Hill calls on businesses to move beyond social media complaints Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

In a bid to streamline business operations and foster a more conducive environment for entrepreneurs, Senator Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has issued a rallying call to the business community urging them to voice their concerns directly to the government.

The minister also challenged the business sector to present the laws and regulations they would like to see, so that he can take them to the Cabinet for consideration.

“The private sector is right to complain that government procedures are cumbersome, bureaucratic and sometimes are a downright disincentive”, Hill said.

“We in government need you in the private sector to be more proactive. In other countries they have a whole heap of lobbyists who draft laws and say, Mr Congressman, Mr Senator,  this is the law I want.”

“If you see a law or regulation that doesn’t make sense, bring it to me. I will have my practical people look at it and I’ll take it to Cabinet as a first step, and then to the Parliament. But don’t just complain (on social media).”

The minister made the comments at the Jamaica Business Reform Forum on Wednesday, March 13 at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston.

The event focused on the business environment reform agenda and its implementation to enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

Hill called on entrepreneurs, especially small businesses to utilise  the various online resources and “step up to the plate” in doing business.

These include the Jamaica Development Application Portal (JDAP), an online platform that enables interaction with developers in submitting development applications and environmental permits to the Ministry of Local Government, municipal corporations, and the National Environment and Planning Authority (NEPA).

The JDAP is currently piloted in three municipalities – St Ann, St James and Kingston and St Andrew.

According to the website, JDAP allows for the application permits to change the use of a property, plan and build, outline or demolish a building or renew or retain a structure.

Hill said based on reports the portal is “really effective and cuts out a lot of headache, heartache and time”.

The minister also mentioned the Jamaica Trade Information Portal which includes the Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT), an electronic platform, which allows traders to submit transactional information through a single access point. The portal provides services to support the regulatory requirements for cross-border trade in Jamaica.

Emphasising the need for more exports, Hill disclosed that Jamaica’s total exports increased by 29 percent between January 2023 to August 2023 when compared to the corresponding period in 2022.