Diaspora Urged To Invest In Jamaica

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Jamaicans overseas are being encouraged to seize the various opportunities available to invest in the island.

Declaring that “Jamaica is open for business”, Minister of State for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. Norman Dunn, said that there are opportunities for business activity across diverse sectors, including agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, logistics and outsourcing.

He noted that entities such as Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ), are available to provide ongoing support to potential investors.

“Jamaicans abroad, you are away but your heart is at home. You [are] invested in this country and we are saying to you, Jamaica is ready and open for business. This is your chance, your opportunity; seize the moment,” he urged.

Dr. Dunn was addressing a panel discussion on Wednesday (June 15) as part of the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference, which is being held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, downtown Kingston and online.

He said that the Government continues to develop strategies to improve the ease of doing business.

Among the measures is a National Investment Policy to better manage the development of Jamaica’s investment climate, in line with international best practices and norms.

Dr. Dunn said, further, that work is being done to make it easier for persons to invest in projects that are sustainable, innovative and can contribute meaningfully to Jamaica’s economic and social development through a Priority Investment Project Initiative.

He also cited the establishment of the Jamaica Economic Residency Programme (JERP), which is a business migration initiative that will facilitate economic residency status for individuals without Jamaican citizenship who are ready to invest, such as second- or third-generation Jamaicans.

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In addition, he noted that a sum of $330 million has been budgeted to continue work on the Jamaica Business Environment Reforms Project in the 2022/23 fiscal year, which aims to, among other things, strengthen the business environment for private-sector investment.

“We have embraced digitisation and digitalisation in many of these initiatives, such as the National Business Portal, which provides a one-stop shop for prospective investors in Jamaica, and the government’s portal, the Jamaica Single Window for Trade, for web-enabled access to services that support cross-border trade,” he informed.

Dr. Dunn told the diaspora conference participants that despite the necessary containment measures during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the economy has remained stable.

“We navigated the pandemic without borrowing. Our banking system is strong, and we are maintaining a path of fiscal prudence,” he said, noting that the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) indicates that the country recorded four consecutive quarters of growth in the last fiscal year.

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