President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Lloyd Distant Jr. says he is optimistic that Jamaica could be on the way to attaining higher levels of sustainable growth with the main components outlined by the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) in the 2019/2020 Budget presentation. The President expressed further satisfaction especially at the changes that will encourage investment which will in turn lead to growth. “With the main presentations of the 2019-2020 Budget now concluded, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce remains of the view that the main economic components outlined by the GOJ creates a basis for optimism that a platform for sustainable growth is taking shape.
“We fully endorse the position that the pro-business growth inducing adjustments made in this budget are only an interim – but important – step to achieve the longer term objective of increased opportunities for every Jamaican” he went on to note.
In his other remarks, the JCC President commended the government for its commitment to include Jamaican companies in the implementation of major infrastructure projects and the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) for its recent reduction in rates. He cautioned however, that If, in implementation, these initiatives do not materialize as outlined, or are unjustifiably delayed, “you can be sure that we will be in the forefront in expressing our dissatisfaction”. He urged financial institutions to expand and update the products that they now offer MSMEs, stating that the Chamber looks forward to the day where lack of access to affordable financing being an impediment to business growth is no longer an issue.
He concluded the JCC statement by reaffirming the JCC’s resolve in ensuring strong support for the Chamber’s 2019 priority issues on transforming tax reform, redevelopment of Downtown Kingston and simplifying bureaucracy “To be clear, we believe that much work lies ahead on the part of both the public and private sectors. For our part, we will continue to vigorously advocate for a number of our priorities such as transformative tax reform so as to remove the income tax millstone from around the necks of the small number of PAYE employees and for the elimination of the inequitable “double” taxation on dividends; for the creation of an integrated plan for the redevelopment of downtown Kingston; for ongoing simplification of the bureaucracy… among other things”.