The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has launched its Client Services Programme (CSP), to promote the international competitiveness of Jamaican producers through business development and trade.
Speaking at the virtual event, today (October 21), Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, said some of the interventions provided by the CSP include standards awareness, interpretation and implementation, market access requirements, regulatory compliance, accreditation and certification requirements and referrals to the other business service organisations.
Mr. Shaw, who also has oversight responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, noted that the international markets offer opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); However, proof of compliance is needed through certification, which can be advanced under the CSP.
“The CSP was created as an additional lifeline to boost the competitiveness and productivity of our MSMEs through standards, increasing their capacity to produce high-quality products and services,” the Minister said.
To date, the programme has provided more than 70 clients with advisory services and technical assistance.
“These clients are from various stakeholder groups, including MSMEs, government and academia,” the Minister pointed out.
Mr. Shaw emphasised that MSMEs should formalise their businesses through certification, so that they can “capitalise on the suite of opportunities being offered by the BSJ, to help bolster and recover the MSME sector faster and stronger”.
He noted that an estimated 97.6 per cent of tax paying MSMEs account for classified and registered enterprises in Jamaica.
“When this is combined with over 412,000 own account workers [according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica in 2015], it becomes evident that MSMEs represent a significant force in the Jamaican economy,” he said.