News America Now, NEW YORK, NY – Friday, January 16, 2015-Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says that now is a good time for businesses to invest and expand their operations in Jamaica, given the significant improvement in the management of the economy and the reduction in world oil prices.
The Prime Minister made the statement as she spoke to company executives, workers and journalists following a tour of Lasco’s new liquid manufacturing plant in White Marl, St. Catherine on Wednesday, January 14. “The business climate is better and this view is supported by the World Bank, the reputable Forbes Magazine and local business confidence surveys,” the Prime Minister noted, adding that “the lowering of world oil prices is providing a cushion and a window for business consolidation and strategic expansion.”
Commenting on the savings that companies are now able to enjoy from the reduction of oil prices, the Prime Minister commended those businesses that have in turn reduced prices for consumers or reinvested their savings with a focus on expansion and job creation. “I want to commend those companies that have found it possible and important to pass on some of those cost reductions through lower prices to consumers. Some companies might choose to reinvest those cost savings to expand production and create more jobs. I commend those companies too,” she said.
The Prime Minister said investment with job creation is the way forward to continue to grow the Jamaican economy. It is against that background that she commended founder and Executive Chairman of Lasco, Hon. Lascelles Chin and the entire Lasco team for the substantial investment in the company’s new manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the company hiring an additional 300 workers; bringing the company’s total workforce to 750.
“Lasco’s investing of an additional $2 billion in production upgrades is a massive show of confidence in Jamaica and in the current business climate,” the Prime Minister remarked. “This is the kind of bold action that is needed from our private sector partners at a time when our Government is significantly improving the climate for investment and business generally,” she said. Mrs. Simpson Miller added that “Lasco is overcoming the challenges through innovation, bold leadership and prudent, yet confident investment.”
Meanwhile, announcing even further expansion of Lasco’s operations, Executive Chairman, Lascelles Chin said that the company was committed to Jamaica’s development and urged other private sector entities to invest in Jamaica. “We at Lasco pledge our continued commitment to Jamaica. When we make money, we put it back in Jamaica. The best is yet to come in 2015,” Mr. Chin expressed. The company which has already increased exports by 40% is projecting to double exports by 2016.