Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Wednesday (August 7), launched the Companies Office of Jamaica’s (COJ) newly created Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF).
The online platform, which replaces the COJ’s one-stop-shop paper-based superform that was introduced in 2014, will facilitate 24-hour business registrations at the agency’s website – www.orcjamaica.com, from any location globally.
The initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division in the Office of the Cabinet, with funding support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Mr. Holness, who delivered the keynote address at the launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, praised the stakeholder partners for the “tremendous work” undertaken to establish the new platform.
He said that the ease of registering a company on the eBRF is “mind-blowing” and serves as an indication that Jamaica is transitioning “boldly” into a digital society.
Prime Minister Holness said that the platform is “a step further” in positioning Jamaica as a “potential place for international businesses,” which will be further enhanced with the creation of the proposed international business centre for which “we have almost completed the legislation”.
In his remarks, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that eBRF is the first online business registration platform in the Caribbean, and hailed the launch as a “significant achievement” for the COJ and Jamaica.
Additionally, he said it represents a major thrust towards modernising and transitioning the business environment to offer world-class services to clients.
Mr. Shaw noted that the Government is undertaking a “comprehensive approach” to improving Jamaica’s business climate through interventions such as the National Competitiveness Council’s (NCC) Business Environment Reform Agenda.
“To this end, we have seen recent legislative changes resulting in enhanced access to credit through the National Collateral Registry, and ongoing reform in the public sector to make it more efficient to do business with the Government,” he pointed out.
Mr. Shaw said the Administration remains committed to further improving the business environment, adding that “we cannot afford to be complacent.”
“We must continue the momentum and focus on other critical areas such as the cost and ease of paying taxes and trading across borders,” he noted.
He added that the BRF’s launch coupled with continued improvements in the business environment will make Jamaica “an even more attractive destination for local and international investors.”
For her part, the COJ’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Judith Ramlogan, said the innovative eBRF demonstrates to the world that Jamaica is “open for business.”
She said that the innovation is indicative of the Government’s and COJ’s commitment to utilising technology to improve Jamaica’s investment environment and provide incentive for investors to do business in Jamaica.
“It is our aim to deliver world-class service to our customers and there is no doubt that the introduction of the Electronic Business Registration Form will provide our customers with an efficient registration facility,” the CEO noted.