Prime Minister Andrew Holness says in order to secure Jamaica as the place of choice to invest and do business, inclusive and economic growth must be fast-tracked.
“We are cognisant that the public sector must be more efficient and aligned with the economic growth agenda, and that their job is to provide a streamlined regulatory environment that supports the private sector. Once this economic policy is settled and working then Jamaica would not have space to accommodate and welcome the number of investors that would want to make Jamaica their first choice for investment,” Prime Minister Holness asserted.
He was speaking yesterday (June 21), at the official re-opening of ALPART alumina plant, in Nain St Elizabeth under the new ownership of Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO).
The prime minister also posited that government’s focus on the development of human capital will encourage businesses to invest in Jamaica.
Currently there are 575 Jamaicans employed at JISCO ALPART, and it’s projected to increase in the future. However, Mr Holness noted that there is a need to increase trained human resource to take up those jobs.
“It is the intention of the government to ensure that all these investments that require high technology and high human resource capabilities, can be found right here in Jamaica. In the long run, it will be the best economic decision to employ locally,” he emphasised.
In the meantime, Mr Holness endorsed China’s global trade policy, ‘One Belt, One Road. He said “I think at some stage, we would want to formally, if possible, join in what we think is a very beneficial and noble expression of not just Chinese aspiration for development but for the development of economies right across the world through a cooperative and inclusive strategy for economic growth.”
The ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa and Europe. The emphasis is on enhancing land as well as maritime routes.
The ALPART refinery was previously owned by Russian company UC Rusal. It has been out of operation and production for eight years.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the re-opening of the plant is a confirmation that the bauxite and alumina industry is reclaiming its significant role in job creation and sustained economic development in the country.