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Less austerity, red tape equal more jobs

BY NEKIESHA REID Business reporter
Friday, July 20, 2012

LESS austerity and bureaucracy would translate into a stronger economy, according to former Digicel boss, David Hall.

"Jamaica's priority needs to be the creation of jobs," he said at the American Chamber of Commerce's economic breakfast forum yesterday.

Finding ways to open the market to mass employers such as casinos and call centres should be the direction in which the country goes, he reckons. The Government, therefore, should use various means of encouraging businesses to set up shop in Jamaica that will employ hundreds at a time.

Hall launched VIP Attractions last year, operating high-end lounges at the island's two international airports.

However, the Club Kingston and Club Mo-Bay owner said, "Jamaica is not an easy place to do business," since he will just be able to hire an extra 30 persons after nine months of delay.

The elimination of bureaucracy will go a far way in setting the country on the path for growth, he said.

Incentives and tax breaks should be explored as a way to get foreign companies to invest in the island, thereby creating more jobs.

But while the need for mass employers was acknowledged, CEO of Anbell Group Andrew Pairman said Jamaica's small businesses should get the same consideration.

"Small businesses are responsible for over 50 per cent of employment in the nation but get no incentives," he said.

"They deserve more consideration and should be commended for keeping the economy together".

The former Young Entrepreneurs Association president founded Anbell Agencies Limited 20 years ago and recently launched Anbell Trade Exchange Limited to coordinate barter transactions between businesses.

The barter concept is one solution to moving the country forward, Pairman said, since exchanging goods and services can be successfully implemented within communities to offset financial constraints.

While Jamaica is only deficient in one type of capital, he said the country has failed to use the other seven at its disposal.

"We have resources that other nations would love to have," he said, adding that the country is rich with social, material, natural, intellectual, cultural, spiritual and human capital.

People should consider accessing and practically using these different forms of currency, he said, adding, "we tend to only think of financial capital but that is but one part".

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