World Bank approves additional US$10 million for Jamaica

WASHINGTON, DC, United States — The World Bank yesterday said its board of executive directors has approved additional financing of US$10 million for the ongoing Jamaica Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project.

The funds will be used to scale up support for the Government’s business climate reform agenda and contribute to Jamaica’s economic recovery by improving the business environment.

“This additional financing will support initiatives that encourage business growth in Jamaica and strengthen the environment for private sector investment. These changes are more critical now than ever, as the private sector has been hit hard by the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. The additional financing will help Jamaica build back better through support for reforms to make it easier to do business, which will benefit local entrepreneurs,” a World Bank release quotes its Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana Ozan Sevimli.

Noting that Jamaica is facing significant challenges from the COVID-19 crisis, the bank said the Government has adopted a series of measures to address the deteriorating economic and social situation.

The additional financing, the bank said, “provides technical assistance to improve the investment climate by updating laws, regulations, and legal frameworks to support a private sector-led resilient recovery”.

Reforms, the bank explained, focus on trading across borders, enforcing contracts, registering property, getting electricity, and getting credit. The project also includes policies and programmes for export competitiveness, attracting foreign direct investment, and supplier linkages.

Said the bank: “The US$50-million Jamaica Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project was approved in 2014 and has shown encouraging results, supporting 14 new investment climate laws, regulations, and policies that improved Jamaica’s business environment. In addition, nearly 140 small and medium-sized businesses have benefited from a line of credit programme and over 380 businesses received training support through matching grants. The loan comes from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and has a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of five years.

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