Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, says the Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Public Service to refine implementation of a small business procurement policy.
This would require all Ministries and Agencies of Government to procure a portion of their goods and services from micro and small enterprises, she explained.
The State Minister was speaking at the official launch of Jamaica’s first manufactured sports beverage, Hi-Lyte Sport Drink, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on May 3.
“We are also moving forward to the finalisation of the Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprise (MSME) and Entrepreneurship Policy, an important element of which is to support start-ups and early stage ventures as part of the whole thrust to increase competitiveness. We are now in final consultations with stakeholders on the policy and moving towards tabling a Green Paper in Parliament,” she said.
Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the Ministry is also focussing on the enactment and examination of a range of business friendly laws, in order to foster business development and the creation of employment.
These include the Individual and Corporate Insolvency Act, which seeks to provide legal procedures to give breathing space to businesses that need time to restore their fiscal health.
“We are also looking at the Fair Competition and Customs Duties Act, geared towards promoting fair competition and market access in the domestic economy to ensure transparency and oversight,” she said.
Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said the Ministry will be reviewing the various pieces of legislation and identifying the constraints to cross border trade, spanning several ministries and agencies. “The areas identified for reform will be monitored and the necessary support provided through an inter-ministerial mechanism,” she said.
The State Minister pointed out that the law reviews form part of the Ministry’s 10- point strategy going forward to improve the country’s business environment, while making it more attractive for manufacturing in Jamaica.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter