JAMPRO welcomes Jamaica’s historic increase in Doing Business Report ranking

Kingston, Jamaica: The National Competitiveness Council (NCC), managed by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), welcomed Jamaica’s move from 94 to 58 on the Doing Business 2015 report’s overall economy ranking. The announcement was made at a press conference Wednesday, October 29, at JAMPRO’s Business Auditorium. Jamaica is now ranked first in the English speaking Caribbean in ease of doing business.

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency is the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual report, it measures government regulations that affect business activity and how these regulations impact 11 areas in the life of a business. Ease of starting a business, getting electricity and getting credit are some of the areas that are examined by the World Bank to determine a country’s ‘distance to frontier’, which refers to a country’s distance to achieving a perfect score of 100 in the doing business indicators.

Jamaica showed marked improvement in indicators that coincide with reforms recently enabled through the NCC. The country increased by 3 spots in the ‘Starting a Business’ indicator ranking to 20 from 23 and an impressive 97 places in the ‘Getting Credit’ indicator ranking, moving to 12th place out of 189 countries. Jamaican businesses also pay less to receive electricity through the reduction of the cost to make external connections and this was recognized in the “Getting Electricity” indicator ranking.

The NCC continues to monitor and facilitate the passing of reforms through the Business Environment Reform Agenda (BERA), which expanded the number of indices being tracked to include those in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). The Council predicts further success with reforms that are currently in parliament, for example the reform of insolvency and bankruptcy laws. Shullette Cox, Vice President of Corporate Development and Competitiveness at JAMPRO said, “ Jamaica’s increasing competitiveness is a true reflection of the hard work and commitment of the Government in reforming the country’s business environment. While it is a move in a positive direction, much more needs to be done to ensure that MSMEs are themselves competitive in the global marketplace.”

At the press conference, Therese Turner-Jones, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) country representative, congratulated Jamaica on the achievement and lauded the work done by the National Competitiveness Council and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce. “It speaks to a lot of change that has been taking place,” she said, “We must sustain this development, it will require Jamaicans working on a different level and Compete Caribbean is looking at areas to improve growth and make the economy a dynamic one.” The IDB provided funding to support two of the reforms that impacted Jamaica’s increase in ranking; the Business Registration Form also referred to as the ‘superform’ and the National Collateral Registry. Both initiatives were imperative in improving the ease of doing business.

The Honourable Anthony Hylton, Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and Chairman of the NCC commended JAMPRO and all parties involved for their commitment to improving the business atmosphere in Jamaica. He said, “ I am particularly proud of the fact that two of the four reforms that impacted the jump were implemented through the Companies Office of Jamaica, which falls within the remit of this Ministry.”

With the recent increases in Jamaica’s rankings in the Global Competitiveness Report, the Logistics Performance Index and Doing Business Report, JAMPRO forecasts even further increases in investor interest in Jamaica. Last year, Jamaica saw investment levels increase to the highest since the global financial crisis with foreign direct investment levels at US$567 million.

The NCC Secretariat will continue to monitor and drive the implementation of reforms and the removal of impediments to doing business in the country.

Published Date: 
Friday, October 31, 2014
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