KINGSTON, Jamaica — Several pieces of legislation governing manufacturing and export are being targeted for review by the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
This is with a view to effecting changes, where needed, that will serve to spur increased activities in these areas, thereby contributing to Jamaica’s attainment of higher levels of sustainable economic growth.
Portfolio Minister, Senator Aubyn Hill, said that a special team has been assembled to work in tandem with officers at the Ministry to identify the relevant documents for his perusal and action.
He said the overarching goal is to create the legislative framework and environment that facilitate heightened levels of investments in manufacturing, particularly by local interests, that translate into increased exports and earnings.
Senator Hill was speaking during the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) National Exporters’ Month Breakfast Forum held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St Andrew, on Thursday, May 19, under the theme ‘Building Back Stronger Through Exports’.
The Minister said that Jamaica’s attainment of strong economic growth “will depend on very robust exports” but noted that “we have to have something to sell”.
He said that while there has been significant commercial activity by business interests “a lot of the money is not invested in manufacturing things to sell or crafting new [products] and services for export”.
“So, we’re going to have to manufacture and we need to invest in what we are doing here,” he maintained.
The Minister pointed out that foreign direct investments were welcome, but noted that “Jamaicans with capital must [also seek] to invest [as] there are great opportunities to be derived”.
As such, he said that the Government, through the Ministry, will be taking the necessary steps to make it easy for people to do business.
“So, I want to look at every piece of legislation that affects [manufacturing and] exports and amend [these, where necessary]. Some of them cross Ministries [and] some negotiations may have to happen, but we are going to make sure we make changes where needed,” he added.
Hill said the increased investment in manufacturing requires the “collective will and energies of all of us” and assured that “the Government is behind you… and this Minister is supporting you”.
“Our Ministry is creating the environment; we are looking to remove existing barriers to trade. Partner with us and investors locally and from overseas to build back Jamaica stronger through exports, so that this country can grow,” he urged.