The Jamaica government says it will, in the coming months, be looking at privatizing a number of assets under its portfolio.
“In the coming months, the government will intensify its policy of full asset utilization. These assets will be made available to persons who demonstrate the drive, interest and entrepreneurship…persons who are risk takers and who will take these assets and make something of them for the people of Jamaica,” said Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
He told the opening ceremony for the re-launch of the 120-room S Hotel in Montego Bay that while he sees this as a sure-fire way to boost further economic growth, “the process has to be one which is both competitive and transparent”.
Holness said the assets will be disbursed through a process of divestment which will include public/private partnerships, corporatization and placing many of these assets on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, “so that you who are gathered here can also own part of these companies and claim the prosperity.
Every Jamaican must benefit from the divestments
“You would have heard about Wigton Wind Farm Limited, which will be placed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange very soon. I am encouraging you to look out for it and to own a piece of it. Other such profitable companies are also coming and I want you to be prepared for them,” Holness said. He added that while the idea of divesting the country’s national assets is part of a long-term plan for economic prosperity, it has to be done with the knowledge that ordinary Jamaicans will not be left out of the equation. “We can’t just have the few elites and connected persons benefitting. Every single Jamaican must benefit from the economic growth of this country.”
The S Hotel, formerly Breezes Montego Bay, has been off the market for a decade, following its closure in 2009. It was sold by joint owners, NCB Staff Pension Fund and state-operated National Insurance Fund in 2011, to hotelier Christopher Issa.