NCC Improving Business Environment

 

Since its inception in 2010, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) has been facilitating the implementation of various business reforms to improve the local business environment and encourage economic development and investment.

It is tasked to advance policy advocacy, research and provide public awareness of reform initiatives that facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for business in Jamaica.

Housed at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the NCC manages and monitors the reforms being implemented by the government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Vice President of Corporate Development and Competitiveness at JAMPRO, Shullette Cox tells JIS News that the Council works at identifying challenges being faced by private sector entities in their transactions with the government.

“So we talk to our stakeholders to understand the challenges, then identify business reforms that can be implemented by the government to make things easier and more seamless for the average business person,” Ms. Cox explains.

She adds that “once we have identified those reforms, we go about engaging the relevant agencies and do everything we can to drive the implementation of those reforms.”

Some key reforms that have been implemented through this collaboration include the mandatory system of e-filing for all major taxes; support to the drafting of the Insolvency Act; development and implementation of the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act and the National Collateral Registry; and the implementation of the Business Registration Super-form.

She points out that through the work of the NCC, Jamaica has benefitted from the systematic approach adopted to improve its business climate and improve the ease of doing business.

The Doing Business Report (DBR) 2017 highlighted Jamaica as one of nine countries in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to have implemented more than one reform, and emphasized that the country ranks in the top 50 worldwide in business processes such as starting a business, getting credit and resolving insolvency.

The NCC says that upcoming reforms and initiatives such as an electronic land titling system, Customs reforms and tax collection will improve Jamaica’s performance on global ease of doing business rankings, and will help the country to be more appealing to investors.

“We have been very involved in a number of changes that you see happening across government…the NCC was integral to the Companies Office of Jamaica’s amalgamation of its business registration forms some years ago, moving from a six-day turnaround time on registering businesses to now having the ability to register a business in 24 hours,” Ms. Cox highlights.

The Vice President notes that the Council has given support to the Tax Administration of Jamaica with the establishment of its online platform for paying taxes.

Ms Cox says the Agency is currently working with the local government agencies and the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) in reforming the development approval process for planning and building permits.

“If we make it easier to do business, more people will do business and if we can get more people to do business then that will reflect increased economic activity,” Ms. Cox reasons.

The NCC’s focus areas for the next few years will be to monitor and drive the implementation of some 45 reforms under the Business Environment Reform Agenda (BERA) and will also monitor Jamaica’s performance on key global competitiveness indices such as Doing Business Report, Logistics Performance Index and the Global Competitiveness Report.

Source: 
Jamaica Information Service
Published Date: 
Sunday, March 26, 2017