Jamaica attracted US$888 million in FDI for 2017

Sunday, July 15, 2018

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Minister with portfolio responsibility for investment and trade, Audley Shaw, has sought to defend reports on Jamaica's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows following a publication by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) which quoted the country as earning US$239 million less than numbers recorded by the Bank of Jamaica for the calendar year 2017.

Shaw, in a press release on Friday, opposed ECLAC report which noted Jamaica earned US$649 million in FDI with the World Investment Report 2018 published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in June which stated that the country attracted FDI inflows of US$888 million in 2017.

In support of Shaw's pronouncements, Jamaica's trade and investment promotions agency, Jampro, noted that the US$888 million figure fully reflects inflows recorded over 12 months by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) and the Trade and Investment Department at UNCTAD.

Shaw highlighted that in contrast, ECLAC has reported that Jamaica earned US$649 million in FDI, but emphasized that based on the ECLAC Report, the amount was based on preliminary figures and official estimates, rather than final figures published by the Bank of Jamaica in May 2018 as part of the country's 2017 Balance of Payment Accounts.

The WIR 2018 showed a 4.3 per cent decline in FDI inflows over 2016, while noting that in 2017 Jamaica showed resiliency and continues to attract the highest value of reported greenfield projects in 2017 in the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) group. Additionly, the report noted that Jamaica's 4.3 per cent decline is within the context of global FDI flows falling by 23 per cent in 2017 to US$1.43 trillion.

Minister Shaw, who also has responsibility for driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce, said that Jamaica has indeed experienced a small drop in investments, but the country is performing above its average before the global economic downturn.

Describing the island's performance, he stated, “Like many other developing countries Jamaica has been negatively affected by the global decrease in FDI, but we have remained fairly stable for 2017 and we are still in the top two SIDS receiving diverse FDI inflows. We are optimistic that Jamaica will continue to grow and attract significant investments going forward, and we are motivated by major projects already announced by investors such as Karisma, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Alpart bauxite refinery and the Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited.”

In response to ECLAC's report, Diane Edwards, President of JAMPRO noted that the Agency has been working with the body to present final numbers recorded by the BOJ in publications going forward, including the upcomingEconomic Survey of the Caribbean.

“We realized that the figures used are based on ECLAC's methodology and the timing of their report, which requires them to use preliminary figures. By partnering with ECLAC on future reports, the organization will be able to present the full picture of the country's FDI performance and trends,” she said.

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