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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has reiterated his call for lower interest rates to private sector investors, adding that this was the way to a better future for Jamaica.
He lauded the Credit Unions for their efforts at assisting small and medium-sized businesses at low interest rates, and for what they were contributing to the country.
“I support investment at lower interest rates..all over the world people are borrowing money at seven per cent, five per cent, six per cent, but in Jamaica people have to borrow money at 20 per cent and 25 five per cent; it cannot go like that,” the Minister emphasised.
Mr. Shaw was delivering the keynote address at the 33rd Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony of the Hanover Co-operative Credit Union Limited, held on June 17, in Lucea, Hanover.
The Minister argued that something was definitely wrong why, in other countries across the world, the interest rate on loans can be below ten per cent, yet in Jamaica it was above 20 per cent.
Mr. Shaw said that he strongly believed in the Credit Union movement and what it offers to people, and lauded the Development Bank of Jamaica for giving more support to the Credit Union system islandwide.
He added that the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) had been mandated to bring the Credit Union system under greater regulation, but had also been requested not to stifle their initiative or enterprise.
Meanwhile, citing security concerns across the nation at present, Mr. Shaw expressed the view that there should also be concerns about the future of the next generation of Jamaicans.
“The bigger news has to be where are we as Jamaicans, how are we going to make a better place for all to live in, and how are we going to find that space, the space for investment, the space for investment opportunities, the space where young men and young women can look towards a better life in Jamaica,” he said.
He insisted that a way must be found to ensure the security of the people of the nation, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to be able to make a better life for themselves.
The Hanover Co-operative Credit Union Limited has been in operation for 35 years with more than 23,000 members. It has a Savings portfolio of approximately $238.9 million, Loan portfolio of $372.3 million and Share Capital of approximately $255 .6 million.