Jamaica Offering Loans for ICT Projects

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 3, 2012

Above: the Montego Bay Convention Centre, the scene of the Jamaica Investment Forum Photo: Ken Wiliams)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Jamaican will be offering loans of up to $5 million for investment projects in the ICT sector, according to Investment Minister Anthony Hylton.

The loans, which are provided through the Development Bank of Jamaica, look to provide “purpose-built space” for the information and communication technology sector.

Hylton, who was speaking at the Jamaica Investment Forum in Montego Bay, said the project aimed to facilitate the expansion of the ICT sector by developing at least 350,000 square feet of ICT-ready space to accommodate operators for business process outsourcing.

The maximum loan amount of $5 million per project will represent 70 percent of the total project cost at an interest rate of 4.5 percent per year on the reducing balance, payable on a monthly basis.

Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell said the government’s focus looked to fulfill a long-held vision to use ICT to transform the economy.

“This industry, ICT, is an industry that is capable of transforming the entire Jamaican economy and society,” he said.

Earlier this year, Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining, said that the government recognized that ICT was the “great equaliser” in today’s world.

“We cannot capitalise on technology unless our people are not just aware of the opportunities, but have the skills needed to compete globally,” he said at a Cisco conference in January.

Robinson is responsible for ICT in the Ministry.

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