Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS -

Den­nis Chung also cited at least one case where a would-be in­vestor for a po­ten­tially large project in Ja­maica took the busi­ness to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic in­stead be­cause of prob­lems get­ting the req­ui­site ap­proval in Ja­maica.

The PSOJ has from time to time ap­pealed to suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments to put in place mea­sures to re­duce red tape, which has long been an im­ped­i­ment to do­ing busi­ness and, ac­cord­ing to Chung, the way to do so is through public-sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion, for which they have been wait­ing for years.

He re­ferred, for ex­am­ple, to a public-sec­tor wage freeze at a time when Dr Omar Davies was fi­nance min­is­ter.

Part of the agree­ment was that there would have been some form of trans­for­ma­tion in terms of train­ing, re­train­ing and find­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple, other than in the public sec­tor, Chung ex­plained.

“It never hap­pened. To this day, it hasn’t hap­pened. So we have lost bil­lions of dol­lars in in­vest­ments, in lost op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of poor gov­ern­ment pol­icy,” he added.

The PSOJ CEO said Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness “has in­di­cated, and I have had dis­cus­sions with peo­ple in the Gov­ern­ment who said they are mov­ing ahead with this thing”.

He noted that the Eco­nomic Growth Coun­cil has also ad­vised that public-sec­tor trans­for­ma­tion is es­sen­tial if Ja­maica is to achieve the tar­get the coun­cil has set out, for five per cent growth in four years.

“It is now the sec­ond most prob­lem­atic fac­tor to do­ing busi­ness. We can’t hold the Eco­nomic Growth Coun­cil re­spon­si­ble if the Gov­ern­ment doesn’t play its part. They have to en­sure that this is done,”

Chung em­pha­sised.

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