Caribbean Development Bank officials have described Jamaica’s Junior Market as a model for financing Blue Economy.
Jamaica’s Junior Stock Exchange, said Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics at the CDB, is a “blueprint” for countries in the Caribbean wishing to support their blue economy by raising capital through the stock market.
A blended finance approach, where the private sector, the government and multilateral lending agencies provide financing for projects, is important at the beginning stages of a developing sector. As the sector grows, added Dr. Ram, all the financing may be transferred to the private sector, and an effective method for doing so is “to develop our stock exchanges”.
The Junior Stock Exchange encourages and promotes investment in the island’s entrepreneurship, employment and economic development. It helps small and medium-sized companies grow.
This increase in investment to develop Jamaica’s Blue Economy also needs positive signals from the government and a fertile legislative context. The Government committed to enacting such legislation in February.
This push for legislation governing the exploration and development of a sustainable blue economy is supported by the Jamaican Maritime Authority, and has included the recent passage of the Ballast Water Management Convention Act and the Fisheries Act.
With over 90 per cent of Jamaica’s trade conducted by sea, Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague said the Government recognises the importance of the Blue Economy in spurring economic growth and development.