First Look

JCC Statement released at the Meeting of the JCC Board of Directors, November 27, 2018 58 Half Way Tree Road

Jamaica Chamber of Commerce | 2018-11-29 11:43:00

By many of the most meaningful yardsticks, 2019 should be a significant turning point in Jamaica’s history.
Over the course of next year –
• We should be seeing a GDP growth rate of approximately 2.5% which, though well below where we’d like it to be, would still be the best in years;
• We should be seeing a continuation of the low inflation that has characterised this year and an interest rate in the low single digits;
• We should be seeing the debt-GDP ratio at its lowest in decades; and if present trends continue
• We should be seeing the lowest level of unemployment recorded over the past decade or more.
At the same time that all those things are happening, a number of major infrastructure projects will be coming on-stream or will be moving into full implementation.
All of this is taking place in a domestic environment where our Index of Business Confidence is at an all-time high, and our international competitiveness ratings show that we are ranked in enviable positions across a number of key indices – even as those rankings point to continued scope for improvement.
To summarize all of these and other developments we could succinctly say that we are at a good point to take off on a growth trajectory.
How do we ensure that we make the best of the moment and very importantly, how do we ensure that we don’t mess this up?
We have some thoughts for both the government and the private sector.
For the government, we want to encourage you to get rid of the non-productive and growth-inhibitive policies and practices. The best signal that the government could send right now is to unequivocally convey its intent to fully support the drive for businesses to invest in the economy. A loud signal could be the removal of inhibitive and nuisance taxes such as
• Taxes on dividends
• The Minimum Business Tax
• The surtax on personal income over the $6 million threshold
• And of course, it is now timely to revisit the Asset Tax
Richmond Park Great House 
On our side, we have a committee that has made this issue of taxes its raison d'ętre and it is now liaising with other business associations to develop proposals to ascertain how these can be accomplished in the shortest possible time without negatively impacting the country’s revenues.
We ask that the GOJ send the right signals because even with all the positives noted, there will still be naysayers and the right signals will further encourage our firms to re-invest here, in Jamaica, in productive undertakings that will contribute to the growth we’d all like to see.
I believe it is fair to say that the private sector is looking closely and that as was noted in the latest indices of business confidence, many of us are concluding that the time to make new investments or to expand existing investments is now.
I believe that it is fair to say that we are committed to re-vesting in Jamaica in growing our businesses and by extension growing the economy and creating more jobs.
We will have a lot more to say on these matters in the weeks and months ahead.
For further information, contact Nordia Henry, Communications & Marketing Officer at the JCC Secretariat Tel: 922-0150-1/332-7354 or email:

Posted By :Jamaica Commerce

Company Name : Jamaica Chamber of Commerce

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