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Competition, Domestic Value Add, Training & Skills Development, Technology Transfer and Corporate Social Responsibility – Guiding Principles for Win-Win Foreign Direct Investment in Jamaica

Ministry of Finance and the Public Service | 2019-02-27 13:39:00

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr the Honourable Nigel Clarke, while speaking at the Official Launch of the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Jamaica at the Spanish Court Hotel on February 26, 2019 emphasised five (5) principles for win-win foreign direct investment in Jamaica. 

While highlighting that Jamaica is experiencing a time of unprecedented opportunity, with macroeconomic variables stable and 15 consecutive quarters of growth and interest and inflation rates moving in the right direction, he emphasised that the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) cannot, on its own make the total investments needed to develop Jamaica’s social and physical infrastructure. He acknowledged that it is through private investment, which includes investments made by foreign and domestic enterprises, that we will be able to achieve our development goals. He said  “So we want an economy where there is continued investment, investment domestically from the Jamaican people and investment from foreign enterprises. It is in that context that I say foreign direct investment from Chinese enterprises is welcome in Jamaica.”

Dr Clarke also noted that for the investments to generate ‘win-win’ results, where investors, customers, employees, the Jamaican people and the Jamaican economy win, foreign investment should embrace five principles of – (i) participating in competitive processes that assure best pricing and terms, (ii) inclusion of domestic value add that maximizes impact on the Jamaica economy, (iii) training and skills development of Jamaican employees, (iv) technology transfer and (v)corporate social responsibility.

The Minister said “We want to ensure that Chinese and other foreign investment in Jamaica is accompanied by requisite levels of training and skills development and that Jamaicans have opportunity for employment at all levels in the domestic operations of Chinese and other foreign investors” and, “we want foreign direct investment in Jamaica from Chinese enterprises, from all enterprises, to facilitate the greatest domestic value added as much as is possible. It may not be so in the beginning, but over time where there is space for the domestic value component of foreign direct investment in Jamaica to be enlarged, we want that to happen.”

Minister Clarke also shared that currently, Jamaica has approximately JM$2 trillion of loans outstanding, and of that Jamaica owes about JM$79bn to China, which is just under 4% of our total loan stock.

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