstration to entrepreneurs that the Government of Jamaica is committed to removing the obstacles to doing business in the country and improving the way we interact with both local and international investors” added Diane Edwards. “This project is timely and will serve to stimulate much-needed fiscal support to the implementation of key reforms – it is definitely a step in the right direction’, she added.
The World Bank “Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth” Project will be managed out of JAMPRO’s Special Projects Department in its Corporate Development and Competitiveness Division.