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Gov’t Committed To Improving Climate For Manufacturing – PM

Gov’t Committed To Improving Climate For Manufacturing – PM
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (centre), participates in the cutting of cake to celebrate the official opening of upgraded facilities at Industrial Chemical Company Limited in Spanish Town, St. Catherine on Wednesday (September 9). Also sharing in the occasion (from left) are: Industrial Chemical Limited’s Managing Director, Lynden Nugent; former Board Chairman, R. Danny Williams; Principal Director, Janine Ewart; Directors, Brent Bunting, Matthew Wright, and Brian Jardim; and Board Chairman, Peter Melhado.
(Media Credit: Yhomo Hutchinson)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says the manufacturing sector will be given key focus as Jamaica works to reform the business environment, and achieve further improvements in the country’s global business ranking. The Prime Minister was speaking at Wednesday’s (September 9) official opening of Industrial Chemical Company Limited’s (ICC) newly upgraded plant in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.

Describing manufacturing as the “salt” of Jamaica’s economy, the Prime Minister said the sector continues to make a “steady and reliable contribution to economic expansion…growth and development…and to our progress, as a people.”

The Prime Minister noted that the Government, through the National Competitiveness Council, among other initiatives, has been implementing legislative and administrative reforms to benefit the sector.

“We are doing so, as this sector is vital to expanding local production and generating employment, which is needed to boost our rate of economic growth,” she said.

The World Bank’s 2015 Doing Business Report indicated that Jamaica jumped 36 places to rank 58th out of 189 countries globally and, in the process, achieved the Caribbean’s highest ranking.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Simpson Miller hailed the J$236.8 million (US$2 million) plant upgrading, undertaken by the salt and chemical manufacturing entity, which was facilitated through loan support from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

The project, which entailed the installation of state-of-the-art equipment, is expected to significantly boost productivity, as well as enable the entity to introduce a wide range of new products to the local and export markets.

The Prime Minister said the upgrading will put the company in a position to take “full advantage” of the trade and cooperation agreements between CARICOM and countries such as Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also urged the country’s manufacturers to harness the provisions of the recently expanded National Export Strategy (NES) “to reach new and non-traditional markets all over the globe.”