Vaz greets Regus Business Centre as a sign of growth

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 02, 2018

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Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, says that the setting up of the new Regus Business Centre in New Kingston is another sign of the country's growth momentum.

Speaking to dozens of guests at the official opening of the centre at the PanJam Building, Knutsford Boulevard on Wednesday, in a message read by colleague Minister Fayval Williams in his absence, Vaz said that the new Regus Business Centre will be a great addition to the business landscape of Kingston, allowing smaller businesses to work alongside larger global businesses in a modern state-of-the-art facility.

“This is another sign of the continued momentum we see in the growing Jamaican economy, and I would like to wish Regus success, not only in New Kingston, but as it takes its brand across Jamaica,” he stated.

He said that Jamaica is proud to be in the company of sister nations like Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, which also house Regus Business Centres.

“Even more so that we have joined 3,000 other locations in 900 cities across the world, in welcoming this extraordinary and novel business model to our shores,” he added.

He noted that Regus has a concept that fits in with today's “fast-paced, highly mobile” business world. But even more is a concept that will allow us to capitalise on the kinds of investments Jamaica hopes to attract.

“When investors come in, they can move into an office space immediately to start doing business. That ties in with our ethos as a Government,” Vaz said.

He stated that Jamaica is working hard to ensure that it has the best reputation, in terms of the ease and speed of doing business.

“That was the concept behind the creation of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. All the agencies that deal with licensing and permits, land use and development are housed under one umbrella ministry, to allow for the smooth establishment of businesses,” he explained.

He also noted that the government's drive towards economic growth and job creation continues unabated.

He said that, for example, during the 2018/19 financial year, the Development Bank of Jamaica is targeting support of over $27 billion in investments, and over $8 billion in loan approvals.

“It will provide support to 220 new businesses, and impact 940 MSMEs through capacity development initiatives. 5,500 new jobs are being targeted from these initiatives,” Vaz noted.

He also pointed out that, in collaboration with the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the EXIM Bank has a Small and Medium Tourism Enterprise Loan Programme, in which an overall $1 billion is earmarked for disbursement, in tranches.

He said that, as part of a major thrust to spur growth in the economy, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) will be utilising a holistic approach, whereby manufacturers and service providers within Special Economic Zones will be encouraged to build supply arrangements with domestic suppliers.

“These initiatives are being buttressed by the implementation of the necessary legislative enabling framework, to support the kind of investment we hope to attract,” Vaz said.

“All these initiatives are paying off. We are seeing the fruits of our efforts in terms of investments and job creation, and there are positive indicators that we are on the right path to success, through the plans, projects and programmes that we have put in place to achieve our economic growth targets,” Vaz concluded.

Mark Linehan, managing director of Regus Caribbean, told the guests at the opening that one of the differentiators for Regus is the benefits that accrue to its clients from being part of the Regus global network.

“Not only can clients access all Regus' 3,300 business lounges across the world, but they are able to register their business on Regus Marketplace, which gives them access to customers across the globe,” Linehan said.

He also noted that Regus' objective is to create a world-class working environment in New Kingston where businesses, large and small, can do what they do best and let Regus look after the rest.

PanJam Investment Limited acquired a 25 per cent stake in Williams Office (Caribbean) Limited, the Caribbean arm of global workspace provider, Regus, in October.

Williams Office was established in Barbados in 2015 with a mandate to license and operate the Regus brand and business model in a number of Caribbean countries. The company first opened the Regus Business Centre in June 2016 at One Welches, Barbados and followed with a second centre in March 2017 at Invader's Bay in Trinidad & Tobago.

Regus is part of the IWG group of Switzerland, which provides flexible office rental rooms in over 1,500 business centres globally for more than two decades.

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