Gov’t addressing efficiency and infrastructure to improve growth, says Holness

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness is assuring investors that the Government of Jamaica is improving the speed of business, while making improvements to the country’s infrastructure to facilitate economic growth.

The prime minister said he has charged the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with the responsibility to ensure that business processes within the public sector become efficient and fast.

“My word to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and indeed to the entire Government, the entire civil service and the public sector is that we have to do both and do them well. We have to comply, and we have to be efficient. We have to comply with the rules, we have to be efficient in getting outcomes – that is the charge that I gave and it is not an empty charge; it is one that we intend to see implemented and the enabler for these things to happen is the introduction to more technology into our administrative processes and to get our public sector managers to be more willing to review their business processes, to re-engineer business processes because many times documents get sent back because you did not dot the “I” and cross the “t” literally,” said Holness.

The prime minister was speaking at the official opening of the R-Hotel last evening (June 6) in Kingston.

Holness said he is cognisant of the lengthy approval process for the newly established hotel. In that regard, he asserted that the slow approval process is a hindrance to the country’s growth.

“We’ve seen global economic downturn which has had an impact on Jamaica, but we have to be truthful to ourselves as well because things that are within our authority, capability and capacity to do well and speedily we have not done it,” Holness said.

“And so, a project like this which has to be turned down six times and then you’ d have had to wait 13 years to bring it to reality, that is not something of which we can be proud. No wonder the growth is slow because the speed at which we are giving approvals, the speed at which the bureaucracy works is not in sync with the speed of business and the speed that we need to have in order to grow,” stated Holness.

In the meantime, the prime minister underscored that the Government is also working to improve the country’s infrastructure to accommodate greater investment.

“The Government is going to do everything in its powers to ensure that the economy remains stable and remains on the path of growth, they know that Government is going to do everything in its power to control crime, to make sure that your guests are safe and secure here in Kingston city. And you know that the Government is going to do everything to improve the physical infrastructure of the city both in terms of our roads, water, sewage, telecommunication and security infrastructure. So, your investment, significant investment, your investment is safe, and your investment will yield a profit and I give you that assurance here tonight”, said Holness.

The prime minister commended the management of the R-Hotel and noted that the added room capacity will improve the offerings for Kingston as a tourist destination.

“Expanding the capacity in the hotel sector in Kingston will ensure that Jamaica has the rooms and quite literally will have the capacity to accommodate all the tourists that will come to Kingston for our diverse culture, entertainment and historic offerings,” said Holness.

The R-Hotel was constructed at a cost of US$6.5 million.

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