Addressing a special luncheon of the Jamaica American Chamber of Commerce at the Three West Club in Manhattan, New York the Minister said that the measures put in place will not only impact the country’s capacity to grow but ensure that another generation will never again have to endure the extreme sacrifices we have had to endure in this current phase of economic reform.
Minister Phillips said that we need to ensure the most effective coordination possible of the critical investment climate of the country’s growth agenda. This includes major investments in areas of agro parks, tourism, information technology, BPO sector and sports infrastructure expansion. He said that growth projections in the Economic Reform Policy (ERP) are relatively modest, but the objective is to extend these targets.
To this end, the cabinet has established a sub-committee with appropriate technical support and a secretariat charged specifically with the coordination and facilitation of major growth incentives.
The Minister pointed out that the priority of the Government is not only on growth, but securing socially inclusive growth. The objective is not only to increase productivity, but to ensure expanded ownership and job creation by virtue of new business start-ups and support for medium and small enterprises which normally provide for the bulk of employment and growth output.
Minister Phillips revealed that over the past three years, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has injected more than $6.5 billion into the funding of medium and small micro enterprises and said that this year, the Government will be implementing the venture capital proposal that will enable start-up businesses and other small businesses to have access to funding. He said he hoped the venture capital fund will come on stream in early 2015.
The Planning and Finance Minister while on a three-day visit to New York toured the New York Stock Exchange, met with 50 of the most prominent members of the New York finance community, addressed a JAMPRO breakfast, delivered a lecture entitled, “Jamaica’s Path to Prosperity” at the 10 Annual Caribbean International Network (CIN) Lecture Series and was interviewed on the Bloomberg Financial Network. The Minister returned to the island on Saturday, November 1st.
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