Jamaica seeks to attract more US investors

Addressing members of the United States Chamber of Commerce at a special meeting at the chamber’s headquarters in Washington, DC, on Friday, the minister appealed to the members to support Jamaica’s efforts in its quest to attract more US investors.

This, he said, will benefit both countries, as it will increase both employment and economic growth.

The minister noted that while the tourism sector is growing in leaps and bounds, US investor participation in the sector has shrunk. Phillips said he would like to see a rebirth of US presence in this vital sector once again.

He disclosed that the Marriott, a US hotel chain, will open a new property in Jamaica within the next few months and that this is a welcomed addition to the sector.

The minister said that Jamaica has started to see an increase in the business outsourcing operation by US investors and that the government aims to attract even more investors to this sector, with the hope of expanding it and doubling employment within the next five years.

He also pointed out that Jamaica is open for investment in the energy sector and pointed out that the US administration is making a major push to provide access to US natural gas supplies. He said Jamaica is seeking investments, not only in diverse fluid sources, but also in renewable energy.

“Investment opportunities are also available in port infrastructure and the logistics hub, as the country prepares for the expansion of the Panama Canal. US trade will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this first world port,” the minister said.

Executive director with responsibly for the Americas International Affairs Division of the US Chamber of Commerce, Ruben Smith-Vaughn, pledged the chamber’s support to assist Jamaica in attracting more US investments.

He commended the government of Jamaica for the financial path it is on, noting that in the long run, the country will benefit.

Phillips, who is currently in Washington attending the IMF/ World Bank spring meeting, also held discussions with president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno and participated in a seminar entitled: ‘Changing the Conversation on Development Finance’.

On Saturday, the minister was due to participate in a round-table discussion on debt and will meet with the assistant secretary of the US Treasury Department, RaminToloui.

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