JAMPRO, the national trade and investment agency, joined the global community on Thursday July 5th in launching the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2012 at the offices of JAMPRO.
Speaking at the UNCTAD’s World Investment Update were Mrs. Sancia Bennett-Templer on ‘Global Investments 2011’, UWI Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Alvin Wint on ‘Trends in International Investment Policy’, General Manager of Privatization Services at the Development Bank of Jamaica Mrs. Denise Arana on ‘Public Private Partnership and Privatization Policies: The New Policy Framework’ and JAMPRO Chairman Milton Samuda on ‘Jamaica’s Strategies for Stimulating Investments.’
According to Bennett-Templer there is much work underway across government to improve the policy framework as it relates to investments, which are expected to yield positive results in the medium term. “If we look at the FDI numbers in the report, the Caribbean, despite the global increase of 16%, saw a decline in 2011 of 3.6%. Jamaica’s performance at an increase of 5.8% is therefore above that of the wider Caribbean and is a step in the right direction. Clearly much need to be done to improve on this performance and we at JAMPRO are committed to continue the thrust and to look at new ways to ensure that Jamaica enjoys an increasing share of the global FDI flows.”
A significant part of Jamaica’s increase in FDI inflows, explains Bennett-Templer, can be contributed to the $288 million investment from Korea East-West Power Company Limited. In addition, the island was highlighted twice in the top ten largest Greenfield projects recorded in Small Island Developing States with LIME’s investment of $282 million and CMA GGM investing $100 million for water transportation.
JAMPRO Chairman Milton Samuda reiterated the organisation’s commitment to doing everything necessary to attract investments to Jamaica. He explained that the government of Jamaica is facilitating a number of significant investment projects which will be coming on stream over the next 12 months. One of which is the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPSCo) 5-year programme to build a US$475-million 100-megawatt petcoke fuel plant as the second phase of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
JPS will also be constructing a new hydroelectric power plant valued at US$33- million dollars which will create employment for approximately 100 people in the local community during the construction phase. The new plant will be sited beside its current hydro-plant in St. Elizabeth and this project will represent the largest hydroelectric project undertaken in Jamaica since Independence, contributing 6.3MW of power to the national grid. Both projects are extremely significant as they contribute substantially to the diversification and improvement of Jamaica’s energy supply.
The tourism industry is also set to benefit from a number of developments such as the expansions of the Fiesta Hotel Group and the construction of another property in the Riu chain. Both projects are valued at over 250 million US dollars and are anticipated to generate approximately 3, 250 jobs.
Samuda concluded, “a number of policies currently being pursued by the government—if implemented quickly—will assist in making the country an even more attractive destination for investments.”
The world investment report is recognised as the global authoritative source of investment information which presents the latest data on foreign direct investment from around the world. This year’s report subtitled ‘Towards a New Generation of Investment Policies’, focuses attention on the role of investment policy in creating a conducive environment for investments.
Posted By :Mark Thomas
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