By Douglas McIntosh
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Approximately $290.5 million has been earmarked to continue implementation of the Jamaica Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project. The sum is programmed in the 2022/23 estimates of expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project aims to strengthen Jamaica’s business environment for private-sector investment by enhancing competition; facilitating strategic private investments; strengthening the capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and financing policy and project implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Achievements up to December 2021 include disbursement of 155 loans totalling $2.56 billion to 140 SMEs; disbursement of grants totalling $421 million to over 370 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); completion of Logistics Hub Initiative Market Analysis and Master Plan and submission to Cabinet; and conclusion of implementation plan for Downtown Kingston Market and Commercial District Redevelopment.
For the new financial year, work will be undertaken to complete implementation of an Enterprise Content Management System at the Fair Trading Commission and Consumer Affairs Commission, and digitisation of the National Land Agency’s land-titling records.
The project was initially scheduled to run from September 2014 to June 2020 but has since been extended and is now slated to end in March 2024.
It is being implemented by the ministry of industry, investment and commerce; Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO); and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), through funding from the World Bank.