@ A GLANCE
  
  
December 2013
In This Issue:
 
  • One-Stop Business Registration Super Form Takes Effect in Jamaica on January 2
  • IDB Energy Conference Focuses On The Caribbean

  • Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) First Accountability Workshop Held In Dominican Republic

  • Compete Caribbean Portfolio Snapshot

  • Compete Caribbean OECS Maritime Cluster Appoints Lead Designate

  •  One-Stop Business Registration Super Form Takes Effect in Jamaica On January 2, 2014

    Come January 2, 2014 individuals will no longer need to visit multiple agencies to incorporate a company or register a business name, as the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) will now be providing a single registration facility.

    Speaking at the launch of the new business registration form (super form) on Thursday, December 19, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said under the new system those incorporating companies or registering business names will make a single application for their Taxpayer Registration Numbers (TRN), General Consumption Tax (GCT), National Insurance Scheme (NIS), to register with the National Housing Trust (NHT), and complete the Articles of Incorporation required for company registration.

    The new system, according to Minister Hylton, will not only eliminate the frustration of visiting multiple agencies, but will also significantly reduce the time taken to get registered. He said significant cost savings will also be possible for each agency involved in the business registration process as they will no longer be engaged in printing separate forms.

    He said making it less difficult for companies to incorporate and facilitating new ones into the marketplace, promotes growth and greater competitiveness. "Therefore, the establishment of a one-stop for business registration is a decisive step forward in the whole process of simplifying administrative procedures and facilitating more efficient interaction between government and business", Minister Hylton stated.

    He attributed much of the success in implementing the new business registration form to the benefits of utilizing joined-up government. "This is a truly collaborative approach and a clear demonstration of joined-up government in action", the Minister noted. He said introduction of the super form is a huge step forward for Jamaica and is part of the process of creating a more conducive and business-friendly environment.

    This reform was supported with resources from the Compete Caribbean program.

    The Caribbean's Energy Future: A Pathway for Regional Fiscal Stability 
     

    The Inter-American Development Bank Caribbean Country Department and Infrastructure and Environment Department presented a conference dedicated to drilling down the region's energy future on December 5 in Washington, DC.

     

    The countries in the region are encumbered with the necessity of importing increasingly expensive oil products for transportation and electricity generation. Covering the ever-increasing cost of energy places enormous pressure on countries whose national budgets are often already heavily stressed.

     

    Thus, a new Caribbean energy future needs to be envisioned. This future must rely on taking full advantage of the region's natural endowments of renewable energy resources as well as recent advances in energy efficiency and natural gas technologies.

     

    The objectives of the conference were to:

    1) Provide a forum to examine the issues associated with the region's high energy costs and

    associated impacts;

    2) Explore options for addressing this problem;

    3) Present results from the Bank's studies to address the problem and;

    4) Set forth a roadmap that will assist the region in developing a cleaner, more cost effective

    and sustainable energy matrix.

     

    The expected outcome was foster general consensus concerning the methods for addressing the key challenges facing the region in the area of energy sector finance. In addition, guidance from the stakeholders on whether the areas for cooperation between the region's stakeholders and the IDB are consistent with national priorities and the role the regional institutions can play.

     

    Compete Caribbean funded the knowledge product on the feasibility of using liquid natural gas in the region.

     

    The first Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) Accountability Workshop was held on December 3rd, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic before an engaged audience of more than 200 persons including high ministerial and governmental officials, private sector representatives, academia and civil society organizations.

     

    The event also announced the creation of an independent Civic Observatory made of more than 15 organizations of the private sector, academia and civil society, that will monitor the implementation progresses and the impact of the reforms on the population.

    Compete Caribbean and the OECS Maritime Cluster pose for the camera after successfully designating a lead institution to steer the implementation of this maverick project that will transform the OECS shipping environment.

     (Left-Right) Alejandro Carrion, Compete Caribbean OECS Coordinator; Peter Sylvester, St. Lucia; Louise Armstrong, Compete Caribbean Cluster Coordinator; Peter Ollivierre, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Celene Cleland-Gomez, EICF Coordinator;

    Neville Wade, St. Lucia; Ricardo Caton, Grenada; George Alcee, OECS Secretariat;

    Captain George Alexis and Ken Hynes, Compete Caribbean Meeting Facilitator.

     
      

     

     

     

    Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. The program's estimated value is US$40.0 million, of which DFID and CIDA contributed US$32.55 million. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

      
     
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