JIS News

By the end of March, the National Export-Import Bank (EXIM) of Jamaica will have disbursed some $6 billion in loan funds for 2008/2009, a 25 per cent increase over the previous fiscal period.
The disbursement would have met the target set by the new board of directors appointed in December, 2008 and, as Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Megan Deane, noted, “was achieved during a year in which the country’s economic landscape recorded significant challenges.”
Miss Deane was speaking at the Jamaica Trade and Invest/EXIM Bank Minerals Week Breakfast, which was held at the Terra Nova Hotel, Kingston, on February 17.
The EXIM Bank provides the financing and financial support mechanisms for the export and import of goods, commodities and/or services between Jamaica and other countries, agencies and nationals.
The increased disbursement has resulted from the bank’s strategic three- year plan, called the “2010 Vision”, she said.
2010 Vision seeks to: grow the loan portfolio with emphasis on attracting new business from emerging industries; source low cost funds for on lending at competitive interest rates; increase tolerance for credit risks, through the relaxation of some of the more stringent collateral requirements for viable projects; promote an aggressive marketing and advertising campaign aimed at increasing the bank’s visibility in the market; and optimising the use of technology to improve efficiency.
Miss Dean said that, for some time, due to the relatively stable markets in which policyholders operated, the bank did not really push its export credit insurance line of business. However, the bank has now enhanced the features of this product, to incorporate domestic credit insurance, coverage on sales by subsidiary companies operating within CARICOM, third country sales initiated by local policy holders and sales of goods transshipped from Jamaica’s duty free zones to countries within the region.
“In this environment, where there has been a contraction of credit terms and even the removal of some of those credit terms, this is very good product enhancement. So, we are continuously trying to see how we can maintain relevance and lift the level of support that we provide,” she explained.
Ms. Deane assured that the bank would continue to indentify and fund projects in key growth sectors of the economy, such as mining and quarrying, and pursue the development of innovative products and services, identified through market research.

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