Jamaica News: Within another year, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) intends to launch the National Business Portal, which will serve as a single online platform for major business activities in Jamaica.
“That is one of the very exciting and game-changing plans that we have,” President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, told JIS News, following her presentation at the agency’s Open Day held at its New Kingston offices on Tuesday (September 11).
The portal is to be developed over three phases and will house the business-to-government interface for government entities involved in the investment or business facilitation process.
The online platform will focus on the business aspect of the broader GOV.JM online portal launched last year, which is a one-stop shop for government-related information and services.
Phase one of its development will cover provision of business information and a back-end discussion forum for government agencies.
Ms. Edwards explained that this online facility will take some time to be developed, especially phases two and three, which will focus on creating an online transactional platform for specific business processes across select agencies.
“The second phase is the transaction phase, which will allow them (investors) to actually apply for permits and licences online. That really takes a lot of work, because you have to make sure that the processes that we are trying to automate are already in a form that is clear and that is properly laid out, step by step, so that you can automate them,” she said.
Ms. Edwards noted that many of those business processes are not currently in a form that can be automated, so JAMPRO will now have to work with the agencies “to look at the processes, develop them and then automate them”.
In the meantime, the JAMPRO President explained that the Open Day was held as part of the agency’s 30th anniversary celebrations, to showcase its work and impact over the years, including its contribution to the growth of the Jamaican economy.
“We wanted to expose to the public, particularly tertiary-level students, what JAMPRO has been doing for the past 30 years… . The ultimate goal was to impart that message to people who are not really aware of what JAMPRO does,” she said.
Ms. Edwards noted that JAMPRO conducted a survey, which revealed that over 76 per cent of the public in Jamaica has heard of the agency, but only 55 per cent know what the entity does.
“So, it’s important for us to get our message out about what we do, so that more people understand and appreciate how we are changing the focus of Jamaica and making it more business-friendly,” she said.
Over the past 20 months, JAMPRO has worked to create and begin execution of a strategy that aims to transform the organisation into the most efficient investment and trade promotions agency in the region.
JAMPRO, which is the Government’s principal investment agency, was created from the amalgamation of three agencies of government – Jamaica National Investment Promotion, Jamaica National Export Promotion and Jamaica Industrial Development Foundation.
It is tasked with stimulating and fostering the economic development of the Jamaican economy, which involves stimulating both local and foreign investment as well as ensuring that it is fruitful.
In terms of exports, the entity has the mission to find new markets for Jamaican products and increase the export product and services from Jamaica.
It also works to improve the business environment to make it more business-friendly, so that more businesses are created and more businesses can thrive.
Source: JIS News