Jamaica News: Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Justin Ram, says Jamaica’s Junior Stock Exchange (JSE) stands as a blueprint for how countries across the region could utilise the stock market in raising capital to support the blue economy.
He said that a blended finance approach may be adopted in the initial stages of development, involving the private sector, government, and multilateral lending agencies. However, “eventually we would want to transfer all of that financing to the private sector, and one way to do that is to develop our stock exchanges”.
“Whenever I come to Jamaica, I am always pleased to hear about what has happened as it relates to the Junior Stock Exchange here. This is actually quite good because companies then can get the needed finance that they require to grow. I think that something like this is what we have to consider for the blue economy,” he added.
Dr. Ram was speaking at the High Level Symposium for Transport Ministers of the Caribbean Region held recently at the Iberostar Hotel in Rose Hall, St. James.
The Junior Stock Exchange is designed to encourage and promote investment in the island’s entrepreneurship, employment and economic development. The Junior Market allows investors to put capital into legitimate small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) whose shares trade on a special Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) platform, an initiative that Dr. Ram has hailed.
The blue economy refers to the utilisation of the ocean resources for economic benefits, while ensuring the future health or productivity of those same resources. It includes tourism; shipping; commercial fishing; activities in the oil, gas, minerals and mining industries; among others.
Meanwhile, the CARICOM transport ministers with responsibility for maritime affairs in the region, committed to increasing collaboration to build on efforts at the local, national and regional levels to improve appreciation and understanding of the value of the blue economy.
This is in recognition that these efforts can intensify investments and harness the full potential of the oceans, rivers and lakes to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and fight poverty in the region.
The Ministers also recognised the establishment of a Caribbean marine environment protection association as a consolidator for marine environment issues and actions in the Caribbean. The entity will be able to engage players in the industry, regulators, governments, conservation groups, educators and more in promoting and protecting the marine environment.
Furthermore, the Ministers committed to champion the management of waste streams, as well as educating the public about protecting the marine environment and supporting the development of maritime safety and security, and environment training capacities within regional institutions.
Eight CARICOM transport ministers with responsibility for maritime affairs participated in the event – Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.