Govt sees International Financial Center helping to diversify economy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The International Financial Center (IFC) unveiled by Jamaica's government this year could represent a significant diversification of the local economy, said Eric Crawford, chairman of the Jamaican International Financial Services Authority (JIFSA), state news agency JIS reported.

Crawford noted that the island already provides a fairly significant number of services to international markets, which the financial center will target. "It will not be targeted at Jamaicans or Jamaican businesses," he added.

Earlier in the year, Jamaica's congress passed a bill that created JIFSA as the first step in developing the country's IFC.

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Crawford, speaking to members of the Jamaican Diaspora, said that the country has a "very good shot at making a success of an [IFC]," and that the implications for the economy will be far reaching and significant.

He noted that annual registration fees to establish companies and other entities are significant, and would mean additional taxes for the government, as well substantial earnings for professionals in terms of audit, legal and other professional fees.

Crawford added that the country has an "excellent regulatory infrastructure," which is finding great resonance with the international financial community that uses these services to operate in Jamaica.